Exploring Indian Cuisine with Shanti

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 at Shanti, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. Photo: © TNG
Aloo Tikki & Onion Bhaji at Shanti, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. Photo: © TNG

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 at Shanti, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. Photo: © TNG
Chicken Tikka Masala & Basmati Rice at Shanti, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. Photo: © TNG

 

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!

Kheer at Shanti, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. Photo: © TNG
Kheer at Shanti, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. Photo: © TNG

 

 

 

 

Kheer

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:

www.shantiboston.com
FB: Shanti Boston
IG: @shanti_boston
T: @shanti_boston

 

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