A long time ago, in a curryshop far, far away, I was tucked warm and cozy with the boyfriend and extended family eating spicy goo and dipping all kinds of flatbreads into it. I think the only reason I hadn’t thought to mention such a good dinner until now was perhaps knowing how vivid it remained in my mind, and thus preserved until such time as Bubble Tea warranted a warming burst of cumin-laden air. WhOOOOSH!
Having heard good things about Maison Indian Curry, we braved the considerable sunday night (!) lineup and worked up a good hunger for the north AND south indian food that awaited. For yes, they do offer alternatives to the relentless parade of butter chicken and tikka masala! There are dosas and sambars, idli and fenugreek and lentils, coconut and tamarind and rice, oh my!
It was a rather vegetarian meal this time, it being impossible to ignore the multi-page spread of vegetable dishes that all sounded pretty unique. It was hard to choose just a few, but samosas are a must in our city-wide quest to find the perfect one, so we started with these gems served with creamy minty sauce and tangy tamarind. Passably delicious, if that makes any sense in samosa-talk. A reasonable size, too.
Actually, I need to talk about something IMPORTANT (haha ok). I am looking for a specific kind of samosa here in Montreal. Imagine if you will, a filling that is mostly whole toasted spices, cooked down greens, a few peas and even fewer potatoes, with a noticeable sour taste, and in a perfect world, available in baked format as well as fried. I know I can get them in Ottawa, but has anyone tasted a samosa like that here? It would be amazing to find. ~ Signed, carb-lovin’ mango hot sauce usin’ nommer ^^;;
We also started with a Chana Puri plate, with comes with fried breadstuffs that can be tenderly ripped into chunks and used to scoop up what I’ve heard is an incredibly authentic chickpea curry. Absolutely addictive, light and rich at the same time, and the garlicky yogurt on the side makes for a transporting combo. Please order this!!
Another specialty of the Maison is the dosa, which comes – huge as a battleship – a crispy footlong carapace stuffed with a choice of tandoori chicken, hot masala potatoes, or regular potatoes. Alas, I wanted this to be amazing so badly, having heard such good things about it, but ultimately it suffered from non-integrated oddly yellow chicken inside, and a dosa itself that tasted like the crispy bits on the side of grilled cheese sandwich. Not necessarily bad, but not half as good as some that I’ve made at home, even. It was all much improved by dipping things in the accompanying soup and coconut-ty sauce, but even that was kind of awkward to coordinate. The veggie version is probably better, I do suspect.
Vegetables also stole the show as the mains rolled in, with the okra (the OKRA, people!) winning the little crown as “tastiest thing nestled in an ornate metal vessel on the table,” it was scraped clean before long. The lamb vindaloo was only succulent and complex in comparison, and the eggplant goo (as well as rhyming with “vindaloo,” aw cute) was a rich slather best saved for non-dieting months, albeit really delish on naan bread.
Oh yeah, the naan was average. Good though. Just thought I’d mention.
While not as spicy as some, and having only decent samosa and naan, what Maison Indian Curry DOES have is a delightful sour taste to it’s food, and a fresh, multi-layered and varied palette. A haven for vegetarians! And with more south Indian dishes on the menu, a place to return to for more interesting options than the usual Punjab fare. (The prices are also comparatively good for the neighbourhood… that is to say, cheap).