Great Indian food in Belmont!

I haven’t gone out for Indian food near Boston for many years. Several family members live near Edison, NJ, which has one of the largest populations of Indian and Pakistani immigrants outside of India. There are miles on miles of fantastic Indian restaurants, markets, bakeries, etc. of all the many regions and subtypes.

But we don’t get down to NJ as much these days, and I happened upon Spice Delight while picking up some Japanese takeout next door. While waiting, I stepped inside and grabbed a menu. The aroma as the door opened was amazing, and the people inside were extremely gracious. It’s not far from my home, so the next time we were in the mood, we went.

Again the aroma and friendliness were immediately apparent. We ordered some of our favorites: papri chaat, samosas, saag paneer, and korma (goat! to my husband’s delight). As we’ve gotten older, our appreciation for spicy food has diminished, so we asked for “mild”. The usual crisp bread and chutneys arrived. These are typically too spicy for me these days, but the “crew” had sent out 2 delicious, MILD sauces–bright green cilantro, and a tamarind/shallot (?) blend. Very flavorful.

Each item we ordered was among the best we had sampled ANYWHERE–in NJ or in Boston. The samosas were crisp and flaky with a yummy filling , the chaat was a wonderful textural and delicious dish. The saag was subtly flavored with warm spices, and the goat Korma was too. This was the least gamey, gristly goat I’ve had. I usually leave the meat for my husband, but here the meat was tender and flavorful.

Prices are very reasonable, and as I said, the crew is friendly and eager to please–but they don’t hover. Can’t wait to go back!


Great intel, thank you!

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This restaurant took over the old Golden Garden space several years ago. I’ll take @leg’s word for it that the food is tasty, but I’ve always been wary because their menu suggests the “grid approach” to Indian food that I dislike. They have a bunch of sauces (korma, vindaloo, etc.) that they mix and match with different proteins (chicken, lamb, shrimp, etc.) This means nothing is really cooked in the sauce in which it comes, and preparations meant for particular things (vindaloo, with its vinegar, is intended for fatty meats, not for shrimp) are diluted beyond recognition.


Very familiar with the Iselin/Edison, NJ Indian meccas this review intrigued me. Thanks for the heads up.

Even if the dishes were listed in a different manner (say, vegetable, meat, fish, etc) a restaurant may prepare their dishes by mixing and matching sauces. I don’t know how Spice Delight manages this, all I know was that the food we got was delicious! I can’t speak to how the spicier dishes tasted, but what we had was delicious.


Spice Delight is a very solid option for Indian in the Boston area. As mentioned they do the mix-and-match approach but have overall good quality dishes which won’t rock your world but also are not too generic

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Where would you go to get your boat rocked in the Boston area?

We didn’t find any Indian restaurant in the Boston area which rocked our boat so we tended to settle on Spice Delight when we wanted solid Indian as it was close to our house (or cooked it ourself from books like 660 Curries)

Indian food is one of several I avoid cooking at home–so labor intensive! You must miss Russo’s for fresh herbs and spices!

You might want to make a pilgrimage to Edison, NJ!

We recently moved back to California (this time SF) - so to be honest Russo was great for Boston but here are many more produce option (and Indian restaurant option)


Ahh! Yeah–SF is a whole 'nother story!

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If you are bit selective in which dish to cook Indian cuisine (which obviously is a very generic description as there are so many different regional differences, e.g. Northern vs Southern etc.) isn’t actually so labor intensive. In addition, if you make multiple dishes from the same book over some time you can prepare certain spice mixtures once and use them for multiple dishes.

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I found Indian to be not very labor intensive when cooked at home. One you have all the spices, and have some key substitutions around peppers, it’s kind of a walk in the park. I will do fresh chapattis when I am low on time, once you have the flour they are quicker than any other starch, for example. And tarka dal, if you have your beans to hand, is just thing in water, wait, get out your tarka, spend a minute with the spice, and dump. I made some really tasty roast carrots, the only difference between standard roast carrots was the spice mixture. I have not done a lot of meat curries, admittedly. The one extra time issue is stocking fresh curry leaves, which it a 15 minute trip in a direction I don’t usually go.


I agree with @bbulkow. Let me add, if I may, a few further tips for fast & easy Indian food:

  1. You don’t necessarily need all the spices that cookbooks often advise. You can get away with turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder (cayenne), and mustard seeds. The cumin and coriander should ideally be seeds that you toast and grind as needed, but you can get away with the powdered versions as long as you store them well, and not for too, too long. They last months in the freezer, for example. It’s nice – but you can get started without-- if you also have whole cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, Indian bay leaves, fenugreek seeds, dried red chillies, and asafoetida. All these keep for a long time. Fresh green chillies (thai chillies) are great to have on hand as well, and they have a long freezer life. Curry leaves are fantastic, but, as observed, not always easy to get. (Properly stored they last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator, but lose flavor on freezing.)

  2. @bbulkow mentioned tarka (aka tadka) dal. If you use pink masoor dal, it takes only about 20 minutes to cook (with a little turmeric, red chilli powder and a pinch of asafoetida), and the tarka can be as simple as popping just mustard seeds in hot fat (ghee is good but other oils add other interesting flavors), and adding it to the cooked dal (mashed if you want a smoother texture) then checking for salt… Adding any combination of cumin seeds, thinly sliced garlic, slivered ginger, a dried red chili, a clove, a tiny sliver of a cinnamon stick will add further complexity, but even the basic version is very good.

  3. A basic dry rub of tumeric, red chilli powder and salt does wonders for pan-fried food, from sliced eggplant to fish filets.

  4. A quick cooking vegetable dish (works with potatoes, cauliflower, etc.) involves steaming/boiling/microwaving the cut-up vegetable till almost completely tender, popping mustard seeds (and coriander or cumin seeds if you have them) in hot oil (mustard oil adds a wonderful pungency, but any oil will do), throwing in a little chopped onion till it softens, adding the vegetables, turmeric, red chilli powder (or, preferably, chopped fresh green chilies) and salt, a little water if needed, and letting everything simmer till done. Chopped cilantro stirred in just after the heat is turned off elevates the dish.

  5. A quick fish curry: Sauté a cup or so of chopped shallots and a tsp of minced garlic in hot oil (coconut is best, but any will do) till translucent, then add a tbsp of ground coriander (or a bit more), 2 tsp of cumin powder, 1/2 tsp of turmeric, some salt, some unsweetened dessicated coconut, some finely slivered ginger, 8 or so curry leaves if you have them, and a slit green chilli or two (seeded if you like). If you don’t have green chillies, use red chilli powder to taste. Stir everything around for several minutes on medium high (add more oil if things look like they’re burning) till it all smells fragrant and you see oil oozing out of the onion-spice mass. Remove two tbsp of this “mass” (for garnish later) and add a little coconut milk. You don’t want things too liquid at this stage. Cover, lower heat and let gently simmer for 20 minute. Meanwhile cut 1 1/2 lbs of some white fish into 1-inch cubes, rub salt and a little red chilli powder on them a let them sit till the flavors in the sauce have come together. Add the fish to the sauce, stir to coat and let it cook till the fish is done to your liking. Garnish with cilantro, as many slit green chilies as you can handle, and the reserved spice mass.

Note: With the coconut elements you have a coconut fish curry. Without, you have a fish curry, also good.


@fooddabbler thanks for this awesome resource which I have copied and pasted into my Paprika app with the title fooddabbler’s Indian cooking primer. I know I will refer to it many times in the future.

Thanks. Glad I could be useful. It was written quickly, so there may well be omissions (I had to go back and add “salt” a few times) and mistakes. An accomplished cook such as yourself will, of course, work around them and adjust, but if you want to also post corrections here I would welcome them.

Let me add that I’m a purist, as some of you know, when it comes to named dishes. A “vindaloo” needs to obey particular constraints (vinegar, garlic, fatty meat). But homestyle Indian food is up for grabs and people shouldn’t feel intimidated or constrained. My fish curry (#5 above) is heavier on the coriander than the cumin, but if you prefer it more cuminy, go for it. If you want even more coriander, go for it.

And, speaking of speed, when we returned from long trips away, with little fresh food in the house, my mother would whip up a meal-for-four consisting of #2 and #4 (with potatoes) above, supplemented with plain, boiled basmati rice and chapatis (as @bbulkow says, they’re swift) in about 40 minutes. (And, in her spare time she was a professor of the philosophy of religion, with a late side interest in mathematical logic.)


All disclaimers duly acknowledged. :rofl:

Your mother sounds like an amazing woman!

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What a primer that is. :star_struck: So approachable for those of us who haven’t cooked much Indian food at home. Thank you!

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Thanks, and I hope you can use it.

(Meanwhile, although I’ve the wherewithal to make Indian food here, I’m in NYC and exploring options. I’m “working from home” (if thinking counts as working) and I ordered in an anchovy sandwich from Court Street Grocers for lunch (it was a bit like a Caesar in bread) and am waiting for my mala peanuts and pigs ears to get to me sometime soon for dinner.)