Taste of India–Rhode Island's Best Tandoori Chicken

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Taste of India on Wickenden Street serves exquisitely tasty New Delhi-style Indian Cuisine, and Rhode Island’s best smokey-succulent Tandoori Chicken.

Indian cuisine is among the most tantalizing, aromatic ways to enjoy healthful, nutritious Food, Glorious Food,

If you love Indian flavors, and especially love the heady-rich New Delhi/Northern Indian preparations (we do!!) then

You’ll happily go out of your way to visit Taste of India

which has been quietly tucked away on Wickenden Street for decades, and lately ignored by the press (because, media coverage goes to what’s trendy–restaurants recently opened; chefs with new cooking shows and recently published cookbooks).

Frankly, we don’t care about what’s trendy. We care about what’s taste and value.

While picking up art supplies at Utrecht, we got hungry and decided to try

Taste of India’s lunch buffet (Mon-Thurs $9.95; Fri-Sun $10.95)

Taste of India's chutneys
Pappadum with a trifecta of sauces–tamarind, spicy onion, mint

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and oh, my,  my — now we’re devotees. Here’s why:

1) The Tandoori Chicken at Taste of India

It’s moist and smokey as the best Dixieland barbecue  chicken, and marinated in exotic aromatic spices  (we’re guessing ginger, cumin, coriander, garlic, a hint of cardamom) and yogurt. The meat is carefully cleaved so you can, if you know what’s good for you, easily scoop out a bit of marrow…

2) The range of dishes on the Taste of India buffet offers contrasts in flavors and textures:

Enough to offer variety,

but not too many (which would cause us to doubt the quality of ingredients and care of preparation). No kitchen can stock and tend a large buffet without a large (expensive) staff and correspondingly expensive prices. Memorize this equation: Large + inexpensive = cheap filler-ingredients and blah taste.

On the day of our visit the buffet offered tandoori chicken, scrumptious chicken tikka masala, the best alu palak I’ve ever tasted (spinach and diced potatoes in creamy aromatic sauce); wilted cabbage and onions with a blend of spices including turmeric; and an addictive, perfectly nuanced  (creamy-smooth with a hint of sweet, a hint of tart, and a nice bitter note of cooked green pepper) called Baigan bharta–a Punjab delicacy of oven roasted eggplant (seriously–you’d never guess eggplant!) with onions, tomatoes, red and green peppers and a secret blend of magic spices.

Obviously, careful thought has been given to orchestrating a satisfying array of contrasting tastes and textures.

In addition to the five main courses there was naan; basmati rice; vegetable pakora; raita; salad; and chutneystamarind; mint; spicy onion; plus rich cardamom rice pudding–kheer–for dessert). And the large menu is even more tantalizing than the buffet–plus there is a full bar.

If you’re a fan of Indian flavors, or if you’re considering a new food adventure, you’ll like Taste of India (230 Wickenden Street, Providence, RI. Tel: 401-421-4355). 

What’s your favorite Indian dish?

33 thoughts on “Taste of India–Rhode Island's Best Tandoori Chicken”

  1. I love tandoori chicken and the food on the photos looks very delicious! I can see myself going to that restaurant on a regular basis if I’d live in the area.

    1. Is there good Indian food where you live? It’s scattered here in the States. Some areas have a number of good Indian places (Providence is one of those areas) and some places you can’t find any at all.

      1. Yea there are some good Indian restaurants in Munich but there are even more Indian restaurants don’t make good food.. There is a real boom for Indian cuisine in Munich – especially the lunch buffets are very popular.
        Happy Easter Tracy!

    1. I’ve not found much good Indian food anywhere in the midwest until recently in Minneapolis (I don’t know about Chicago…)
      Dallas/Fort Worth has a number of really good places; but I supposed that’s a little out of your way. Better you’d come here. 😉

      1. I like that idea much better 🙂 BTW, I’d love to know a recommended Indian restaurant in Minneapolis! It’s been so long since I’ve lived there, I’m always searching for a new place when I go back to visit!

          1. I will have to give that a try when I’m back in town over Memorial weekend! I have a friend that lives in Uptown so I’ll have to make the suggestion. I see they have Gulab Jamun which is my all time favorite dessert. Deep fried dough balls soaked in syrup… divine 🙂

  2. We have developed a love of good Indian food, Tracy, and this looks like a wonderful place. I’m printing out these recommendations and keeping them in an envelope with your book. I have a friend who was thumbing through your book and “borrowed” it to copy down specifics about the Sarah Orne Jewett House (and the natural healing herbs). You–and your book–are a wealth of interesting tales and wonderful details, Tracy! Now…to get my copy of your book back!

    1. I think if I had to pick just one cuisine to live on (but I’m glad I don’t have to!), I’d choose Indian.
      I love that people want to take me home with them…
      Word of mouth is the best advertisement (and the only advertising I can afford!) Thank you for sharing me. 🙂

  3. I’ve adored every mouthful of Indian food I’ve ever eaten – no way can I name a favorite. This post brought back such wonderful memories of our feasting together!

    1. Wishing you a blessed Easter, too, Jill.
      Your stomach-issue is such hard to live with (did I tell you one of our sons has it?). I’m inspired by your upbeat attitude, how all the restrictions it places on your eating doesn’t defeat you. I’m not sure I could be as brave and resilient as you are.

  4. That’s such a good point about the variety being so crucial – you need a variety, but too much does make you suspicious.
    I have reviewed your book on Amazon by the way! It was a very enjoyable read.

    1. I find that really good cooks can, with just a few dishes, (4-6) offer the variety I crave by selecting foods/dishes that have contrasting flavors and textures. So often on the huge spreads, the food taste basically all the same (way-salty, or way-sugary).
      And thank you, thank you so much for your review. It took me a while to find it, until I figured out I needed to look not on amazon.com, but on amazon.co.uk. I linked to your review on my Facebook wall, it made me so happy. What you wrote made me realize that I achieved one of my goals–to tell the truth about who I am and what I believe, without implying that everyone who is different from me, or who disagrees with me is bad/wrong/dumb. I am firmly committed to the belief that we must respect every person’s right to believe what s/he chooses to believe. And respect means honoring, dignifying, and seeking an empathetic connection.

      1. I am on a journey. Part of it is ambivalence over the things I once tried to believe but found that I couldn’t. I am taking a break at the moment, but I know I will feel pulled back one day to look for answers to my questions. I just have to find the right way and meeting people who are able to shed light helps. I still get emotional thinking about it, it feels quite raw.

        1. I SO understand, dear. I’m still on that journey–I keep on giving up on the things I believed once, but no longer can. And I’m still ambivalent about so many of the things I feel like I ought to know (at my age), for certain.
          Let me assure you–you’re fine, and you’re on the right path (seeking, is the right path). And I hate to be the one who has to tell you the facts of life, but it will never stop feeling “quite raw.” That raw feeling, however unpleasant it is, is a good thing to feel; because growth always feels raw.
          And I’m convinced that if we’re not growing, we’re precariously near to death.
          P.S. I didn’t find, and still do not find, much comfort in traditional religion. Actually–‘religion” gave me no comfort at all. What matters is the truth about love.

    1. I agree about the value–and I always look for an Indian restaurant if I want healthy, vegetarian tasty options. I love tandoori chicken (and I love the taste of meat), but I don’t want to eat it at every meal. When I’m traveling, it’s really difficult to find reasonably-priced, nutritious food.

  5. The restaurant you featured has many excellent dishes. From your description, I think I’d feel right at home at Taste of India.
    In Florida, we go to Punjab’s which has excellent Indian food. It’s been a while since I’ve had Tandoori chicken. My go-to meal at Punjab’s is the vegetarian platter and Naan. The kheer is a wonderfully light dessert. Mango ice cream is very tasty, too.

    1. You made me hungry (despite the fact that I just had breakfast). It’s now been 2 weeks since I ate at Taste of India–I’m going to have to get over there to see whether they have Mango ice cream on the menu.

  6. So many interesting flavors, I just cannot deal with heat in Indian food (funny, because I can in Thai and Korean food), so I tend to order chicken korma often…also love paneer.

    1. It’s a different kind of heat.
      I don’t actually love the Indian heat, myself. But that’s not an issue in Rhode Island–the Indian restaurants here have subdued themselves, in order to appeal to this decidedly bland palate.
      When I’m confronted with the real heat, I make sure to have a huge bowl of raita at hand.

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