Photos and Words by Jyodi Patel
Coat? Check. Boots? Check. Spicy food to heat up on a chilly night? Check. Let’s face it – it’s cold. Even if you are used to blistery winter weather, everyone could use something a little spicy to warm them up after a long Boston day. My suggestion? Try India Quality Restaurant just past Kenmore square.
As a girl raised on her aunties’ homemade Indian food, my approval for restaurant-made Indian food is hard to obtain. However, India Quality easily won my approval. Proudly displayed in their menu is the extensive list of accolades India Quality has been awarded over the years, one of them including a nine-year streak in Zagat as the best Indian food in Boston.
India quality is completely affordable for college students – that being said, it is not like Subway or Chipotle, so you will have to shell out a bit more cash. Dishes for lunch run around seven to eight dollars and the dinner menu is slightly pricier at around 13 dollars.
The simple, yet culture-inspired décor and soft Indian music playing in the background of the restaurant creates a relaxing environment that is perfect for enjoying an explosively flavorful meal. One of the first things I noticed when I walked through the door was how accommodating the servers were. Even when presented with the ever-annoying task of splitting bills using a jumble of cards and cash, they were calm and efficient.
The moment I opened the menu, I went straight for the staple of any Indian dinner, chicken curry. If I had any uncertainties about India Quality when I sat down, they were erased as soon as I tasted the curry. The sauce had a perfect balance of spices – not too overwhelming – and a savory, distinct curry spice flavor with a tomato undertone.
For people who aren’t so keen on spicy foods, the waiters ask whether you would like your dish prepared as mild, medium or hot so you will not leave the restaurant with scorched taste buds.
I find that a lot of Indian restaurants cook their meat too much, but the chicken in this curry was perfectly tender. Along with the curry, I ordered the garlic naan (flat bread). India quality has an entire page of their menu dedicated to specialty breads, but naan has always been a personal favorite. The amount of garlic on the naan was just enough to give it a kick of flavor without being overpowering. My only qualm was that the edges were a bit crispier than i like them to be.
One of my greatest weaknesses is mango laasi (a mango and yogurt smoothie-like drink), so when i saw the laasi selection on India quality’s menu I had to splurge on some. Though it was more watery than i am used to, the mango flavor was strong and tasted fresh and tangy – definitely a delicious end to a great meal.
484 commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215
Phone number: (617) 267-4499
Hours: Monday thru Sunday 11:30 am-11:00 pm
Chicken curry (family recipe)
Serves about 8 people
- 2 lbs of skinless chicken breast
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 large onion
- 2 regular sized tomatoes
- ½ cup of cilantro
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 jalapenos
- 10 cloves
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon of red chili powder
*generally served with rice
- In preparation, finely chop the onion, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno, and cut the rinsed chicken breast into smaller pieces. Place the chopped ingredients and chicken to the side. In a 4-quart pan heat a mixture of 4 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil and all of the dry ingredients. Cook on medium heat until the cumin seeds begin to pop. After the cumin seeds start popping, add the onion, garlic and jalapenos to the pan and continue to fry on
- Medium heat. Once the onions are golden, add the tomato and continue to cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken and cook on medium for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken broth and cook on low heat for about 40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Once cooked, let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve with rice and sprinkle cilantro on top when finished.