Devi Exton Review


151 West Lincoln Highway
Exton, PA 19341

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devi exton

Devi Exton - No Goddess but Good Enough

Vegetarian Indian restaurants are few and far between in the U.S.

And vegetarian Indian restaurants that serve palatable food even more rare.

Mercifully, Devi located on West Lincoln Highway in Exton, PA falls in the decent category.

Devi primarily serves South Indian Vegetarian fare although some North Indian dishes have crept into the menu to serve a diverse clientele.

During our recent visit, we roamed across the vast prairie of South Indian cuisine from the humble Idli, Vada, Pongal and Tamarind Rice to Plantain Poriyal, Vegetable Kurma, Vegetable Butter Masala, Kadai Bhindi, Mysore Masala Dosa, Utappam and more.

While we found the curries and rice dishes very tasty, Devi’s Sambar, Rasam, Nan bread, Vada, Semya Payasam, Mysore Masala Dosa and Utappam were below par.

Mixed Vegetable Pakoras were crisp, warm, spicy and very tasty. The Pakoras were good even without the ubiquitous green chutney.

Idli was soft and tasty but not even lukewarm. Horror of horrors, Vada was soft and unevenly cooked inside with the raw taste of black gram flour coming into the mouth.

As if the lukewarm Idli and soft, partially cooked Vada were not punishment enough, the accompanying Dal-like Sambar, flavorless Rasam and ice-cold Chutneys deflated us further.

Sambar was prepared with Moong Dal rather than Toor Dal. Low on Tamarind, low on Sambar spices and no vegetables save a few forlorn tomato pieces, it was a travesty.

Rasam was hot but lacked the usual pungent flavor of black pepper seeds.

Tomato, Coconut, Onion and Mint Chutneys were all flavorful but the ice-cold temperature deprived us of the joy of dipping into them.

Excellent Tamarind Rice and Tasty Pongal

Neither oily nor pasty, with tamarind and seasoning seeping well into the rice, Devi’s flamboyant Tamarind Rice was a thrill-ride. Rarely have we derived so much pleasure in eating this popular South Indian dish.

Pongal with the right proportion of black pepper powder, ghee, Moong Dal and curry leaves seasoning was another flavorful treat. Both Pongal and Tamarind Rice were so good that we took a second helping of these South Indian rice items.

Curd Rice at Devi was prepared with Semiya and not rice. Semya Curd Bath though flavorful with ginger-cilantro seasoning was slightly sour and ice-cold.

Flavorful Vegetable Curries

Of all the curries, we were completely bowled over by Devi’s Vegetable Butter Masala.

Vegetable Butter Masala set in a creamy yellow color sauce was prepared with Cauliflower, Broccoli, Onion and Capsicum. It was flavorful and mucho relished with plain rice, Pongal and Tamarind Rice as well.

With a strong flavor and taste of Avial, Devi’s Vegetable Kurma included Onion, Tomato and Green Peas. Set in a flavorful light yellow color gravy Vegetable Kurma offered no cause for complaint.

Plantain Poriyal and Kadai Bhindi were the other curries that found favor with us. We would have preferred the Kadai Bhindi a bit spicier.

But the Mysore Masala Dosa was not crisp and the potato filling inside not tasty. Parts of the Onion Uttapam were tasty but we soon hit a partially cooked patch.

Horrible Naan Bread

While most South Indian restaurants offer tasty curries and rice items, Naan Bread is often a disaster. And Devi is no exception to the rule. Naan Bread was way too thick, hard and packed a horrible taste.

Lousy Desserts

While we enjoyed most of the main course items, what got our goat was the desserts.

Semya Payasam had both Semya as well as rice. Set in watery warm milk, Devi’s Semya Payasam was low on sugar. Also the Semya Payasam tasted as if the boiled Semya and cooked Rice were just added to the watery milk and not cooked together in milk.

Semya Payasam was so awful that we were grateful for the tiny-sized dessert cups.

Vanilla ice cream was ok but nothing to write home about.

Devi – Decent Service

As we entered around 12:45 pm, the restaurant was crowded with mostly Desis and a smattering of Americans. A Tamil speaking waiter greeted us with a smile and promptly showed us to a table.

Water glasses were refilled and used plates removed with alacrity. When we changed our order from Mysore Masala Dosa to Utappam the same Tamil speaking waiter was accommodating and delivered both without any additional charge.

Also unlike some cheapo Indian restaurants in NJ/NY area, Devi’s staff constantly replenished the various items on the buffet table.

All in all, notwithstanding some disappointments we may still return to Devi to once again savor its non pareil Vegetable Butter Masala, Tamarind Rice and Pongal. - ©

Philadelphia Indian & Other Food
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Philly Veg
Philly Tiffin
Devi (Exton)
Desi Chaat
King of Tandoor
Minar Palace
Mallu Cafe
Mumbai Bistro
New Azaad
New Delhi
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