Indian (buffet or otherwise) in Westchester or South CT?

DH and I had a craving for Indian last Sunday afternoon and ended up at Rani Mahal in Mamaroneck because we were returning from gigs on that side of the county. It wasn’t the worst Indian buffet I’ve been to, but I wouldn’t say it was great, either - not much in the way of spice, and a lot of white meat chicken (though I will say their saag paneer was excellent - spinach not cooked to mush, and nicely balanced spices with a touch of heat). We used to live just a couple of stops on the subway from Jackson Heights, so we became very spoiled by the wealth of excellent Indian restaurants and the easy availability of Indian ingredients for me to make my own Indian cuisine at home. How I miss Patel Bros.!

Anyway, now that we’re more likely to find a local place rather than make the trek to Jackson Heights, I’d love your recommendations for your favorite Indian restaurants in lower Westchester and/or southern CT (we’re often in the area between Greenwich and Norwalk). Shopping recommendations would be welcome as well. My Indian next door neighbor recommended Bhavik in Elmsford for Indian grocery shopping, but said she never goes out for Indian food (naturally!) so couldn’t recommend any restaurants.

It’s been a while since I’ve been there, but Spice Village in Tuckahoe never let me down. I must admit, I like heat and the last time I was there, I got the lamb phall. The heat was no joke. So much so the staff and chef came out to see if I’d finish. I got a few handshakes afterwards. The shocking thing was, despite the need for lots of naan and a napkin for the watery eyes, the flavors burst through the heat. I have also had a few chicken dishes that were mild, but delicious. They do have a buffet at times, I believe, but like I said, this was a long time ago. I’m vegan now and moved out of Westchester. Hope you find something and please share, wherever you go, so I can pass the info on to some of my friends.

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Great post!

I rarely go to bhavik. It may be convenient but not great, overly pricey. I travel to Edison, NJ for much cheaper grocery shopping— either at subzi mandi or patel.
Sher e punjab is a dhaaba with awesome malai kebab, road side dhaaba favorites, and jalfrezis. Tandoori roti is awesome there.

Pure vegetarian food reataurants have the best quality of indian food. Usha food in queens is a staple. So is ganesh temple canteen. Ive yet to explore more.

Westchester sucks when it comes to indian food. Valley indian bistro is decent compared to other places. Details are here: http://challengethezagat.blogspot.com/2017/08/valley-indian-bistro-where-valley-meets.html?m=1
Ive heard coromandel is good, but primarily for non vegetarian food.

However, house of dosas in LI is good too.
Let me know if you need any other advice.

Good to know. We actually go out to Edison now and then because their Costco has a liquor store, and I have noticed that that Costco also carries a large proportion of Indian grocery products. I will have to explore further! Glad to know Valley Indian Bistro is at least decent - it’s quite close to home, so we’ll be sure to check it out. I don’t often miss living in Queens, but I sure do miss the Indian food!

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I’ll add Spice Village to the list - thanks!

Spice village adds honey to their food, to tone down the level of spice for the general public (i find this odd). If they didnt add it, it would have been much much better. Their dal makhni tastes too sweet. Basically it’s a south indian orientated restaurant, and they have better south indian dishes. However, their garlic naan is something i adored. It was fresh even at 9pm.

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Ugh, there is nothing I hate more in food than sweet flavor where there shouldn’t be sweet flavor. I wonder if they will leave it out if you ask? Although with something like dal makhani it’s not made to order anyway, so that might be impossible. Perhaps we’ll try out their buffet sometime before going in for dinner - at least with the buffet you can pick and choose until you find something you like! Now that you mention the honey, I wonder if they did the same at Rani Mahal. Their makhani chicken was quite sweet and bland as all get out (not to mention made with dry white meat). I don’t think of makhani chicken as the most traditional of Indian dishes anyway and I know it’s never really spicy, but this was exceptionally bland - perhaps they’ve found that’s what their average customer wants. The lamb and fish curries, saag paneer and uttapams were far superior but I saw a lot of buffet patrons with a load of chicken makhani and rice on their plates and not much else.

Westchester does suck for Indian but there are better options than Rani Mahal. Spice Kitchen down the street is better. Also, Coromandel in New Rochelle specializes in Southern Indian (Kerala, etc.) so lots of seafood and coconut. I was there years ago but haven’t been back recently. And even Coriander in Larchmont is better than Rani Mahal.

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Good to know - I’ll try one of those the next time we’re over there. I’m a fan of Southern Indian cuisine so perhaps Coromandel would be a good choice.

Coromandel in Darien is my favorite Indian restaurant followed closely by Saffron in Norwalk.

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We’ll have to check out Saffron - we go to Norwalk pretty regularly to stock the liquor cabinet at Total Wine, so we should have an opportunity soon!

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

― Jonathan Gold