Indian Food

Authored By Brian

Even though I have come to enjoy Indian cuisine in the past couple of years, India wasn’t originally on my radar as a destination to visit. In college I went to this giant Indian buffet near El Camino and Lawrence Expressway and I only remember being overwhelmed and uninformed. The other thing I used to associate with Indian food was the permanent stench of curry baked into the hallways of an apartment I helped an ex-girlfriend move into (curiously, just two blocks from the restaurant above although these two experiences were 4 years apart).

Suffice to say, this wasn’t putting Indian food in a position to compete with my all-time fave, Mexican. Indian food at this point wasn’t playing the same sport, let alone competing in the same ballpark.

As much as it pains me to give Baillie credit for anything besides forgetting to replace the hood pins on the racecar (ha ha!), it was largely his enthusiam after a terrible weekend at Sears Point where he suggested we go to his favorite Indian place in San Rafael. I agreed hesitantly but Kevin had just wrecked his miata and I was happy to oblige.

He warned me that the guys there knew him and he really meant it. These guys loved him like paparazzi love rock stars! In retrospect, I can see the same passionate friendliness in those guys that you see here (only problem is 99% here are out to scam you but clearly a cultural thing). During that meal, I was introduced to chicken korma. Chicken braised in a cashew nut sauce with rice and naan. Man, I was hooked.

As a neophyte to Indian food, I probably still order chicken korma almost half of the time I order Indian food but I do have to give Kevin (and his lovely wife Natalie) credit for jumpstarting my interest. I am proud to say that out of the 10 meals I have had so far, chicken korma only accounts for 10%. :)

The main problem with this food here is the eating ettiquite. Since most people use their left hand for, uh, bathroom cleanup duty, you are only supposed to use your right hand and, really, only foreigners use silverware. I am, unfortunately in this instance, left-handed. Factor in I don’t really know what I might be ordering (IF the menu exists and/or is in Engish) and hopefully you can appreciate my gentle exploration.

So far, I have eaten a variety of samosas, chicken korma, masala dosas, a really good tomato soup that was like an Indian gazpacho, paneer shati (unfermented cheese in a spicy tomato sauce), murg malai and just now a Rajastani specialty, gantt curry, of chickpea dumplings in a curry sauce with basmati rice in a revolving restaurant 14 stories above Jaipur.


Ok, so not everything has to be Indian food…

I love tortillas so I have been exploring the various breads that India offers: the basic naan (which can have cheese, garlic, butter, or some combination on it), roti, parantha, kulcha and a flat, crispy thing almost like a tortilla chip. This makes eating more fun as you use the bread like a wheelbarrow to ferry food from plate to mouth.

For me, food >> lodging so I am trying to skimp there (this could also be legitimately called “staying in shitholes”) and “splurge” on food (if you can call $9 splurging)

The best part is when the bill comes along with bowls of anish seeds and small sugar blocks. When combined, to my preference of considerably more sugar than seed, the licorice taste is a savory break from the tired red and white peppermint candy.

One Response to “Indian Food”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Mmmmmmmm…..Indian food. I am so jealous.