Must-Try: Shanik's Cricket Paratha
Eating insects might not sound like the best idea. But that's far from the case at Shanik, the upscale Indian eatery, where a brilliant flatbread made with roasted and ground crickets is truly outstanding. Owner Meeru Dhalwala began creating this dish following a search for a earth-friendly protein alternative to meat. After a dozen false starts, she came up with a paratha, or Indian flatbread, that incorporates roasted and ground crickets that have been sustainably raised in Austin, Texas, and distributed by a company called World Entomophagy. The ground crickets - a distant cousin to shrimp - are blended with flour, cumin, cilantro, jalapeño and ginger, with a pinch of salt. Buttermilk is added to create a sticky dough, which is rolled out like a tortilla and grilled in a cast-iron pan. That hot cake is topped with a spicy-sweet tomato chutney and sautéed kale and cabbage, before it is cut into wedges. Thanks in part to a soft sell on its nutritional value, this finger food has become a best. But beyond the good-for-you bonus, the cricket paratha tastes great. It's slightly spicy, a little bit chewy and - the best part - you'd never guess you were eating bugs.
500 Terry Ave. N.; 206-486-6884