Great Indian food at Mughal Palace

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          Mughal Palace is a wonderful Indian restaurant that opened in Chelsea in January. That’s right, a great restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine right here in our area. I suppose people in large cities don’t get excited about something like this, but rural folks like us do.

          Emom, our host and server, guided us through the lengthy menu offering suggestions and explanations. He was both friendly and knowledgeable, and I peppered him with lots of questions.

          I have fallen for most every Indian dish I ever tried, if it has a sauce. So I searched for chicken dishes and found one with a tomato based sauce and one without. George had quickly excused himself from choosing anything, saying, “I’m completely lost here. So you’d better order for us.”

          The owners of Mughal Palace get their spices directly from India and try to obtain local ingredients as often as they can including meat sourced from a local farm. The first thing that caught my eye when I got out of the car was some fresh vegetables growing alongside the building. And as we were seated, I caught a whiff of something being served that made my mouth water. Clearly they create magical flavors with spices here.

          To me no Indian meal is complete without naan ($3.95) The garlic naan is extraordinary here. A trio of condiments include tamarind sauce, tomato and onion chutney, and green chutney with cilantro and jalapeno. What a great way to start a meal!

          Emom suggested Nizam’s Vegetarian Choice ($6.95), a sampler of several appetizers. Unusual items like Rikki Tikki Tabi and Pakora combined with Pappadam and Samosa that we’d enjoyed before. My favorite turned out to be the mixed vegetable Pakora, spiced batter fritters, and the Gobi Pakora, a deep fried cauliflower version.

          One entrée I ordered was Chicken Butter ($14.95). I know, sounds awful. But our daughter Hilary once told me a dish I loved, Chicken Lababdar, was like Chicken Butter, a very popular dish. Pieces of chicken breast were marinated in yogurt, charbroiled, then served in a creamy sauce of butter, spices and herbs. One bite and I was in heaven.

          Our second entrée, Chicken Tikka Masala ($15.95) is boneless barbecued chicken in a spicy creamed tomato sauce. I had ordered medium spice for our food which was perfect for us. It definitely had a kick of heat but wasn’t overwhelming. They certainly have a deft had with spices here, and you can order it from mild to extra hot. If you think all Indian food is too spicy for you, think again! You choose the level of spiciness.

          There is nothing boring about Indian food with bursts of flavor like ginger, cilantro, cumin and coriander. I love Indian food and could easily eat it every week. And although I make curry at home, it can’t hold a candle to authentic Indian flavors. I am very happy to find Mughal Palace so close to home!

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