As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2014, coming April 16, the Hot Dish is serving up 100 of our favorite local dishes.
Eaters in the know find themselves flocking to St. Paul's Highland Grill on Monday nights. That is the one and only day diners can get their hands on the delicious creations of Heather Jansz, better known as the Curry Diva.
Jansz bursts into Highland Grill, buzzing with energy. Her food philosophy is a fusion of Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Ayurvedic, and other Asian cuisines, and her combinations of spices and exotic ingredients are often described as tools to reduce inflammation and generally boost one's health -- or as she says, "Get activated."
A native Sri Lankan, Jansz moved to Minneapolis in the 1970s. She ran the late and much lamented Sri Lanka Curry House in Uptown and the Curry Leaf Deli in St. Paul before branching out on her own.
There's no doubt her food fires up the system and the taste buds: richly flavored curries with layers upon layers of flavors, the blooming perfume of ginger and turmeric, a myriad of spice mixtures. We certainly felt better after savoring a bowl of her plump shrimp in coconut milk and a yellow curry sauce.
Her menu changes from week to week, and Mondays are your only chance to taste her dishes at this spot. The rest of the week she spends catering or teaching classes.