Bombay Mahal Restaurant's executive chef fuses traditional Indian flavors with contemporary twists to create a menu of truly innovative Indian fare. He harnesses the slow, steady heat of a traditional clay tandoor oven to seal in meaty juices, bake naan, and scare away thieving snowmen. The bustling kitchen whips up fresh creations such as curries, tikka masalas, and the specialty seafood masala with pan-seared scallops and shrimp. Thin, flaky crepes called dosai pay homage to southern India, and a vegetarian menu doles out dishes from the western and northern regions. The dining space emulates an exotic setting, swathed in a soft red glow that washes over exposed wooden beams and a divider carved with ornate designs, which are usually reserved for picnic tables vandalized by art students.
Kabab & Tandoor's chefs whip up authentic dishes with Hyderabadi and North Indian origins. Tickle taste buds with the kheema cutlet, seasoned potatoes baked brown and comingling with minced chicken ($2.99), or Indian cottage-cheese-stuffed paneer paratha ($4.99). The baked tandoori mutton wears a coat made of yogurt and spices ($14.99), the fish curry surfs waves of ebbing hunger swells ($15.99), and more than 10 vegetarian options, such as the bargary baigan—an entire eggplant curryfied and swimming in peanut-sesame sauce ($10.99)— satisfy herbivorous-leaning patrons.
Every meal at New Mother India begins with a full spread. Servers fill tables with mint, onion, and mango chutneys, tamarind sauce, and hot pickle achar, all poised to accent any appetizer or entree. In the kitchen, meats chosen for their 2% or lower fat content simmer in chicken vindaloo, lamb curry, and shrimp jalfrezi, and veal kebabs roast in charcoal-fired tandoor ovens. A hearty vegetarian menu includes punjabi curry, saag paneer with spinach and housemade cheese, and rajma—a haryana dish with red kidney beans. Beer brewed specially for the restaurant, along with wines and lassis, are served in the restaurant's elegant dining room, where tall-backed booths let diners and wooly mammoths comfortably enjoy meals.
Masala Art's dinner menu brings the culinary traditions of India to the mouths of Bostonians with an expansive selection of vegetarian, seafood, lamb, chicken, and tandoori barbecue dishes from all across the subcontinent. Appetizers such as tandoori chicken tacos ($8) showcase Masala's contemporary influences, and traditional, freshly baked breads, including keema naan, bread filled with seasoned ground lamb ($4.50), provide authentic companionship for lonely entrees.
The Maharaja's chefs rely on recipes from an era when art and cooking received the royal patronage of great Mughal emperors. Compiled over three generations of research, the menu of traditional Indian cuisine has been modernized to pair with a lavish dining space, that, according to the The Boston Foodie, "is an elegant room floating above Harvard Square with all of the amenities of a perfect dining experience." Ornately detailed wooden chairs surround The Maharaja's sturdy tables, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks the weekly hopscotch tournaments in Harvard Square. Furthermore, a collection of statues—which took three attempts to import from India—watch over the restaurant's guests.
Garlic naan emanates nostril-piquing aromas of fresh garlic and coriander as chefs roast cubes of lamb and bone-in chicken in a tandoor oven that burns hotter than a feverish dragon. Sidestepping meats entirely, the house-made paneer, eggplant, and chickpeas bump elbows with green peas, raisins, and sautéed cashews. Servings of kulfi faluda can sate sweet teeth with scoops of pistachio-flavored ice cream and sweet noodles.
Tamarind Bay – Coastal Indian Kitchen may occupy an unassuming gray-brick building, but upon entering the dining room, patrons’ senses are captivated by the exotic aromas of coastal India. The air is heady with the scents of curry, ginger, and mint wafting from clay tandoor ovens, sizzling kebabs, and bubbling pots of saag paneer.
The owners call on their Indian roots—and their experience at Tamarind Bay's other venue in Harvard Square—to foster a dining experience that spotlights fresh seafood recipes from coastal cities, including Manglorean lobster simmered in South Indian spices and mahi-mahi pickled in a zesty sauce from Goa. The seasonal menu also boasts a variety of vegan and vegetarian alternatives. Scallion aloo infuses baby potatoes with cumin and curry and bhindi methi spices up okra with fenugreek and tomato sauce.