Pinto on Food

Trump election leads to dosa-slinging south Indian restaurant in Windsor

When Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Krishna Kody, an Indian-born physical therapist in Michigan, decided to move across the border to Windsor and pursue his dream of opening a restaurant.

Jonathan Pinto digs into the delicious story behind Namaste Flavours, a new Indian restaurant in Windsor

Chef Navneet Jaiswal (left) and owner Krishna Kody in front of their restaurant, Namaste Flavours. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

When Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Krishna Kody, an Indian-born physical therapist living in Michigan, decided it was time to move to Windsor. 

"My employer said, 'You know, one day it may be very hard for you [as an immigrant in the United States], and I may not be able to help you," Kody explained. "At the time ... Trump was taking [immigration] actions very rigorously."

The president was inaugurated on January 20th, 2017. Krishna arrived in Windsor on February 9th.

Namaste Flavours is located on Wyandotte Street West, near the University of Windsor. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

While his wife, a fellow physical therapist, is now one of thousands of Windsorites who cross the border daily for work, Kody decided to pursue his childhood dream of having a business.

"My forefathers — my father, my father's brothers — everybody was in small jobs," Kody said. "So [when I brought up the idea of starting a business] my father said, 'You know, we are not from a business background, so it may not be good for us.'"

Undeterred, Kody started saving for the business world independently. "So once I established myself ... I [went] into business," he said.

A freshly rolled and stuffed masala dosa being plated. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

After convincing chef Navneet Jaiswal, an experienced Indian chef, to relocated from the GTA to Windsor, Namaste Flavours opened July 26 on Wyandotte Street West, close to the University of Windsor campus.

Kody's restaurant is markedly different from other Indian restaurants in southwestern Ontario. While most in the region serve northern Indian dishes such as butter chicken, naan, and palak paneer, Kody's restaurant specializes in the food of south India, such as idly, vada and most importantly, dosa.

One of the most popular foods in south India, dosas are large savoury crêpes made from rice and black gram. Following a 12-18 hour fermentation, the batter is poured onto a hot griddle until crispy.

Chef Navneet Jaiswal pours dosa batter onto a hot griddle. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

Served stuffed or plain, dosas at Namaste Flavours are served with coconut chutney, ginger tamarind chutney and sambar, a south Indian lentil and vegetable stew.

The most popular stuffed variety is masala dosa, where the stuffing consists of a spiced potato and onion mixture.

Tap on the video to see how it is made.

Chef Navneet Jaiswal makes a masala dosa at Namaste Flavours, a new south Indian restaurant in Windsor, Ont. 1:45

Namaste Flavours is located at 2240 Wyandotte St. W. in Windsor.

What does Donald Trump have to do with a new restaurant in Windsor? A lot, apparently. Jonathan Pinto told us about Namaste Flavours, a place that specializes in south Indian food such as dosas. 7:12

Jonathan Pinto is CBC Windsor's food reporter. Hear his latest tasty story every other Monday at 4:45 p.m. on CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive with Chris dela Torre, and at 6 p.m. on CBC Television's CBC News Windsor with Arms Bumanlag.

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.