Exotic and familiar at Concord's House of India
So if you have a hankering for a taste of the exotic, and you find yourself in downtown Concord, step into the House of India for old-world comfort food that will feel just like slipping into that favorite sweater of yours.
We started with some bread and an appetizer, and two frothy, cold blended drinks.
We were slightly disappointed with the Garlic Nan ($3.95), one of several varieties of the signature Indian-style baked bread on the menu. It was short on garlic and cilantro (despite the menu's assurance that it was "topped with lots of chopped garlic and fresh cilantro.") Also a bit overcooked, nearly crispy, the nan gained new life when our entrees arrived and we dipped it into the plentiful sauce with our meals.
Meat Samosas ($4.95) from the appetizer list served us two crisp pastry turnovers wrapped around a stuffing of ground lamb and chicken and green peas. With tamarind sauce, the dryness of the turnover and filling is enhanced, and it whets your appetite for more exotic tastes.
Boti Lamb Masala ($13.95) and Shrimp Curry ($13.95) were our choices, and each appeared simmering in a semi-spicy, aromatic red sauce particular to each dish.
The lamb was in tender, long slices, marinated (the menu said) for 24 hours in yogurt and spices, then baked on skewers in a clay oven before marrying the masala sauce, which was dark red and almost explosive with flavor. A delicious combination of spicy-but-not-hot sauce and tender lamb chunks, served over Indian Basmati rice.
While both of our entrees are highly recommended, we must add an equally strong vote for the perfect beverage to accompany an Indian meal. House of India, like most Indian restaurants, offers a variety of frothy yogurt shakes and milk shakes, and they are the pure and proper accompaniment to hearty Indian food. They are must-haves, especially during the summer.
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