Featured Restaurant: Natraj

Photo by Anita Sherman

COOKING FROM THE HEART. At 26, Nishan Khatri is running restaurants and couldn’t be happier although he admits that his life is “busy” between their location in Winchester and the one on Davis Street in Culpeper. Natraj opened last October serving Indian cuisine bringing a mixture of subtle and zesty flavors soothed with warm Indian spices. Manager and chef Bikash Puri has his own definition of the large and varied menu offered at Natraj. “We define Indian food not only as shown in the menu but we redefine it per customer choices by adding and removing flavors and ingredients on their plate to their liking.” Puri left a chef position in California to move to Virginia specifically to run the restaurant and answer questions on the misconceptions that most have about Indian food. “I love to cook food on the customer’s table defining and describing the entire process,” added Puri. Khatri shares and echoes those sentiments smiling as he recounts his own arrival in the United States in 2009 from Nepal and how he and his brother became immersed in the restaurant business. “It doesn’t have to be hot…you can order with various degrees of heat from one to six with six being the hottest.” Khatri’s mother prepares the chilis in her kitchen in a time honored tradition. Try their Chai tea which has an extra kick due to her unique blend of ingredients. It’s very tasty and while a bit zingier also very calming. Khatri said that they’ve had their eye on Culpeper as a place for one of their restaurants since 2013 and are very pleased with the community’s reception and the friendliness extended from their neighbors on Davis Street. Offering a daily lunch buffet of more than 30 items, carryout services and catering, Natraj has added yet another dining out option for Culpeper foodie fans and those who travel to Culpeper for Indian cuisine not found in immediate surrounding counties. “We cook from the heart and treat our customers like family.”

Natraj is located at 219 E. Davis Street. Open Tuesdays-Sundays, you can reach them at 540-317-5293