Indish: A dip into Indian cuisine’s bold flavors

Indish :  A dip into Indian cuisine’s bold flavors
Indish’s menu features a variety of cold and hot appetizers, curries, tandoori grilled items, rice dishes, homemade breads, and desserts. (Photos: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)
At the mention of Indian food, the mind generally wanders into a wonderland of curries, stews, and spices such as turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and coriander. The quintessential Indian seasoning blend, garam masala, will definitely make an appearance, with its combination of pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, and other flavorful seasonings.اضافة اعلان

But where to go in Amman to satisfy the subcontinent cravings that will certainly follow such imaginings? The restaurant Indish has popped up in numerous conversations lately, so I thought I would give it a try. Thus, I soon found myself between First and Second Circle in Jabal Amman, outside the restaurant’s doors.

Walking into the restaurant to make a takeout order, I noticed the simplicity of the place, with a minimal red and yellow décor and modern accents. There were about 15 tables, which made it a relatively small — but cozy — dining establishment.

A creative salad
Indish’s menu features a good variety of cold and hot appetizers, curries, tandoori grilled items, rice dishes, homemade breads, and desserts.

While glancing over the menu, I was reminded that food opens the door to explore a whole culture —not just its flavors. Indian cuisine is famous for family-style sharing, where gatherings feature simple utensils, including the hands. And that was my plan: to bring a South Asian feast home to share with my family.

I ended up ordering the healthy sprout salad, vegetable pakora, vegetable biryani, butter chicken, mutton vindaloo, and paneer tikka.

The sprout salad consisted of green lentil sprouts, pomegranate seeds, carrots, grated coconut, and coriander leaves. It was served with a lemon wedge, and the dressing seemed relatively sparse. However, this was a very interesting salad that quickly won me over. It was the first time I had tried green lentil sprouts, which made the salad unique and exciting.

The vegetable pakora (vegetables dipped in chickpea batter and fried) had an abundance of flavors, and the crispy batter enrobed the vegetable pieces so well that it was challenging to know what the vegetables were until taking a bite. Although it was a good dish in terms of taste, the batter was a little too thick for optimal eating enjoyment.

Spices and heat
As soon as I tasted the vegetable Biryani, I knew immediately that Indish had done something right: the spices were properly roasted in fat before being mixed with the rice. This resulted in a flavorful product with no underdeveloped, raw-spice taste. The bold, rich spices also made this dish complete on its own, without the need to add any curry. 

The butter chicken, one of my favorite items of Indian cuisine, was good. The spices balanced with the cream to provide an excellent combination of flavors. Personally, I would have added a little more cream on top of the dish for an extra-rich experience.

I went out of my comfort zone to order the mutton vindaloo since I am not a huge fan of lamb, and I was worried that the gaminess of the meat would overpower the dish. However, the lamb was extremely tender, and the curry was flavorful and quite spicy. I tried to enjoy as much as I could handle, but the heat of the dish had me beat by the time I could reach for a second serving.

Do not forget the bread
No Indian meal is complete without naan or paratha. Indish’s home-baked breads make a great addition to any dinner, especially for dipping into the curries for an extra-flavorful experience. If you have a low spice tolerance, I also recommend a little yogurt on the side; then, at least, you will be able to break down the spicy kick.

Finally, the paneer tikka, which is char-grilled cheese marinated in a spice mixture, is a great option if you want a meat-free tikka. Indish’s addition of extra vegetables was a great touch. Paneer cheese is made by curdling fresh milk with an acid, then collecting the curds and pressing them to make them into the desired shape. I noticed that the paneer this time was a bit on the grainy side, which can happen when too much acid is used.

The quality of food items was not affected too much by the journey to my family waiting at home.  The Indish eating experience certainly brought the family together for an out-of-the-ordinary dinner. I had assumed that Indian food should be consumed with loved ones, and our experience proved this to be true.

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