Aloo Out There!
By Ashley Bennett
I have a confession to make: I have never had Indian cuisine prior to my visit to Curry and Kabab. Rest assured however that now I am plagued by cravings for the dishes I consumed on my visit that fateful day! Honestly, Mexican food has nothing on Indian food as far as spiciness and flavor. In this restaurant of palatable dishes whose food is based on Northern Indian cuisine, Curry and Kabab couldn’t be described better than simply awesome.
Don’t let the location of the restaurant fool you, it’s a thriving business in a small shopping center that has seen better times. Walking into this colorful and well-lit restaurant, you’ll immediately realize that it’s not the type of place where you go to grab a quick bite and leave. Much the opposite, actually; it invites you to stay a while and enjoy a satisfying meal while visiting with friends and family. My dining partner and I were left to talk and enjoy each other’s company during a slow and peaceful time at 5 o’clock before the dinner rush began. And it was great.
To begin the meal we were given Lentil Soup which is served with all entrees as well as a bowl of rice alongside the main meals. This gratifying starter revved up and awakened my taste buds with an enjoyable jolt of spices. We also received Chai Tea, a mixture of rose water, cardamom, milk and sugar which provides a pleasant alternative to the palate-ruining effects of soda.
Another side dish that is essential to Indian cuisine is the leavened bread known as Naan. It may be thin but it acts as an excellent tool to not only scoop up and eat with main meals, but also fills you up quickly. Alongside, plain and garlic naan they also serve an interesting stuffed naan that is lightly filled with crunchy onions which gave it a unique texture.
Of the many dishes we received in order to sample the vast levels of flavors and spices, I decided to go all in for the most daunting of the dishes: Spinach and Cheese (Saag Paneer). This thick, green mixture of pureed spinach and homemade cheese proved to be the spiciest of the meals as well as one of the best. The Eggplant dish (Baingan Ka Bharta) is a bowl generously filled with the stringy texture of the famous Indian squash, peas, tomatoes and . . . you guessed it, the ever present spices. The Tandoori Shrimp on the other hand stood out compared to its surrounding meal neighbors by making a grand entrance as it arrived sizzling intensely, straight from the grill. The juicy shrimp’s great taste can be attributed to the surrounding onions and red bell peppers which were all generously piled up in a heap of spicy goodness. My personal favorite was the Chicken Masala (Turgh Tikka Masala). Unlike the other dishes, the chicken sat in a thin but vibrantly orange gravy-like sauce. The meal at first was very sweet but still gave a spicy kick once eaten. All of these main dishes had a unique taste and with the addition of naan proved to be very filling—so filling that I ended up taking home an entire bag full of leftovers. One dish is plenty for a single person and can even be shared between two individuals with mild appetites.
To end a meal of already many satisfying flavors and textures, a bit of ice cream came my way. This sweet treat of vanilla ice cream topped with pieces of dried mango, pistachios and almonds, to add a bit of crunch, left me content and completely full. Similar to the Chai tea, this ice cream was a perfect way to set my flaring taste buds back to a normal balance.
I can without a doubt say that my first experience with Indian food was a great one, for even now I’m daydreaming about that satisfying naan topped with sweet but spicy Chicken Masala. The staff is extremely nice and helpful with recommendations, the food was fantastic and overall the experience: kabawesome. Curry and Kabab has been in its current Moreno Valley location for about a year and a half now, but I predict that with such a fascinating menu of dishes to spice up anyone’s lunch or dinner they will continue to thrive. If you’ve always loved Indian food, you’re dying to trying something new, or even if you’re curious but hesitant, Curry and Kabab will literally spice things up for you in a way your taste buds cannot imagine.
Curry and Kabab: Authentic Cuisine of India, 12125 Day St., Suite H-301, Moreno Valley, (951) 682-7500. Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. Closed Sundays. AE, D, MC, V.