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Port Jefferson’s Curry Club at Saghar blends traditional and modern Indian cuisine

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GreaterPortJeff coverage is funded in part by Toast Coffeehouse, now with four locations across Suffolk County. Toast of Port Jeff is moving to a new location this spring. Click here to learn more.

After 28 years of running the Curry Club in East Setauket, Kulwant Wadhwa is merging his traditional Indian cuisine restaurant with his daughters’ modern Indian eatery Saghar in Port Jefferson.

The lease for the Curry Club expires at the end of May, and Wadhwa and two of his daughters, Indu Kaur and Kiran Wadhwa, decided the time was right to fuse their restaurants.

The sisters opened SaGhar in the summer of 2020. With outdoor rooftop dining and live music, Port Jefferson welcomed the joint with open arms and eager stomachs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, SaGhar underwent an overnight transformation and became the Curry Club at SaGhar. Now, the dynasty is under one roof, with menu items from both places.

“It’s a family business my father started 28 years ago,” Kaur said of the Curry Club. “It’s very traditional and authentic because he’s traditional and authentic. Kiran and I are the next generation, so we’re a little bit more modern. We have the world’s taste of cuisine.”

“If there’s a table of four or a table of six, some people want fusion, some people want authentic,” Kulwant Wadhwa said, standing in the lobby of the family’s newly fused restaurant. “At the same table, they get both of them.”

Best of both worlds

The fusion menu Kaur and Kiran Wadhwa developed combines Indian and American ingredients and trends.

Kaur describes the duo’s sauces as a country-wide tour of flavors from various Indian states, which they combine with American meats.

“It’s a kind of melting pot of the two countries,” she said.

Kiran Wadhwa explained they explored infusing seafood staples from both ends of the globe with Indian recipes.

“I think mainly we were trying to mix local Port Jefferson fare seafood with Indian cuisine,” she said

Fun fact: Indu Kaur and Kiran Wadhwa are two of Kulwant Wadhwa’s four “SILK” daughters, an acronym related to the first letter of their first names. Each of the sisters was born on the 22nd day of their birth months.

Kaur and Kiran Wadhwa also developed a dosas menu for Curry Club at Saghar. Similar to crapes but typically more savory, the thin pancakes are stuffed with meats, veggies and sauces.

Long time fans of Kulwant Wadhwa’s meals can rest easy, his acclaimed chicken tika masala is safe and sound on the new menu. His authentic karma, jhalfrezi, kadai and vindalu curries also await devoted fans and newcomers.

‘Spice and color’

For those who like their food with extra kick, ordering the Indu way is a must.

Various items across the Curry Club at SaGhar’s menu feature Kulwant Wadhwa, Kaur and Kiran Wadhwa’s first names. These are some of their go-to favorites.

Kaur enjoys pallet-opening spice in her dishes, and asks her chefs too bump up the fresh chili when she orders them for herself. The restaurant offers various naans, including the cheese olive naan. The Indu’s naan boosts that recipe with garlic, silantro and a healthy dose of fresh green chilis.

“I do warn my customers I can handle spices, just make sure you can before you order it,” Kaur said. “If there’s no spice in life, life gets boring, same with colors.”

Colors are Kiran Wadhwa’s specialty. She designed all the artwork around the restaurant, the menus, and the Curry Club at SaGhar logo.

The youngest of Kulwant Wadhwa’s daughters also keeps a watchful eye over elegant plate presentation.

“What makes a good looking plate is it looks appetizing, its colorful, and everything is right in its place, whether it be the topping or the garnish,” Kiran Wadhwa said.

Fusing their passions, the restaurant recently hosted its first paint night for customers to eat, drink and create.

“That’s what we’re all about, spice and color,” Kaur said of the monthly event.