Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Cuisine of India

Part of the joy of dining out is trying different cuisines.

Whenever a "new" restaurant opens, it's fun to go and check it out.

Aroma Bar and Grill opened fairly recently in Pittsfield, located in Western Massachusetts,  and features traditional cuisine from India.  Pittsfield is about an hour away from both Springfield, MA, and Albany, N.Y.  The new restaurant is situated in the Allendale Shopping Plaza, 5 Cheshire Road.

For those who are unfamiliar with Indian cuisine, let it be known that it does not have to be so hot that it sizzles your nostrils. There are wonderful flavors and spices in Indian dishes. One can always ask that a main dish be "not too spicy." (Personally, hot cuisine from any ethnic cuisine agrees with me very well and is enjoyable.)

A waiter placed three sauces in small silver containers on the burgundy tablecloth. One was made from mint, another was chopped and peppery onions, and a third was tamarind that got its sweetness from raisins and sugar. The onion and tamarind sauces were my faves.

Lunch came on large round sectioned silver trays that looked aluminum. (Personally, I'd prefer china.)

The description of lamb curry was "boneless lamb in onion tomato gravy tempered with ginger garlic and Indian herbs and spices." It was tasty but, unfortunately, just barely warm. Regardless of the degree of spiciness, I like food to be served at a very warm or hot temperature. Still, the flavor was quite good and definitely not too spicy. Next time, though, I'd order chicken curry since the lamb has a slightly unfamiliar taste.

Lunch also came with rice; a couple pieces of "Vegetable Pakora" (veggies dipped in chickpea batter and deep fried); a small portion of "Raita" (whipped "yoghurt" blended with cubed potatoes, chopped cucumber, fresh coriander and herbs) ; and a piece of plain but puffy Indian bread (not unlike pita bread). Putting some of the "yoghurt" blend on the rice with a bit of the sauces made a flavorful combination.

In between bites of food, I took sips of lassi, a delicious sweetened yogurt drink.

A dining companion also ordered a lamb dish and was very satisfied with it. The desserts at our table included  "Badami Kheer," homemade rice pudding made with coconut milk, almonds, cardamon, and raisins as well as cream balls in syrup with rose water.  The rice pudding tasted rich, creamy, and delish.

There were so many offerings at the restaurant it was enough to make one's head spin. A person could go there every day for months and still be able to order something different each time.

Would this restaurant merit a return visit? Definitely.

It would be fun to try the Sunday buffet from noon to 3 p.m. where one could sample an extensive variety of Indian appetizers, salads,main courses, breads, and desserts.

Leaving the restaurant, there's a sign on the wall that reads, "Hospitality is our passion." Who could argue with a message like that?



Susan said...

Hi Everybody!

I wanted to welcome Simme, this blog's 219th Follower! Looks like she is from Australia. Thanks for Following, Simme. Hope you come by often!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and for your support. This blog would be zippo without all of you! Love to all, Susan

Shanda said...

I LOVE Indian food and actually make it often. I grew up in Africa with many Indians so began eating it early in life. In fact, I have had a few curry dinners and invited all my friends to introduce them to the many delicious curries!

It's Just Dottie said...

I really like Indian food. My friend and I eat it often.

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hello! Yes to Indian food. Here and in India. :) I love Indian food. Make curry quite often. My kids say I should have been born in India. I never liked lamb, definitely has a different taste. Since I am vegetarian now, there are so many vege dishes in the Indian cuisine that it is always easy to find something delicious to eat. My husband doesn't like spicy but I do. We always have to compromise and get medium or I will get one dish just for me. :) Our Indian friends insist that having a nice cold beer with spicy Indian food helps with the heat. I think a nice cold beer helps with anything. Ha! Best wishes to you or a wonderful Wednesday. :) Tammy

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I've never had Indian food. I'm afraid spicy food does not sit will with me but I would love to try some of the flavors.

diane stetson said...

Give me that rice pudding...that's my favorite Indian it.

mo said...

Hi Susan, I always find the best time I have at these cultural restaurants is when someone at the table already knows the cuisine and can tell you the best things to order.

I love Thai.



Chatty Crone said...

Susan - you always do the most wonderful things - and I learn a lot from your blog - have never eaten Indian food - looks interesting!

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