Review: Passage to India

Bookshop in historic Salem, Mass.Brett and I walked around historic downtown Salem a few weeks ago before Snowmageddon hit. The town is full of quaint little shops and eateries. So, we decided to drop into one spot for a bite of Indian cuisine.

Passage to India is located on Washington Street. We were lucky enough to sit right next to one of the restaurant’s huge windows so we could take in all the people walking by.

We don’t indulge in Indian food too much – sometimes it wreaks havoc on hubby’s tummy if the chef overindulges in some of the spices. But on this trip, we didn’t have any troubles.

Pappadam at Passage to IndiaOur meal started with some pappadam, a thin flatbread made of lentil flour and served with various kinds of chutney.

Garlic NaanTo go along with our meal, we ordered the garlic naan. After it has been filled with garlic (or you could get it stuffed with other ingredients), the naan – which is very similar to a pita bread – is baked in the tandoor oven.

Aloo Mutter at Passage to IndiaFor my entrée, I ordered the Aloo Matter – a mixture of peas and potatoes in a rich sauce. All dishes are served family style and come with basmati rice.

Aloo Mutter - closeupI’ve always liked Aloo Matter because it’s a nice vegetarian option. I’m no vegetarian by any means but sometimes I like a lighter meal without all the heavy meats, and this is a great substitution with chunks of fresh vegetables.

Lamb CurryBrett ordered the Lamb Curry – boneless pieces of lamb mixed in a sauce of garlic, ginger, onions and spices. You ask for various levels of heat to your dish – he asked for a medium. It left a nice little spice on your tongue, but not enough that you’re in pain while eating.

Assembed plate at Passage to IndiaNaan, while very flavorful on its own, goes perfectly with any Indian meal because it can sop up any of the rich sauces. You can also see in the picture that the vegetables from the Aloo Matter are cooked, but not falling apart. So, it wasn’t like eating mashed potatoes and peas. You could tell what you were getting in each bite.

Overall, Passage to India was a solid restaurant. There were a few times we had issues communicating with our server but it wasn’t troublesome to the point that we wouldn’t come back. Brett also received a free cup of Indian tea. Mixed with a little cream and sugar, it made the perfect little chai to accompany our meal.

Learn more about Passage to India (mostly their menu) at www.passageindia.com.

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