Here in Boston, we’re lucky to have such a wide variety of cultures within our foodie scene. It was only of recent, however, that I finally gave Indian food a try at a wonderful restaurant called Shanti at their newest location in Kendall Square.
I know, I sound like a total newb. You see, the town I grew up in, Burlington, Mass., had a very high, Indian population. And for the longest time, I had it in my mind that Indian food was extremely potent and would embed itself in my clothes.
After giving it a shot at Shanti, I found that I couldn’t have been any more wrong. Not only did I find that I really like Indian cuisine, but the friendly staff taught me some of the differences between the Southern Indian food I had seen growing up and traditional Northern Indian food.
Shanti’s Northern Indian and Bangladeshi inspired menu was very welcoming of my first-time palette. I found that many of the foods were deliciously creamy, like the Chicken Tikka Masala, or even deep-fried, crispy and crunchy like the Onion Bhaji.
I’m getting hungry just trying to write this!
So we can level the playing field, here are a few of my favorite dishes that I know will make you salivate!
Aloo Tikki & Onion Bhaji
Deep fried to perfection, both the Aloo Tikki and Onion Bhaji are not a hard first and second bite to take for a newcomer to Indian cuisine. The Aloo Tikki (left) is a potato patty with peas and bread crumbs that almost tastes like homemade tater tots. The Onion Bhaji (right) is basically a deep-fried onion fritter. Both of these paired very well with the Tamarind Chutney, which was similar to your everyday BBQ sauce. Such an easy first dish!
Chicken Tikka Masala & Basmati Rice
Chances are you’ve heard of Tikka Masala. It’s an all-time favorite at Shanti! Their Chicken Tikka Masala was so wonderfully flavorful. Think of a tomato bisque, if you will, and add massive chunks of chicken to the creamy goodness with aromatic spices. I really enjoyed this over a bed of Basmati Rice, which is a very traditional type of rice in Indian cuisine. The blend of the creamy sauce over the rice left you (I mean me) wanting seconds!
To end the evening, I helped myself, a few times, to a bowl of Kheer; a rice pudding cooked with sweetened milk. I was surprised to see a dessert on the menu — desserts in Indian cuisine were not something I had ever thought existed. The Kheer was textured to perfection when topped with sliced almonds. It was the best way to cap off a newly delectable option for dining and helped to clear my palette instead of crowd my stomach.
To learn more about Shanti:
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