Monday, 31 March 2008
Mother India's Cafe
Is one of my most favourite places to eat although I don’t allow myself to go there often due to it’s badness (high calorie content) factor. However, it had been a couple of months since my last visit, and I had been for a run that day, so off K and I went.
Glasgow has a large number of Indian restaurants and there seems to be some sort of curry monopoly going on. The most popular ones belong either to the Harlequin group, so include the Ashokas, or the Wee curry shop including Mother India and the Café.
I tend to eschew Indian restaurants thinking they cater for the Western tongue and produce curry that is not only in- authentic but also laden with fat. Althoigh not the healthiest I make an expection for Mother India Café (or MIC as it is affectionately known) for two reasons.
It has on it’s menu a couple of authentic dishes, namely masala dosa, puri's and a spiced haddock dish that is quite similar to the one my mum used to make. It also calls itself Asian tapas, serving smaller portions (which are actually still quite generous) whilst encouraging you to order 3-4 dishes each.This was how Indian food was meant to be eaten. Go to any Indian persons house and what you will get is a table with about 4-5 dishes on it, from which you help yourself. Repeatedly.
I think that this is the origin of my not greedy, but curious nature. It’s in my genes to sample a variety of dishes, not to stick to one. At last a scientific explanation!
Now, myself and K can fairly pack it away and we are lucky if we can finish 4 dishes between the two of us along with Peshwari Naan and a chapati. The dishes cost between £3-4 each so represent good value. There seems to be an odd magic at work: no matter how large our group and how much we order (including booze), when the bill is divvied up it always comes to less than £ 15 each. Magic!
Between us and allowing for K’s odd food exclusions we have sampled most of the menu and hit upon, what for us is the perfect combination:
For me: Lamb Saag, Butter Chicken, a chapati, fried rice, some raw red onion with salt lemon and green chillies
For K: Patina Lamb, Methi Keema Mutter and a Peshwari Naan.
The Butter Chicken is ‘oh so good, but oh so bad’ for you. The sauce must contain both cream and butter in large amounts but is so tasty that I try not to think of it. My normally health conscious friend Rachel has been known to order it and eat just the sauce. It is particularly good with the Peshwari Naan. Peshwari Naan is not something I had ever had before K introduced me to it, and for this I am glad otherwise I would have been 2 stone heavier. It is a naan filled with butter a desiccated coconut which when combined with any manner of savoury curry makes a delightful taste in your mouth. The methi keema mutter is quite authentic and is reproducible at home by following the Madhur Jaffrey recipe in Illustrated Indian Cooking.
All in all I would recommend this place as it has a nice buzz to it, the service is fast and efficient and the food satisfying to both palate and wallet. The only downside is that they don’t take bookings and there usually is a queue. I suppose this is testament to how good the food is, as people tend to be happy to wait no matter how long it is. Best bet if you are in a group, is to take turns waiting in the queue whilst the others pop round the corner to Firebird for a pre-dinner drink!