(Chicago) – I have tried a lot of Indian restaurants, mostly buffets, but I couldn’t tell whether the food is good or not. They all taste the same to me – hot and spicy with strong curry and coconut flavors. I know it is not fair to say. For that, I badly needed some education on Indian food.
So I asked a few Indian friends in Chicago and they generously shared some thoughts about their cuisine. My baseline concept of Indian food is derived only from the restaurants I have visited. And I thought they are great Indian eateries already. “They are all crap.”, as my friend humorously corrected me. My Indian friends know their food and I believe in them. So I asked where I should go for some distinctive and reasonably priced Indian food; they unanimously directed me to Hema’s Kitchen.
It was a slow Sunday night and my craving for something spicy was intense. I headed to Hema’s with a few friends to satisfy my cravings. These were what we got:
Sheek Khebob Roll - sheek khebob rolled in paratha or phulka with onion, chillies, tomatoes and green chutney
Aloo Baigan Matar – Potatoes, eggplant and green peas cooked with minced onions, tomatoes, curry leaves and coconut powder
Choosa Tikka Masala – Marinated boneless chicken cooked in a rich creamy sauce
Lamb with Okra – Lamb cubes pan fried with onions, tomatoes, spices and cooked with okra.
Paratha – Hand rolled homemade wheat bread grilled with butter
Naan - leavened bread baked in the tandoor plain or butter
All dishes are hot and spicy still. But for once, I can clearly distinguish the flavor of each of the dishes. Everything remains strongly spiced but the fresh curry is appetizingly fragrant. My friends and I enjoyed all the food brought to our table and we even asked for more Naan bread to wipe the sauce off the plate. Food this good should never be wasted.
2439 W Devon Ave
San Diego, CA 92101 (773) 338-1627 www.hemaskitchen.com