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Indian Fare for Veterans and Beginners Alike at India Palace

Grocery store and restaurant India Palace serves up authentic, flavorful dishes.

What do Mahatma Gandhi, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? Apparently, they’re all fans of (35 Cranbrook Rd.) too, since they’re part of the most random poster I’ve ever seen adorning the wall at the entrance.

That’s a pretty legitimate endorsement, and my guess is that if Ghandi, Princess Di, Mother Teresa and MLK actually were to ever visit India Palace, they probably would have enjoyed it quite a bit.

I’ve heard the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is tops, but I made my first visit to for dinner. Next door to an Indian/Asian supermarket full of different spices and rice, the restaurant part of the building is small, low-key and comfortable with excellent service.

My friend and I started with the garlic kulcha ($2.50), which I absolutely cannot resist whenever I am in the vicinity of Indian cuisine. India Palace’s version of the tandoor-baked flat bread stuffed with garlic was among the best I’ve had.

For her dinner, my dining buddy ordered the malai kofta ($10.95), a savory vegetarian dish of dumplings made of vegetables and cheesy clotted cream in a well-seasoned, flavorful tomato and cream sauce. The sauce was bold and the dumplings were the perfect consistency – an ideal alternative to meatballs.

I resisted my usual favorite, chicken tikka masala ($11.95), and decided to try a new Indian dish for me, the lamb rogan josh ($13.95). A Kashmiri dish, the spicy, garlicky red sauce was so fragrant, it made my mouth water, and the robust flavor was no disappointment. The heat cleared my sinuses and the lamb was cooked to perfection and served over basmati rice.

I enjoyed my dinner quite a bit, but the lunch buffet may have indeed been the way to go. There are so many delicious-sounding and classic items on the India Palace menu, that the opportunity to taste everything buffet-style may just be the solution to the persistent dilemma of what to order.

Other sure bets to try? The tandoori chicken ($8.95), aloo gobi ($9.95), matar paneer ($10.95) and vegetable korma ($11.95).

It’s almost a shame the food is so good because I’m sure I’ll never leave room for desserts like mango kulfi ($2.95), an Indian ice cream, or kheer ($2.95), basmati rice pudding.

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, this is the place to be, and if you’ve never tried it, this would be a great place to start. And if you end up hating it, hey, at least you got a glimpse of the world’s funniest poster.

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