Swad Indian Cuisine is fairly new to the North Raleigh scene. It’s located in a strip mall that houses one of my favorite restaurants, Neomonde. Because Neomonde is a very casual spot and the strip mall is pretty much your average strip mall, I wasn’t expecting Swad to be so lovely inside. It looks as if it should be in Manhattan. The design is sleek and modern, and it has a fully stocked bar. There is also a lunch buffet area. The dining area is very comfortable. I went midweek and it wasn’t crowded. We were promptly seated at a booth.
To start, I got the Swad tikka–tender boneless chicken bites marinated with Indian spices served on small skewers. These were very flavorful. The chicken was very moist, which was nice, but I think it could’ve been cooked a bit longer.
For entrees, we shared two vegetarian dishes:
Maharaja malai kofta–hand-rolled spiced potato balls cooked in India’s rich creamy sauce
paneer masala–oven-flamed homemade cheese cooked in succulent tomato based cream sauce.
Both of these dishes were delicious. I enjoyed sopping up the sauce with Peshwari naan (sweet naan stuffed with dry nuts, raisins, cashews and cherries).
In addition to the excellent food, the service at Swad is attentive and friendly. Thanks to Swad, this area in North Raleigh no longer lacks an upscale restaurant.
I’ve been introduced to some delicious carrot dishes lately. I saw a recipe for gajar halwa, or carrot pudding, on a blog of Indian recipes. So I ordered it from an area restaurant, Kiran Indian Cuisine. Wow, it reminded me of rice pudding, only sweeter and spicier. I want to try to recreate this at home. It’s a perfect holiday dessert.
At Balkanika, I fell in love with carrot tarator, one of many delicious dips the restaurant makes. It’s made with roasted carrots, garlic and Greek yogurt.
I have made this one at home, and it’s a great dip for veggies or pita.
Posted in Dessert, Healthy, New York, Restaurant
Tagged Balkan, Balkanika, carrot, carrot pudding, carrot tarator, gajar halwa, Greek yogurt, Indian, Kiran Indian Cuisine
People have been telling me to try kheer, or Indian rice pudding, since I’ve been on my rice pudding kick. I’d never had it, so I was eager to try it. I ordered from a couple of Indian restaurants in my neighborhood. Since I haven’t had it before, I don’t know how authentic either of these is. The first was from Kiran Indian Cuisine.
This rice pudding was made with basmati rice and had golden raisins and flakes of coconut. The menu said it also had almonds, but I didn’t see or taste any in there. I didn’t miss them though, as I really enjoyed this rice pudding. It was very sweet and somewhat liquidy, a different consistency from most rice puddings I’ve tried, and I thought the coconut was a great addition.
The second one I tried was from Bombay Masala, the oldest Indian restaurant in the U.S. This rice pudding was creamy and had pistachios and fruit. It was a very good rice pudding too, reminiscent of American rice pudding.