On our way there, I was already psyching myself up for some delicious, flavorful Indian dishes that I'm sure will be served to us that evening. We were one of the last who arrived and the group was already busy munching on something that looks very much like trail mix. It's called Mixed Chevro, I was told, it has a mix of different Indian crackers, nuts and dried fruits. I took a small scoop and poured everything into my mouth, oh I love how the flavor suddenly burst into my mouth. It was delightful! I can taste a little bit of anise seeds, the salty nuts, the mildly spiced crackers and the sweet raisins. Yum! I lately found out that they're selling bigger packs of these Indian snacks and I made a mental note to buy some to bring home.
While waiting for our dishes to be served, I got myself a glass of Mango Lassi. This is a must-order when enjoying an Indian meal. It is made of yogurt and fresh mangoes. A perfect drink to balance off the spicy dishes up ahead.
First came the Pani Puri (Php. 130). It looks like cute, deep-fried round balls that is hollow inside. What made this dish extra special was the mint water that came with it. I was really intrigued what mint water tastes like and following Akun's instruction, we had to pour a good amount of mint water into the ball and eat it whole. We followed and enjoyed the crunchy, mild taste that is so good you'd want to get more.
Following the lead of the Pani Puri, we now have the Chicken Kathi Roll (Php. 280). This looks very much like the Persian shawarma only it has pure chicken meat and no veggies. I also noticed that it's a bit spicy perhaps with the inclusion of curry or a couple of spicy herbs. One order gives you six slices which is good for sharing for a group of 2-3 pax.
I love seafood but somehow, I try to veer away from ordering this when dining at an Indian restaurant. Perhaps this is because I know that their mutton, beef or chicken dishes are superb and those are what I want to try first. So just imagine my surprise when Akun made us try his Amitsari Fish (Php. 420). It's a dry dish with cubes of fish fillet and seasoned with a mix of herbs and spices and topped with fresh onions. It also comes with two sauces but really, the fish is flavorful enough even without the sauce. I love love love the Amitsari Fish that I'm definitely adding this to my list on my next visit.
Getting Curry-ed Away
After a series of appetizers, then came the Rogan Josh (Php. 450).This is a curry dish with mutton, peppers and a lot of spices. It was my first time to try mutton after being told that it is actually very similar to lamb. I took a small piece and I was glad that there were no offensive smell or taste instead it sure tasted like beef or lamb and the sauce of the Rogan Josh was so good together with our Naan bread.
Our friends at the other end of the table liked the Chicken Vindaloo (Php. 350). Which is a tad more spicier than the Rogan Josh but equally rich and yummy.
Aside from the Lassi, no trip to an Indian restaurant would be complete without ordering Paneer. I love cottage cheese and I enjoy the Indian version of cooking this in thick curry sauce or deep-frying it together with a handful of herbs and spices. Either way, it never fails to leave a wonderful mark in my dining experience. That evening, we had Paneer Kadai (Php. 260), which once again was cooked in thick red curry sauce and topped with aromatic basil.
Every curry dish is best enjoyed either with rice, in our case, we had the Vegetable Biryani (Php. 350) which is light and fragrant perfect when coated with lots of curry sauce.
We also enjoyed it with a two types of Indian breads such as the Naan, a flat bread that comes in three flavors: Plain (Php. 100), Garlic (Php. 120) or Pudina (Php. 110).
While I enjoy the Masala Padpad (Php. 60) otherwise known as the papadum. I love the crispy thin cracker-like texture that's topped with onions, tomatoes and basil. Yum!
On our way home, Paul couldn't stop raving about the delicious food that we had. Looks like Legend of India has captured my fiance's heart. :)
*photos by Paul Ang
Legend of India is located at 114B Jupiter street Bel-Air 2, Makati City. Call them at 836-4232.