A family passion, the vegetarian Indian eatery is family-owned and operated by Diya, her children, Manni, Dharam and Vidya Maharaj along with Dharam’s wife Valerie Slone. Raised in a vegetarian household, The Maharaj family identified a dearth for Indian cuisine that embraced the vegetarian and vegan movement.
“We’ve been vegetarian our entire lives and have witnessed the evolution of vegetarian cuisine in Miami, as well as the limited selection of Indian cuisine,” said Dharam Maharaj, “We wanted to introduce a concept that authentically represented our heritage and offered extensive options for vegetarians and our community – a source for wholesome, flavor-forward food.”
The restaurant, named after Diya, also means a glowing lamp in Hindi. These glowing lamps are typically lit for special occasions, such as Deepavali (Divali) and represent remover of obstacles, enlightenment and wisdom. This inspired a mantra among the Diya team during these challenging times – “A Diya of Hope.”
Our goal in opening Diya Sunset Harbour is to share the same warm experience with everyone. Come in with your family and friends for an flavorful experience that will leave you full and happy. Join us for dinner or simply pop in for a happy-hour drink or two by our experienced mixologist. Our purpose is to spread the joy of our childhood kitchen in a casual dining environment where you can let loose, relax and forget your own trials while you’re with us.
“Made for locals, by locals. We’re here to give you the traditionally-modern Miami Beach culinary experience you didn’t know you were craving.”
At the helm of the kitchen
Diya’s cooking techniques were passed down to her daughter Vidya, an epidemiologist who is the executive chef at Diya Sunset Harbour. Chef Vidya Maharaj masterfully blends family recipes with healing ingredients at traditionally modern vegetarian Diya in South Beach’s dining enclave of Sunset Harbour. Her passion for cooking developed at a young age as she watched her mom, Diya, lovingly cook for her family, friends and neighbors. The family home was a neighborhood sanctuary for the community, where Vidya learned to always have a fresh meal ready.
In her first official role as Executive Chef, a position she says is her “true calling,” Vidya incorporates her background as a scientist into menu development; methodically and relentlessly testing and retesting recipes until perfection is achieved. Vidya is also instrumental in the restaurant’s operations, where she manages rigorous sanitation procedures.
Raised as a vegetarian, she created a menu that boasts a colorful array of flavorful vegetarian Indian dishes that can be embraced by all palates.
Growing up in Miami, Vidya infuses influences of the Latin culture from the city into the recipes that have been passed down by her mother creating a truly unique approach to Indian cuisine. Her dishes provide guests with a new, palate-awakening experience.