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Phantom Gourmet: Soul Of India In Sudbury

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SUDBURY – People go out to eat for things they can’t get at home: bold flavors, the best ingredients, expertly cooked dishes. So the question is, why aren’t you eating more Indian food?

Whether you’re an Indian food lover, or you’re just starting out on your journey, Soul of India on Boston Post Road in Sudbury is the perfect place to start. It’s a bright and cheery spot offering a comfortable dining room, an ever-changing lunch buffet, a full bar, and dinners that are downright delicious.

After years of cooking award-winning Italian cuisine at Da Vinci in Boston, Chef Peppino finally decided to open an eatery devoted to the food of his homeland. So, he brought his brother on board, sent his nephew to train at one of the top restaurants in Bombay, and kept an eye on authenticity.

“I want Indian food real [sic], like back home,” he said. “When we cook, we cook with heart.”

Here’s a little Indian food 101. If you’re a beginner, there are three dishes you should always start with: Tandoori Chicken, Basmati Rice, and fresh baked Naan bread.

Start with the Tandoori Chicken, named after the tandoor oven. That is a big, deep, clay oven that gets blazing hot, sort of vertically roasting the chicken. When this chicken comes out of the oven, it gets to your table and it is sizzling on a hot, cast iron skillet. The outside of the chicken has a distinctive red color, from the turmeric and the cardamom; it’s not spicy. It’s marinated for 24 hours in yogurt and spices, so it is juicy all the way through and absolutely, fantastically flavorful.

Tandoori Chicken at Soul of India (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Tandoori Chicken at Soul of India (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Naan is Indian bread that’s cooked in that same tandoor oven – actually slapped right on the side of the oven. The fresh dough puffs up and makes a super-delicious, crispy flatbread. You can get it in all different flavors. The garlic naan is very traditional. Chef Peppino also does it a few different ways including broccoli naan, and sweet coconut naan with raisins and cashews.

You don’t like Indian food? You’ve never tried naan bread. You use it to scoop up the sauces. You use it to swirl around your plate. You can use it just to stuff your face while you’re waiting for your meal.

Basmati Rice is a key to Indian cuisine. It’s a very, very fragrant dish that you put with all kinds of vegetables, any kind of sauces, curries. No matter what you order, get the basmati! Every grain is distinct, not stuck together, with a little bit of shine to it.

If you like rice and you want to be a little more adventurous, try the Biriyani. It looks like a pot pie, but the dough on top is just hiding a very special, traditional Indian rice dish. At Soul of India the Chicken Biriyani is slow cooked with ginger, lots of spices, packed with flavor, and served with a cool, creamy yogurt sauce.

Some other popular dishes here include the golden Vegetable Samosas and crispy Spinach Cakes served over pomegranate chutney. For something more modern, there’s sizzling Tandoori Salmon, beautiful Tumeric-Crusted Scallops, and tender Lamb Chops marinated in papaya and pineapple.

There are traditional favorites like Saag Paneer featuring spinach and broccoli rabe mixed with cubes of homemade cheese, and Chicken Tikka Masala packed with garlic, lemon, tomatoes, and spices. Scoop it over some rice, dip in your bread, and you’ll experience the true “Soul of India”.

You can find Soul of India at 103 Boston Post Road in Sudbury, or online at soulofindiarestaurant.com.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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