Despite a sizable Broward population of immigrants from the subcontinent where vegetarian cooking is a high art, there's a dearth of Indian restaurants here willing to venture into the uncommon cuisine of southern India. But Madras continues to buck the trends, serving idli, sambar, and those delectable little savory doughnuts called dhai vada, plus lesser-known dishes from the southern coast - like the marvelous, hot sour Malabar fish stew made with kingfish and curry leaves. Excellently cooked North Indian clay-oven specials are here too, like chicken tandoori marinated in yogurt that falls off the bone in one lovely bite. And anybody still craving lamb vindaloo and chicken korma won't go hungry.
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If what cookbook authors Carol Selva Rajah and Priya Wickramasinghe propose in The Food of India is true -- that our Indian restaurants almost unilaterally offer a "very successful [Punjabi] menu formula" -- then call Madras Caf&eac...