Thursday, March 22, 2012

India

Dear Em,
Last week Daddy & I had Indian food for the very first time. It was wicked yummy, & I'm excited that we have another type of food we enjoy. We met up with some of our best friends from college at India in Providence. As first timers to Indian food, our friends chose India for the menu selection & beautiful decor.

When we drove up, I was sad to see there was no parking lot. I'm not the greatest parallel parker. At least one passer by was laughing at me. Sigh. We somehow got the car parked & stepped inside. India is beautiful. Candles everywhere. Gorgeous artwork. A large screen with Bollywood movies playing. On Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights there are also belly dancers (which I've been told belly dancers don't actually come from India). They sat the eight of us in the middle of the restaurant, right below the screen.

There was a Dinner for Two special. It included one appetizer, two entrees, & a bottle of wine for $35.99. Not a bad deal at all, but we had a Restaurant.com gift certificate which couldn't be used with the promo. So, we just used the gift certificate (I wanted a glass of sangria anyway, the red sangria hit the spot).

I like trying new foods with people who have already tried them. Our friends were great about suggesting foods to try. We started with appetizers. The Vegetable Samosas are turnovers stuffed with red bliss potatoes, peas, herbs & spices, topped with tamarind chutney (I can't see or hear the word chutney without thinking of the show New Girl & Shimidt's hair chutney).  We shared them & each of us had half a Samosa. It was a fun blend of flavors & a great first bite of Indian food. After this we shared a platter of naan. I have had naan before & love it. It's a bread, how could I not love it. The platter included naan with fresh minced garlic, spicy chili cilantro, fresh ginger root & honey (a table favorite), basil pesto, hot & spicy vindaloo, and onion & cilantro (my favorite). We tried to keep some to eat with dinner, but it was so good the platter was nearly gone in minutes.


Next we chose our entrees. Daddy & I both decided that if we were going to try Indian food, we were going to go for the curries. At India, you can choose from five sauces & then pick which of the nine vegetable/meat/seafoods to have with them. I was torn between the Saag curry & the Masala curry. The Saag curry is a spinach based mild curry with cream & flavored with minced onions, ginger, & garlic. I would have paired it with paneer, a Persian cheese. Spinach & cheese...mmmmm. I wanted more of a spicy curry, though. So, I went with the the Masala curry, a tomato curry sauce with cream & flavored with ground cardamom & fenugreek herbs. I paired it with channa, or chick peas. The swirl of flavors was so good. The chick peas were a great pairing with the curry (thanks, Jay!). It had a kick to it that grew over time, but overall the level of spice was quite mild.


Your Daddy got the Vindaloo curry, their hottest tangy curry sauce with chunks of potatoes spiced with hot chili powder, paprika, black pepper, cloves, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, & jalapeno peppers. I think he topped it with the chicken (I'm actually not sure). Daddy likes things spicy, & I wasn't surprised he went for the spiciest curry. I tried a bite. Again, I tasted a perfect blend of ingredients & spices. It's like nothing I've had before, but the flavors just seemed to belong together. As with my curry, the spice of the Vindaloo curry seemed to grow in my mouth for 30 seconds or so. My eyes actually started to water a little bit & I had to sip my sangria. It was hot, but I still loved it.


Daddy & I each ate half of our entrees & were stuffed. I was worried I would have to be rolled out of the restaurant but happy to take leftovers home & enjoy the food all over again the next day.

We had a fun night with amazing friends. I'm so glad they were there for our first Indian food experience, & I'm glad they suggested India, a place we're sure to return to. In fact, we already have a Restaurant.com gift certificate for next time.

I hope someday you'll enjoy India food with us. For now, you're getting better (last night you ate bangers & mash), but you're not there yet.

I love you so,
Mommy

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