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India Palace knows how to bring the heat 

click to enlarge Vegetable biryani at India Palace. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Vegetable biryani at India Palace.
It’s past 8 p.m. on a recent Saturday, still more than an hour before closing, when I encounter a fairly sluggish crew at India Palace. Many minutes pass between being seated, ordering, receiving a drink and check-ins. Then comes a late rush of Indian couples and families (“we like to eat late,” an Indian friend later says, laughing) on up to the minutes before closing, and I watch the weeds force the employees to life. Suddenly I’m getting almost too-attentive refill offers on my chai ($2.75), a too-mild, thick milk with unincorporated spices floating on top.

Personable owner (and cook) Raj Kumar appears from the back to run food and lead the rally, and thankfully drop me another ramekin of raita (spiced yogurt) to cool the fire of my vegetable biryani ($12.99), which I’ve ordered “hot.” It is. Very. And a little dry pre-condiment, but still flavorful with a typical, deep Indian spice medley infused into the basmati rice and green bells, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, peas and carrots. Though I’ll likely do one of the meat options next time, as this felt like it was missing a strong protein offset.

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