Friday, February 13, 2009

Rasoi - Pawtucket, RI

Delicious is just one way to describe the food at what I feel is one of the biggest culinary secrets in the state. Rasoi, which is Hindi for kitchen, is located in a busy shopping plaza at 727 East Ave in Pawtucket. It’s just over the Providence line as you head north on either Hope St or Blackstone Blvd. Oddly enough, it’s located between The Garden Grill , which is one of our favorite vegetarian dining spots, and LJ’s BBQ - which I find incredibly ironic.

My first time trying authentic Indian was in Seattle with Melissa. Having never tried it, we had no idea what to order - but managed to put together a tasty meal that only furthered our interest in Indian cuisine. When we discovered Rasoi it was like finding the lost city of Atlantis. We knew it was there but never knew what was beyond the doors; in fact we had seen it often because we frequent The Garden Grill. What we didn’t know was how amazing the food is or how beautiful it is inside.

Recently, Melissa and I went for lunch and as can be expected they did not disappoint. We started with Masala Uttapam, which is a grilled rice and lentil pancake topped with onion, tomato and green chili served with multiple dipping sauces- oh, how I love dipping sauces. We didn’t realize that the green chili and onion were cooked into the pancakes so I ended up eating most of this tasty starter.

I love that Melissa doesn’t like some foods and that she only has a limited capacity because I always get to eat a little more. I know that sounds piggish but growing up my mother always told me that there were starving kids in Africa and I shouldn’t take food for granted. Thankfully, I was a very active kid and could burn those calories off, not so much now.

As lunch arrived, Melissa realized that she did in fact want the mango lassi that we spoke about all through the appetizer and judging by the look on her face, it was amazing. We both ordered a Satvic, which is a combination of four specific dishes served with either rice or naan. The four mini dishes that come standard are incredible on their own but when combined they work so well to compliment each other. I wouldn’t bother to change any of them.

Vegetable mango curry was the headliner of my Satvic. It’s a mouth-watering collection of fresh vegetables stewed in a mango curry infused with jaggery and garam masala. Next was saag with paneer, which is a creamy spinach puree that has out of this world flavor. The paneer is a homemade cheese that’s reminiscent of a high quality feta. The third dish is cauliflower 65, which is spicy, marinated cauliflower florets, golden fried and served steaming hot. This is my absolute favorite; I could eat this dish alone everyday for the rest of my life. Rounding out the collection is sprouted moong bean salad. It’s chopped cucumber, tomatoes, white radish and bean sprouts tossed with lemon juice and chaat masala, fantastic for cleansing the palette from the complex flavors that the other dishes provide.

Our server was more than attentive, being sure to keep our water filled and clearing any unnecessary plates or glasses. Because all of the food is prepared fresh for each meal, we always make sure to leave ourselves with a little extra time during lunch. The next time you are looking for something new... try Rasoi, it’s an absolute "must-try" in Rhode Island.

Bob Black
Williams & Stuart Real Estate
870 Oaklawn Ave
Cranston, RI, 02920
Work: 401.942.0200 ext 28
Mobile: 401.261.1599
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