Karma – Indian Cuisine In Valencia

Karma Restaurant front

Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines, and Karma is one of my favorite Indian restaurants. For vegans in Santa Clarita who have not been to Karma yet, or haven’t tried Indian food in general, you need to get over there. To get my Indian fix I would drive all the way to Hollywood because any place closer just didn’t make the grade. Karma does, and now I can get delicious aloo gobi, daal and channa masala in the SCV.

Indian food is a funny thing. When I suggest Indian to people for dinner, the typical response is that they don’t like curry. Even funnier, most of them have never even had curry. Aromatic herbs and spices make Indian cuisine unique, and when you find a good place you will keep going back there. Since Indian restaurants have a good grasp of vegetarian food, most places will have several menu items that are just naturally vegan. Karma is no exception, in fact I don’t think it would be possible to order every vegan menu item Karma offers without either being in a large party or bringing home tons of leftovers. For the sake of a proper pictorial review, I thought I would try anyway.

Karma Dinner Spread

For an appetizer, get the vegetable samosas. Samosas are like a stuffed pastry filled with seasoned potatoes and peas. Top with their Chutneys and enjoy the delightful flavor mixture of this savory, spicy and sweet dish.

Karma Vegetable Samosas

Entrées begin with saffron rice. Aromatic basmati rice cooked with vegetables and saffron which gives it that yellow color.

Karma Saffron Rice

With the rice try the Vegetable Jalfrazzi, Yellow Daal, Aloo Gobi, Channa Masala, Bhindi Masala and the Bengan Bharta. If you have not been previously introduced to North Indian food then you probably don’t know what these menu items are. Don’t worry, I’ll explain later with pictures of each item. All of these dishes should be naturally vegan without making changes, but you should let the waiter know that you wish to avoid all animal products in your meals. The things to watch out for would be dairy in the form of cheese (paneer), ghee (clarified butter), yogurt and cream. Yogurt plays a surprisingly large role in Indian cuisine, even being used as a marinade for their meats. So just be clear and let your waiter know; so far every time I have been there I have found the staff to be very knowledgeable of the food they serve.

Karma plate

Vegetable Jalfrazzi: Assorted vegetables, lightly sautéed in a tomato base with herbs and spices.

Karma Vegetable Jalfrazzi

Yellow Daal: Yellow lentils simmered in a mild blend of spices.

Karma Yellow Daal

Aloo Gobi: Seasoned blend of potatoes and cauliflower. (this one will disappear fast)

Karma Aloo Gobi

Channa Masala: Garbonzo beans in a mildly spiced sauce.

Karma Channa Masala

Bhindi Masala: Fresh okra, sliced and sautéed with tomato and onion.

Karma Bhindi Masala

Bengan Bharta: Roasted eggplant cooked with tomato, onion and spices inside a clay oven. Speaking of which, usually when you see that an item is cooked inside a Tandor/clay oven it usually means that it has also been marinated in yogurt. In the case of the Bengan Bharta I have been told that this dish is the exception and there is no yogurt used in Karma’s Bengan Bharta.

Karma Bengan Bharta

The flat breads can be a welcome addition to your meal. The parathas can be ordered vegan, be sure to ask for no ghee. Parathas are a flat bread, roughly eight inches in diameter. Each piece of bread can be cut into fours, so order accordingly for serving size. (Sorry, forgot to take pictures of the Parathas)

The Onion Kulcha is also very good, unless you don’t like onion. I also order this without ghee but I don’t think it uses it anyway.

Karma Onion Kulcha

The atmosphere is very nice with friendly staff and a neat bar area. There is also an upstairs lounge that can be reserved for drinks and appetizers. A buffet is also offered but I have never been there for that.

Karma Restaurant, Bar & Lounge is located at:
23460 Cinema Dr.
Valencia, CA 91355

(Across from Trader Joes)

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