Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
philadining

Good Indian food in the burbs

Recommended Posts

I had some really good South Indian food at Devi in Exton on saturday. They do a buffet for lunch every day, and at at dinner only on friday and saturday nights. This particular night they were serving only the buffet, and it had a special Tamil theme. Devi is a vegetarian restaurant, and serves a number of dishes I don't recall seeing very often at other places around Philly. I don't know if it's always buffet only on the weekends.

Devi makes a wide variety of Dosa and Uthappam, the rice and lentil crepes stuffed or topped with various things. I was initially disappointed that there was only the buffet because I was really hankering for a masala dosa. I was thrilled when someone came by and asked if I wanted a dosa, I think I could have gotten any kind. A few minutes later a nice, fresh, crispy dosa filled with potato and onions arrived, at no extra charge.

The buffet itself was not especially lavish, but it did have a nice variety, including a few things I hadn't ever seen before. Everything I had was very good, especially the dark brown, rich, mushroom curry and the cauliflower with peppers. I also liked a polenta-ish thing that I couldn't see the name for, but it had a nice creamy texture, studded with nuts and raisins. Oh, and the vegetable kurma, and.....

Sadly, there was one chaffing dish set out by itself, seemingly the highlight of the buffet, and shortly after i sat down, there was a big crash - apparently it wasn't balanced too well, and a customer had accidentally tipped it over onto the floor. It was never refilled, so I don't know what it was.

They had Sambar and Rasam soups, which were both good, especially for dipping a doughy iddly. There were Mudhu Vada savory donuts, pakoras, little mini poofy Puri bread, a pulau, a couple more curries... lots to eat. I really liked the wide variety of chutneys, not just mint and tamarind, but also sweet onion, tomato, mango pickle, more.

It was nicely different from most of the other places I go, and quite a value: the best $11 dinner I've had in a long time.

I'm always reluctant to fall back on this old cliche, but almost everyone eating there was Indian, which is a little unusual out in the burbs, so I'll take it as an indication of some measure of authenticity. Regardless, it was good, and different.


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For non-strictly-veg, Royal India (formerly dishing out great while-u-wait at the US Petro gas station in K of P, now only a lunch-time self-serve per lb. buffet) has moved into quarters on Rt.30 in Frazer, just west of where Rt. 202 comes through. The front is a food store, and the back a restaurant, done in a sparse, but bright manner, with high ceilings and the inescapable flat-panel TV on the wall. We had a dinner buffet there a few weeks ago that was really, really good. I wish I could remember more of what was on it, but paneer masala and pakoras stand out.


Edited by Furious Flav-or (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Desi Village in King of Prussia is really good for Pakistani/North Indian. It's a little fancier and pricer than most of the places I like, but the people are very nice, and the food is good. I love the Papri Chat, all the tandoori stuff including breads, and the bengan bartha is the best I've ever had, really smooth and smoky.

145 South Gulph Road

King of Prussia, PA 1940

desi-village.com

And just north a bit on 202, in the plaza with Tower Records and the Acme, is Jaipur. I just keep forgetting it's there, tucked at the back of the plaza.

336 DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA 19406

http://www.jaipurindia.com/


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't been to Desi yet. I snagged their take-out menu tonight, oddly enough, on the way home after inhaling a T-bone around the *cough* corner. Been to Jaipur. With a tear in my eye, I kept on wistfully looking across the parking lot and trying to picture the tree-trunk cutting board and beat up pans in that shabby little gas-stained curry shack down the road and across the street. We'll be heading for Frazer more often in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i discovered desi village last year during a weekend at a conference at king of prussia. after a couple days of out-of-towners feeding me all the pizza and steaks and whatnot i could eat, i was jonesing real nutrition and on a whim stopped in there, which we had seen while going to buy wine, and we had a really great meal. it IS a little fancier and pricier than some indian restaurants, but well worth it. get the mustard greens if you go. oh also it's BYOB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also suggest SULTAN, in Lansdale, PA, as a very good suburban Indian place; it is some of the very best Indian I have ever had, made with care, preseneted beautifully, but people with real enthusiasm for their craft.

I live but 3 blocks away from arguably the best Indian place in NJ, Taste of India in Lawrenceville. This is a very Indian dining-dense part of the country, and it's an embarassment of riches.


Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
schweet.  and closer than edison.  i'll be heading out sometime soon.

If you're into vegetarian, here's another place to check out in Bensalem, also closer than Edison...

http://www.uduppidosahouse.com/menu.html

whoa, now that i did not know. that's the closest to philadelphia that i've seen that cuisine. i'm going very very soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, Palace Of Asia, 285 Commerce Dr, (In the Best Western Hotel) Fort Washington, PA. Is very good for Northern/Pakistani.


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Khajuraho in Ardmore has the best Indian food I've ever had in my life. In fact, before I had gone there, I always thought I didn't like Indian food. Turns out I'd just never had it done right. They beat the pants off of Jewel of India (also in Ardmore), the old Shivnanda in old city, Minar Palace, and Passage to India. I have heard that Taste of India in Wayne is also excellent, but haven't tried it yet. I don't know if it's related to the Taste of India that Rich is talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best Indian food in the suburbs is at Amon's, at the corner of 202 and Germantown Pike in West Norriton.

Go there.

The owner, the tall guy with beard/turban, rocks and cooks up a storm. Go spicy.

My friends and I are regulars at the Saturday lunch buffet.


Edited by stephenc (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll agree with Rich that Sultan in Lansdale (5 minutes from my house) is very good. I also like Spice Grill in Chalfont, a stones throw from where I work and serving $6.99 lunch specials. But Amon's I've not been to, and 202 and Germantown Pike is quite close as well. I will have to try it out! Being a lover of Indian food (as are my kids as well), I must make it to Jersey to encounter what I keep hearing is the best Indian around. Lawrenceville is not that far Rich! I'll have to load up the van and head over there sometime soon!


"Nutrirsi di cibi prelibati e trasformare una necessita in estasi."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has always struck me as strange that the best Indian food in Philadelphia is to be found outside of Philadelphia. Why is that?

hypothesis: Indian immigrants to the area (most of whom have arrived in the last 20-30 years?) settled in the suburbs; there's no Indian area in the city comparable to Chinatown or other ethnic conclaves.

comparandum: up until a few years ago, the same was true with Mexican food; for anything other than fancy food (Tequila's, Paloma), you had to go to Kennett Square or maybe Norristown to get the good stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It has always struck me as strange that the best Indian food in Philadelphia is to be found outside of Philadelphia.  Why is that?

hypothesis: Indian immigrants to the area (most of whom have arrived in the last 20-30 years?) settled in the suburbs; there's no Indian area in the city comparable to Chinatown or other ethnic conclaves.

comparandum: up until a few years ago, the same was true with Mexican food; for anything other than fancy food (Tequila's, Paloma), you had to go to Kennett Square or maybe Norristown to get the good stuff.

On that note, what do you guys think is the best Indian to be found IN the city? (if I'm taking this too off-topic, I apologize)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On that note, what do you guys think is the best Indian to be found IN the city? (if I'm taking this too off-topic, I apologize)

There are a lot of places I've never been to, but none of the places I *have* been to have measured up to a place that's gone out of business. That was Shivnanda, down in Old City. It was next door to Kabul, which I think is still around. They made great rice there.

This thread got me in the mood, so tonight I tried out Desi Village. It was good, but not nearly as good as my favorite, Khajuraho. For one thing, the service was inattentive, at best. We waited at least 15 minutes after getting our menus for someone to even come back to our table. There was only one other occupied table in the place, and there were several employees walking around who didn't seem to be doing anything in particular. We endured a similar wait to get the check.

The food was a lot better than the service, but my Chicken Makhani was in a sauce that was separating as it sat in the dish, I had to keep stirring it to keep the oil in suspension. Not a pretty sight, but it tasted good. The naan was excellent, and the rice was a lot better than most other Indian places I've visited, but also not as good as Khajuraho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the best Indian I've had was at Khajuraho. It was bright and intense, spiced well but not overpowering, I loved it. I must venture into central Jersey though (Edison area) and experience it there as well, problem is trying to decide among the plethora of choices!


"Nutrirsi di cibi prelibati e trasformare una necessita in estasi."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
there's no Indian area in the city comparable to Chinatown or other ethnic conclaves.

Do you mean ethnic enclaves? Conclaves are what the cardinals do to elect a new pope, right? I guess that word has been floating around recently! :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On that note, what do you guys think is the best Indian to be found IN the city? (if I'm taking this too off-topic, I apologize)

I love Indian food, but I really do think better Indian food is found outside the city.

Inside the city, I found Karma to be good. Cafe Spice in Old City is also surprisingly good. Both are much more expensive than the suburban Indian places I've been to (Khajahuro, Sultan, Amon, Desi, Jaipur, )

South Indian is much more difficult to find around here than Northern Indian cooking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On that note, what do you guys think is the best Indian to be found IN the city? (if I'm taking this too off-topic, I apologize)

In Philly, I'm still partial to Tandoor out on 40th Street: no atmosphere, but good food (including dosas) at a good price. And it's a bit too pricey and crazy on the weekends, (I've vowed to never again go into Old City on a weekend night, until the 20-something scenesters find a new neighborhood to stagger around in) but I like the food at Cafe Spice.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... other ethnic conclaves.

We have to understand the context, Monsignor Fentoni was on the short-list to be the next Pope (the REAL reason he's moving to Italy) so we'll have to forgive the linguistic slip.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We have to understand the context, Monsignor Fentoni was on the short-list to be the next Pope (the REAL reason he's moving to Italy) so we'll have to forgive the linguistic slip.

And I thought he was lookin' to be a dangerous Vesparado...


Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In Philly, I'm still partial to Tandoor out on 40th Street: no atmosphere, but good food (including dosas) at a good price.  And it's a bit too pricey and crazy on the weekends, (I've vowed to never again go into Old City on a weekend night, until the 20-something scenesters find a new neighborhood to stagger around in) but I like the food at Cafe Spice.

Tandoor! I live (for now) a couple blocks away, but I always find myself going to New Delhi instead. Not sure why. Do you order off the menu at Tandoor, or do they have a bunch of interesting things in their buffet?

I don't consider myself an expert in Indian food, but I do like Sitar's buffet (38th and Chestnut, behind Chili's) -- good buttery fresh naan, masala dosas and samosas, and both rice pudding and gulab jamun for dessert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tandoor! I live (for now) a couple blocks away, but I always find myself going to New Delhi instead. Not sure why. Do you order off the menu at Tandoor, or do they have a bunch of interesting things in their buffet?
The buffet is pretty good, but there are a few things like those pesky dosas, and even bread, that I think are MUCH better made fresh. So I sometimes order from the menu, unless I'm in a hurry, or just really in the mood for a wide variety, which now that I think of it, is most of the time.
I don't consider myself an expert in Indian food, but I do like Sitar's buffet (38th and Chestnut, behind Chili's) -- good buttery fresh naan, masala dosas and samosas, and both rice pudding and gulab jamun for dessert.

I have liked some of the food at Sitar's but I often find some of the spicing kind of harsh. I don't just mean spicy, hot is fine with me, but somehow edgy, rough, prickly.... But then, because of that, it's been some time since I went there, so that's an old opinion.

There used to be a few more to choose from out at that 40th and Chestnut nexus, but it has thinned out. I keep meaning to try Kabobeesh a few blocks west in the old American Diner, anybody have opinions on that place?

Or should we spin this off to a "good Indian in town" thread?


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There used to be a few more to choose from out at that 40th and Chestnut nexus, but it has  thinned out. I keep meaning to try Kabobeesh a few blocks west in the old American Diner, anybody have opinions on that place?

Or should we spin this off to a "good Indian in town" thread?

Kabobeesh is definitely worth checking out. But I warn you its a true no frills joint.

Simple menu of lamb, chicken, quail, fish, resam kabobs to choose from. All charcoal grilled to order served over a bed of rice with a side of curry usually vegetables, fresh greens and nan. They have some specials offered during the weekends. One of which I tried was the curried cow's feet. A litttle gelatinous reminded me of oxtail but wih less meat, quite tasty.

Highly recommended if you're in the mood for some no-nonsense cheap eats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Suvir Saran
      What role do they play in your Indian kitchen?
      Do you use it in other dishes you prepare? Maybe even outside of the Indian food realm.
      Do you find it easy to find Cilantro?
      What parts of cilantro do you use?
      How do you keep it fresh?
    • By bague25
      Which are the pickles you have in your pantry right now?
      Which are the ones you dream of?
      Any recipes? Any secrets? Any reading material?
      Please share - as Monica says Inquiring minds want to know...
    • By Bhukhhad
      Breakfast in India vs Breakfast in our homes outside India
      My breakfasts have varied from the time I started to cook for myself instead of just enjoying my Mother’s cooking. At first they were a mix-match of meal fixings, or just dinner leftovers. Or the good old breakfast cereal and milk. But as the years passed and I was more organized, the meals I enjoyed in my Mother’s home began to swim in my memories. And I began to prepare those for my family. However, I am no amazonian chef, so depending on  the hectic nature of the days plans, I switched back and forth from convenience with taste, to elaborate and of course tasty breakfasts. We do have both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods but Indian breakfasts will mostly be vegetarian. 
      So here are some of the things I might make: 
       
      1. Poha as in mostly ‘kande pohe’.
      2. Cheela/ Pudla
      3. Masala toast
      4. Indian Omelette
      5. Handwo piece
      6. Thepla
      7. Vaghareli rotli
      8. Dhokla chutney
      9. Idli sambhar
      10. Leftover sabji
      11. Muthiya
      12. Khakhra
      13. Upma
      14. Paratha
       
      1. Kande Pohe: 
      The dish derives its name from Maharashtra where the Kande Pohe are celebrated as breakfast. They can of course like any breakfast, be eaten at any time. 
      Pohe/ Poha are steamed rice grains that have been beaten flat and then again redried. So they are like Rice flakes. Except they are hand pounded, so have a knobbly texture. 
      You get several varieties in the market. I prefer the thick white variety. 
       
      1 cup dry poha per person
      1 medium onion sliced
      1/2 jalapeno deseeded
      1 sprig curry leaves
      2 small garlic cloves
      1/4 t cumin seeds
      1/2 lemon 
      1/8 t asafoetida
      1/4 t turmeric
      small handful of cilantro leaves
      1T fresh grated coconut
      2 T Peanut oil 
      salt to taste
      sugar to taste
       
      In a pan heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds sputter, add sliced onions and stir. Saute on medium heat till they turn slightly browned here and there. Do not burn the onions. 
      Meanwhile wash the Poha in a colander and drain. Do this two or three times to get rid of any dirt and also to allow them to rehydrate. They do not need soaking. Fluff the poha with a fork. Add salt sugar turmeric asafoetida and chopped cilantro. Mix and set aside. 
      Once the onions are ready add minced garlic and chopped jalapeno along with the curry leaf sprig. 
      Turn the heat to low and add the poha mixture. Stir to coat and to allow the turmeric and asafoetida to cook. The poha will turn mildly yellow and start giving a wonderful fragrance. 
      Turn off the heat. Fluff gently and plate. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and a squeeze of lemon juice. 
      Finger licking good!! 
      Now when I make this next I will post a picture. 
      Update: Ok I felt the urge to have Kande Pohe for tonight’s dinner. So here is a picture. I am certain to enjoy it for breakfast as well. The measurement of 1 cup poha per person is too much for one meal. But carried over to another meal thats super good! I will also have some stir fried bok choy greens made in the same kadhai after the poha was done, and some cooked and sliced beetroot for salad. My family will add some haldiram sev on the poha for extra crunch! And we will all have some chaas to round off this meal. 
      *************
       
      2. Cheela/ Pudla
       
      These are essentially crepes but in the Indian style. 
      1/2 cup sieved garbanzo bean (Besan) flour. 
      Water to form a thin batter
      1T plain yogurt 
      1/2 t ginger garlic paste 
      1/4 or less green chili crushed
      2 t heated oil *
      pinch asafoetida
      pinch turmeric 
      salt to taste
      chopped cilantro (two sprigs)
      some ‘masala’ from a readymade pickle
       
       
      Method:
       
      mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. 
      Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. 
      On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. 
       
      In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! 
      ****************
      3. Masala Toast : 
       
      1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted
      1/2 small red onion minced
      1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have)
      cilantro (few leaves)
      1/8 t cumin (optional)
      1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores)
      1 inch cube paneer
      1 T peanut oil
      pinch turmeric (optional)
       
      Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer.
      I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. 
      **************************
       
      I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. 
      Bhukkhad
       

    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...