The inventors of the samosa originally hid potatoes, onions, and peas in chicken nuggets and Twizzlers wrappers to trick greens-averse children into eating their vegetables. Savor daily plant quotas with today's Groupon: for $13, you get $26 worth of Indian fare and drinks at Little India Restaurant in Redwood City.
Little India's internationally experienced chef, Manoj Chopra, dishes out delicious, authentic Indian fare ranging from veggie-stuffed pastries to marinated chicken straight out of a traditional tandoori oven. An all-you-can-eat buffet fills diners' plates Monday through Saturday, with lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($9.95 regular, $7.95 vegetarian) and dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. ($12.95 regular, $10.95 vegetarian)—perfect for patrons who skipped their previous meal or whose previous meal was an all-encompassing black hole. Midday munchers place infinitesimal dents in bottomless platters filled with delicately spiced chicken tikka masala, vegetable korma curry, and the lentil of the day. Featured dinner dishes, such as spicy lemon soup, fiery lamb vindaloo, and cauliflower- and potato-packed aloo gobi, rattle palates with explosive flavors before courting demure taste buds with spicy niceties. Fill out meals with warm naan bread and bold chutneys before ending the supper session with a sweet dessert of mango-infused rice custard or carrot-based gajjar halwa.
Diners may refresh themselves with a traditional chai tea ($3) or lassi, a rich beverage blended with yogurt and Indian spices, often used by beverage doctors to break debilitating Pepsi addictions ($3.50). Staffers also carefully package takeout orders to send guests off with a wave and a meal to enjoy in the comfort of their home.
Little India Restaurant
Why would an experienced chef who has trained at five-star hotels, studied in Switzerland, and opened a hotel and restaurants back home in India decide to start over in the States? Chef Manoj Chopra explains that he arrived at a new appreciation of his first love, cooking. Chopping, stirring, measuring—somewhere along the way he had lost touch with the simple pleasures of his craft, which he discovered anew after opening Little India Restaurant in 1991.
Chef Manoj’s homestyle cooking fills the buffet table, where steaming cauldrons of traditional Indian cuisine await diners. In the chicken masala, poultry marinated in yogurt and spices emerges nicely charred from the tandoor oven before simmering in a tomato-base sauce. Fresh vegetables and cubes of house-made paneer, a fresh, unaged cheese, are doused in a yogurt-base mild curry, all made with the freshest ingredients possible without kidnapping newly sprouted spinach plants. The buffet runs down the middle of the dining area surrounded by bright yellow walls draped in ivy and woodcarvings. Rich oriental rugs protect red tiled floors from footfalls and curry spills as enormous front windows let in plenty of natural light.