A Bit Of Spice

TAKEOUT

November 02, 2005|By SAM SESSA | SAM SESSA,SUN REPORTER

Traditional Indian food usually has twice the spice of what local Indian restaurants offer. To get the eye-watering effect some Indians love, you'll have to ask for your order to bemade extra-spicy. Here are some not-so-fiery but still delicious choices in the Mount Vernon area:

AKBAR

RESTAURANT

823 N. Charles St.

410-539-0944

HOURS // 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.Monday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday; noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday; noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday

For something a little heavier, order the lamb biryani, $13.95. Akbar doesn't include the item on itsmenu, butwillmake it if you ask.

The restaurantmixes soft, nonfatty pieces of lamb with rice and onions to create a hearty and juicy dish. The naan, $1.75, comes singed on the surface and fluffy in the middle.

KUMARI

911 N. Charles St.

410-547-1600

HOURS // 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Try the veggie samosas, $2.95, a potatowedge, peas and spices wrapped in dough and fried just long enough to add a golden tint to the crispy outer shell. The meat samosas, $3.95 at this Indian and Nepalese restaurant, substitute ground lamb andmutton for the potato but aren't tender enough to justify the extra dollar.

Two pieces come with each order, along with a sweet dipping sauce and a surprisingly spicy mint chutney sauce. For its kheer (rice pudding), Kumari adds raisins and a hint of cinnamon to themilk-and-ricemix for a sweet ending.

MUGHAL GARDEN

920 Charles St.

410-547-0001

HOURS // 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.Monday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Mughal keeps its rice from clumping with a dollop of oil, and throws in a handful of cumin seeds for flavor. The thick soup of onions, oils and spices in the chicken curry, $13.60, could easily cloak themeat's taste. Instead, the colorful stew accentuates the chunks of chicken.

Know of a good carryout place? Let us hear about it. Write to sam.sessa@baltsun.com.

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