Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
It’s easy to overlook international food markets as a source of delicious ready-to-eat meals, but from Dong Yang in Columbia Heights to United Noodles in Minneapolis to Ha Tien in Woodbury, they regularly produce some of the tastiest, boldest, and most interesting dishes in the metro. Along those lines: If you walk through the little Desi Foods market in Eagan to the back, there’s a window where you can buy a small to-go lunchbox for $5. If you just want curry to go, however, they’ll send you up front, where their daily-changing vegetarian curry entree is sold (still quite hot) in plastic containers for $7 apiece.
On the day we visited, we tasted Desi’s Parwal (gourd) curry; its appeal is its spice. This isn’t a compromise spice, a spice of halfway measures, a spice designed to please a table full of Midwesterners. This is a full-bore, hot, earthy, deep, complex spice that coats the dish’s creamy chunks of veggies and brings beads of sweat to the brow. It also sets your tastebuds alight. Make sure you get the fresh Roti ($4), too, as this chewy flatbread will help tame some of the sharp edges of the curry and mop up the flavorful bits that will cling to your plate or bowl. Having something dairy-based on hand isn’t a terrible thought, either. Lassi, anyone?
THE DISH: Curry to Go (Parwal Curry), $7
THE PLACE: Desi Foods, 3446 Denmark Ave., Eagan
THE REASON: Beautiful, full-figured, burning heat and a creamy, comforting texture