Posts tagged ‘Indian’

June 12, 2012

Discovering Indian Cuisine at Mint Indian Brasserie

by ashley

Everything seems to be more vibrant and intense in India, dizzyingly colorful and filled with rich scents and spices. My interest was initially piqued by their beautiful clothing, especially their tunics and accessories, which were things I could easily wear. Despite years of searching for exotic clothing and décor, I had never actually set foot in an Indian restaurant. Maybe it was my aversion to spicy food, maybe it is just the fact that there extremely few Indian restaurants in Miami, but before this weekend, the extent of my experience with Indian food was limited to frozen foods. Jessica loves Indian food and we had been planning to have an Indian-themed lunch for quite some time, so when a coupon on LivingSocial popped in my inbox for a new upscale Indian restaurant in Brickell, I knew we had to try it.

Mint Leaf Brasserie in Brickell (Financial District, Downtown Miami, FL) is relatively new to the downtown scene, although their original restaurant in Coral Gables has been established since 2008. It is definitely an upscale version of Indian food, and quite possibly not the best choice for an introduction to the cuisine, but all the same we enjoyed it tremendously. While there was some haggling to be done to actually use the coupon they had advertised with LivingSocial, the food itself was wonderful. We visited the restaurant at noon on a quiet Sunday, we were the only patrons in the entire establishment for most of our meal. Being that all the items on the menu were foreign to me, we opted for their vegetarian thali, meaning plate in Hindi. A thali is an array of traditional dishes served as a platter, typically consisting of rice, vegetables, curd, chutney, dhal (pureed lentils, chickpeas or other starchy vegetable), a sweet dish and bread.

A vegetarian thali at Mint Leaf Brasserie costs $35 per person and includes vegetable bhajjia, tandoori paneer, sooki sabsi, dal makhani, channa masala, Bombay aloo, pillau rice, naan and a choice of either kofta or makhani mattar paneer for your main entrée. If you are anything like me, most of this sounds like gibberish, but fear not as it is all wonderfully delicious. My favorite was most definitely the kofta, which is vegetables and grains made into a paste, and then formed into balls. They are then simmered in a spicy sauce, absorbing the flavors and becoming very soft. They are excellent when scooped with a thick piece of naan (grilled flatbread).

While the prices may be a bit higher than you would pay on average for a Sunday lunch, the experience is priceless. In one afternoon I feel I have learned a tremendous amount about Indian cuisine, the tastes that I favor and feel much more confident venturing out to another Indian restaurant. If you are in the Brickell or Coral Gables area during the weekdays for lunch, they also have a smaller portion thali for only $14.50.

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February 10, 2012

Vegan Samosas: Sukhi’s Potato and Pea Samosas

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Jessica is always telling me that I need to try Indian food other than Amy’s – and while I have yet to experience a traditional Indian meal in a restaurant, I’m happy to say that I now know what a samosa is…and I’m hooked. One of my favorite things to do in the grocery store is to browse the freezer section looking for new things to try. In my local Fresh Market I was happy to find Sukhi’s Natural Authentic Indian Cuisine.

Whether it is authentic or not would not be something I could judge, but it is certainly tasty. I bought the Samosa & Chutney Crispy Vegan Handcrafted Wraps with Potatoes and Peas. This is a rich snack, something best left for special occasions, but undeniably delicious with the cilantro chutney dipping sauce. Great finger food for a special occasion, even if it’s just for two (hands-on meals and feeding one another is a great kindle for romance).

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