I think I miss Britain the most when I am need in a good spicy curry. Not a wussy, pretend, fake curry – a real Indian spicy and tasty dish. Curry happens to be our national dish. More specifically, “Chicken Tikka Masala” is our true national dish due to the fact that is the most ordered dish in Britain. We Brits do like our curry. I have many favorites which include, Rogan Josh, Vindaloo, Madras and of course good old Chicken Tikka Masala. As a little side-note people in India do not agree that Masala is a pure Indian dish because even though it was first prepared in India, it was actually customized later on in Scotland. It’s still a really good curry!
When my friend, Barbara suggested we go to Kashmir on Newbury Street in the Back Bay on Wednesday I could not contain my excitement about the prospect of their long menu of dish upon dish that I would want to order.
Kashmir has been around for about 20 years and in my opinion has remained consistently good with regards to traditional Indian cuisine. When I lived in the Back Bay, I ordered from Kashmir a few times a month and now, sadly, it is not in my area so I haven’t been back in quite some time. The aroma of exotic spices wafting through the door as you walk in is so tantalizing you cannot wait to just get down to ordering.
The décor reminds me of a traditional curry house back home in Manchester, England where Curry Houses reign supreme on a road called the Curry Mile. Whitewashed walls are covered with modern Indian art, which are enhanced by low lighting that makes some of the gold wall ornaments shimmer as the light reflects off them. In the nicer weather they have a lovely outside seating area.
On Wednesday the place was quite busy with almost every table filled and there was a wait at the door. Myself, Barbara and Katy arrived on this past chilly Wednesday for our 7pm reservation and were seated in a cozy corner of this mainstay on Newbury Street. I was excited to get down to looking at the menu.
I have to stay very focused when I am looking at the Kashmir menu because I usually want about 20 things! The appetizers range from soups and salads to cold and hot appetizers. We settled on a cold appetizer of Aloo Papri and a hot appetizer of Meat Samosa.
The Aloo Papri was made with soft cold potatoes, mildly spiced with a creamy yogurt sauce. A nice simple starter.
I love samosas and these did not disappoint. Lightly fried triangles of pastry that poured out finely minced savory lamb when you broke into them that were just delicious. The mince was very delicately spiced and didn’t burn your mouth out, which to me is a mistake with spicy food. Dipped into some chutney they were really good!
We also decided to share our entrees. I ordered the Murg (Chicken) Tikka Masala and Barbara and Katy went for the Murg Vindaloo and the Mixed Vegetables with some rice and naan.
I dug straight into the Masala, I wasn’t waiting for anyone. It was everything I wanted it to be. After all these years of Kashmir absence, I was not let down. Large chunks of spiced marinated chicken over a wonderful, fragrant, Masala sauce. The sauce was amazing – medium spiced tomatoes and yoghurt with a mild hint of coconut. We were all digging into this dish – it truly was the favorite of the evening. The naan was warm and baked to perfection and even better covered with Masala sauce. At one point I did beg my friends to “please stop me from eating any more!” They politely declined to stop me J
I actually didn’t even bother with the other two dishes. I know I should have at least tried them – if for nothing else other than to write about the dishes. My one track mind was only focused on Tikka Masala! Barbara said the Vindaloo was really hot and spicy, even for “medium” but quite tasty. Sadly, Katy seemed to enjoy my Tikka Masala far more than her own vegetarian dish, which she said was just nice.
For me the food was great and very reasonably priced. The service was a little inattentive. We had to search our waiter out for our initial order and then again for additional drink orders. The place was very busy so I can be little forgiving in this area.
Kashmir is by far my favorite Indian restaurant in the city (at least of the ones I have tried) and one that everyone should try if you are looking for traditional Indian cuisine.