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Redoubtable family-run Kalpna has been serving terrific Indian vegetarian food to the citizens of Edinburgh for nigh on 30 years and shows no signs of slowing down. The place has been modernised
over time, with some interesting mirrored artwork now catching the eye, but the whole experience hasn’t changed a jot – go when it’s busy if you enjoy some atmosphere with your food. Aside from the
lunchtime buffet (an all-in spread for £8 a head), the menu centres on traditional dishes including tarka dhal or palak paneer, plus thalis and regional specialities. Dinner could offer hara bara
kebab to start (fried spinach patties filled with homemade cheese and ground herbs), then perhaps baingan achari (aubergine cooked in hot North Indian spices with tomato, onion, garlic and red
chilli flakes) or a South Indian classic such as masala dosa. Even carnivores may be seduced.
My good buddy Arianna and I have developed a new and rather silly habit, namely arranging to meet at restaurants that aren’t open. After ending up in the Olive Tree Café Bistro after trying to lunch at Beirut, a few weeks ago, today we were aiming to try Bindi, but upon finding it closed this lunchtime we headed over the road to Kalpna. This was new territory for us both, but we were game for it.Kalpna has been serving the vegetarian Indian needs in this part of town for many years. It’s a place with which I’ve had a few near misses, with plans to go there that didn’t quite come to fruition on a couple of...
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