Fresh Eats: Eat This: Green Coriander's chicken korma

Paawan Kothari rolled out her lunchtime Indian pop-up two weeks ago in what would seem like just about the most random Mission venue she could find: the bistro La Provence. But then, Kothari has been using the kitchen there since December, when she launched Green Coriander, a meal delivery service.

Lunch mimics Green Coriander's weekly delivery menu even as it borrows its name. The chef, Youssef El Amrani, cooks a short, monochromatic roster of white-flesh proteins — tofu-paneer-chicken — in a mashup of north and south (Kothari has roots in Hyderabad, in southern India). Forget the kind of spice-charged, ghee-slick cooking of your typical tandoori palace, or the elaborate set pieces of the dosa joint. The cooking here is homey, and the dishes have soft outlines, framed with Kothari's conversion to the organic and the low in fat.

This week's three-course menu offers a souplike, curry-leaf–scented dal, tweaked very slightly with tamarind. Opt carnivore, and you get the gentlest chicken korma you've tasted, all soft-textured flesh and a tomato sauce that shades dark from toasted coconut and poppy seeds. A cauliflower-centric vegetable mix cooked in coconut milk is so mild you get a bit bored. The third course: Kothari's very sober chai, with sweetness and spice so restrained it makes you a little ashamed of all the Coke-sugary versions you've ever guzzled.

Indian pickles at Green Coriander; the right-hand compartment holds house-made green chutney.
John Birdsall
Indian pickles at Green Coriander; the right-hand compartment holds house-made green chutney.

Location Info


La Provence

1001 Guerrero
San Francisco, CA 94110

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights


Green Coriander at La Provence: 1001 Guerrero (at 22nd St.), 643-4333; lunch served 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; open for chai at 10 a.m.

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If it tastes familiar? It's because Kothari got her start a year ago via the Chai Cart. Nice to see she's gotten off the streets — even if the place she's landed is probably too far off the Mission's trafficked sidewalks to garner much attention.

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