Sound like a weird request? Well… get braces and then you will understand. I’m on Day 3 and my teeth are still pretty sore… seriously impeding my diet and my desire to eat anything that has any “drag” or “firmness” whatsoever. Even bread is way too difficult to cut though. ::sigh::
I’ve decided that the only (delicious) things I can eat are ice cream and Indian food…. vegetarian Indian food. That and of course the obvious choices, like soups, oatmeal, yogurt, risotto, etc.
Thankfully, we have a great Indian restaurant in West Roxbury — and they even deliver. The Himalayan Bistro features both Indian and Nepali cuisine and recently acquired a beer and wine license. So you can order take-out or eat-in and enjoy the traditional decor.
We have had many dishes from the HB, but usually stick with our two favorites… Malai Kofta ($11.95), described as “A true Mughlai delight – vegetable balls simmered in soft paste and a light cream sauce”, and a delight it is. The sauce is very rich and on the sweet side, but not so rich that you cannot eat every last drop on your plate. There is a distinct nuttiness to the dish and the vegetable balls, or kofta, are made with potatoes, paneer (Indian cube cheese), other Indian cheeses (including Malai) and nuts… among many other things. I love this dish SO much, that I am including a recipe I found online (incase you want to take a stab at making it yourself). Be forewarned though… it is very complex recipe and I have been told by Indian friends that this dish is a royal pain in the butt to make!
Our other favorite dish at the HB is the Shahi Paneer Korma ($11.95), described as “Homemade cottage cheese cubes cooked in a soft, tomato-based cream sauce”. Yes, we like our homemade Indian cheese! This dish is just as good as the Malai Kofta, but not as sweet. The sauce is tomato-based adding a more savory flavor to this dish.
We have also tried pretty much all their breads, which range in price from $2.50 for the Tandoori Roti to $8.95 for the Plain Bread Basket (which offers three servings of different breads to taste). We have also had all of the vegetarian appetizers on the menu, and each one has been very good. One of our personal favorites is the Himalayan Vegetable Platter ($6.95), “A great combination of vegetarian appetizers (one samosa, two vegetable pakoras, one cheese pakora, one aloo tikki)”, that way you get to try a little bit of everything.
In addition to the “typical” Indian dishes we find in Boston-area restaurants, the Himalayan Bistro also featuers South Indian dishes — such as Uttapam ($8.95), “A pancake made with rice and lentils, topped with onions, tomato and peppers” and served traditionally, with cocunut chutney. I really like this dish, but I feel it’s better for dining in rather than take-out — for presentation reasons.
Lastly, there is a Himalayan dinner section and also an entire Nepali menu. Unfortunately, we haven’t done much experimentation with these dishes yet, but hope to soon. Like I said earlier, we have never had a bad meal here, so I can only assume all the dishes offered by HB are not only delicious, but traditional to their roots as well. If you like or love Indian food, this place is not to be missed! And if you are tight on cash… head there for the lunch buffet, so you can try many dishes at an affordable price.
Malai Kofta Recipe (courtesy of http://www.indianfoodforever.com/)
For the Kofta:
1 1/2 lb. potatoes
2 heaped tbsp each of crumbled paneer,khoya and thick malai (you can substitute this with baked ricotta cheese and heavy cream)
4-5 cashewnuts chopped
1 tbsp raisins
2-3 finely chopped green chillies
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red-chilli powder
1/2 tsp cardammom powder
Salt To Taste
3 tbsp cooking oil/ghee (clarified butter)Oil for frying the koftas
For the gravy:
2 medium onions,chopped
3 flakes garlic,crushed
1 inch ginger,crushed
3 large tomatoes,pureed
1 tsp red-chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp dhania(corainder) powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp powdered poppy seeds
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp ground peanuts/cashewnuts
How to make malai koftha :
Boil the potatoes till tender. Peel, mash and add salt to taste. Keep aside.
Mix all the other ingredients for the kofta into a paste. Make rounds of the potato dough and place a little of the prepared mixture in the center of each round. Seal the edges and shape into stuffed rounds. Deep fry each kofta till golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
Blend together the onions, ginger, garlic and the poppy seeds and fry in 3 tbsp of oil till brown and the oil begins to seperate. Add the pureed tomatoes and the masala powders. Add the sugar and the ground peanuts. The gravy will begin to thicken. You can also add some malai to thicken it some more. Mix in some water if necessary. When the gravy comes to a boil, add the koftas. Heat through and serve the malai kofta.
Note: In this malai kofta receipe , the koftas should be put in just before eating the dish or else they will turn soggy.