India Curry Restaurant2329 N. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89706
When I think of Indian cuisine, I think of food of the gods. Not because it’s so mouth-wateringly nectarous that we lowly humans are barely deserving of it. But gods, particularly those of the Hindu tradition, are depicted so colorfully and vibrantly that only vivid, energizing and well-balanced fodder seems appropriate.
The lunch buffet ($6.95) at India Curry Restaurant in Carson City presents a feast for the eyes, if not for the gods. It has more variety than other Indian restaurants where I’ve dined. Admittedly, variety does not always mean superiority; fortunately, India Curry is not lacking in delicious food.
I went on a Sunday with my mother near the end of the lunch hour. The food seemed as fresh at 2 p.m. as I’m sure it did to those who arrived for an 11 a.m. lunch. Like most buffets, there were separate sides for cold and hot items. The cold area had an abundance of sauces and chutneys from which to choose. There was also a room-temperature vegetable salad, as well as hard-boiled eggs and a serving platter half-filled with brisk, green honeydew melon. I’ve rarely seen fresh fruit at an Indian restaurant. Later, when I went to my table, I realized I was surrounded by melon; the walls were the stimulating and subdued color of cantaloupe.
The hot dishes at India Curry were also diverse. There were four very different vegetarian options: aloo tikki, dal makhni, saag mushroom and paneer korma. I didn’t pay much attention to the two chicken dishes and another meat dish. The aloo tikki was similar to potato latkes—a mild but flavorful, fried potato patty with onions and herbs. I could have eaten 10 of them.
Korma is one of my favorite Indian dishes, and this one didn’t disappoint. Homemade cheese cubes called paneer were drenched in a rich, creamy tomato sauce flavored with ginger, garlic and onion. To me, it’s an Indian version of lasagna: opulently served cheese and tomatoes. The chicken curry was served in a similar type of sauce and was so lusciously moist it barely required chewing. The whole mushrooms in the spinach-based saag dish were a treat. The dal makhni (sort of a black lentil pudding) tasted wholesome and left a trail of cozy warmth down my throat to the stomach.
At buffets, you’re stuck with the way the chef prepares the food, and depending on who the day’s chef is, you run the risk of extreme spiciness—trouble if you’re a red-pepper lightweight like myself. Too much spice can drown out a food’s distinctive flavor. That said, none of the dishes at India Curry were overly hot, and they possessed so much flavor and enough saltiness that spice was not the only thing you could taste.
I’ve never had an Indian dessert I didn’t like. Kheer (rice pudding with cardamom) has always been my favorite. But after my experience at India Curry, I might have to switch. The gulab jamun was truly “god” food—food unworthy of my base human palate. The spongy cheese balls saturated in a golden syrup made from sugar and ghee (clarified butter) and topped with pistachios were fluffy, buttery and warm with a hint of rose and citrus. If gulab jamun always tasted like this, I’m sure Lord Shiva and son Ganesh never eat anything but.