Boston, MA: the food of South Asia

in general, my knowledge about the food of India and Pakistan et al in the Boston area seems vastly inadequate, so I’m looking for suggestions. What I gather is that like a lot of the USA, this cuisine here is mostly dominated by the food of the Punjabi region, which from what little I know covers a region of both India and Pakistan.

What I’m wondering is just what there is around here at (sorry, scare quotes) “Indian” restaurants that lies outside this region, or, even, is beyond what’s usually seen.

Zam Zam in Medford Square has a few dishes that seem to be to my untrained eye to be on the Pakistan/Afganistan range that are at least uncommon. Godavari in Woburn seems to focus on South Indian cuisine (+ is great) and though I have not gone since they were in Central Square, Royal Bengal appears at least to still have some Bengali dishes. Suvaai in Cambridge has some Sri Lankan specialties.

I know there’s also the regional thing that Ritu Ki Rasoi apparently does on Wednesdays, which I’d love to check out but unfortunately am rarely in the area midweek.

So: is there anything else around here (including Metrowest, etc) beyond these that serve dishes that aren’t the usual? Would love to know if so.

Thanks for any suggestions.

I think that you need to give Dosa n’Curry a try. Southern Indian done well. Vegan and who cares? I have had a number of “guests” [yea, doin’ the AirBNB thing] who spent years in the south of India and a few who are from there, one generation removed, tell me that this is the real thing. They have a buffet every day that allows you to try many items at a reasonable price.

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thanks! I think that I have gone to this place when I was an area resident, and I really liked it. Have zero objection to vegan food when it has flavor!

I’m likely going to an oldtimers benefit punk rock show with Jerry’s Kids at Once on June 2, so I’ll probably eat there.

thanks for the reminder on Dosa n’Curry. We are sort of in the neighborhood and need to go back. I’ve had a delivered a few times and loved it. I had Southern Indian food for the first time when I was still in grad school in Northern California, and it was an amazing revelation. I’m not officially vegetarian but I eat meat rarely. I didn’t realize they use vegan yogurt, but that’s not a problem of me. Decades ago there used to be a dosa place in Allston.

Our neighborhood has become almost an embarrassment of riches! Easy to forget the spots you haven’t visited in a while. Only so many restaurant dollars per month!

Zam Zam has added a buffet at lunch, possibly dinner as well. Drove by yesterday and saw sign on the window. Who’s eaten there? Would be interested in any feedback!

Dosa n’Curry is very good but not as good as it was before they shutdown to fix building problems (safety issues). Fewer choices on weekday lunch buffet still best around. Have never missed the meat.

I think you should add Darbar in Brighton to your list & try the magaz masala: http://www.darbarbrighton.com/

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I know that Royal Bengal is on your radar, but I can’t help adding that their Bengali menu
(“House Specials”) is really quite good. I especially recommend the dishes with banana
blossoms in them. Their goat and lamb dishes (not on the Bengali menu) are good too.

I’ve not eaten at Dosa n’Curry since they reopened, but liked them in the past. They
are vegetarian, though, not vegan.

I’ve had the magaz masala at Darbar, and enjoyed it, but it’s worth gently investigating
how long they’ve had it sitting around. Less popular organ meats are problematic in
U.S. restaurants. The rest of the Darbar Specials menu is also interesting.

Maharaja in Harvard Square has a few unusual things, usually at the end of each menu
section. I have not eaten dinner there since they reopened.

For the most part, though, we’re awash in a red sea of tikka masala.

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I got some takeout from there a few weeks back + it was good. Want to go back and try some other dishes.

Ritu ki Rasoi always has dosas and uttapam, which I think of as more South Indian. I find their food far better than Dosa n’ Curry, although I only tried Dosa n’ Curry once and perhaps it was an off night.

Much further away, Udupi Bhavan in Lowell specializes in South Indian vegetarian; the one time we went there, the buffet was quite good.

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We only get out once in a while due to special needs child at home and so need close but also appreciate having wine when we do get out. We used to pop in at Bergamot to sit at the bar and split both the lobster melt and the cheese plate. But they recently changed the menu and the lobster melt is no more.

The wine enjoyment does eliminate a number of my favorite spots.

Is splitting a wurst and pretzel at the bar at Bronwyn’s appealing? Another place close to you is LaBrasa, which has not been on our regular rotation at all. I find it a challenge to find spots that I can get a normal amount of food [which restaurants seem to think is very modest.]

We have gone to LaBrasa to get a couple of tacos and a glass of wine, and do like it. But it is very loud and the rest of the menu is too expensive for us and the bar seats are very uncomfortable. We basically go out to get a snack and have 60 to 90 minutes away and perhaps discuss things we don’t want the teen to overhear, and that’s it! We have found Legal at the Mystic to be OK…they don’t mind if you split an appetizer and if you go early, it’s not too loud or too crowded (yes, it is Legal, however). We like the Greek salad with chickpeas and the teen at home does like us to bring back a hot dog for him. Once in a while they have special appetizers that we have really enjoyed (there was a grilled scallop appetizer with peas and pea greens recently that was very good and very reasonably priced).

What are you other favorite spots? Want to be sure we aren’t missing anything. We have tried Brownyn’s several times but not lately…maybe time to try again. Definitely Dosa n’curry, without wine (we can have a glass of wine when we get home). We don’t like the Independent but have ended up there more often than we’d like. We even went to that horrible East End Grille a few times out of desperation before they thankfully closed.

I think I should reactivate my Union Square thread since we are far afield from the food of South Asia.

darbar
ritu ki rasoi
godavari
momo n curry
man-o-salwa kabab and grill
suvaai
the hemand
royal bengal
himalayan kitchen
chili mango and lime

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nice! thanks galangatron, a couple of these were off my radar. good stuff.

Adding Chettinad Indian Grill in Burlington to this thread for posterity, since I’ve been doing a little reading to add to my still incredibly inadequate knowledge about the food of India, and it seems like it fits. It appears they have a fair number of Southern Indian dishes (like upma and idlis, et al) so I need to try this one out.

@greygarious wrote this one up awhile ago. It seems maybe worth a look.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold