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good southern Indian at Rangoli

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good southern Indian at Rangoli

sushimom | Sep 27, 2002 01:25 PM

Rangoli (129 Brighton Ave. in Allston) is not new but they have been very good on two recent visits. My favorite dish was Dahi Wada ($5), described as lentil dumplings in tempered yogurt and date tamarind chutney. This cold appetizer is a soup plate full of thin, homemade yogurt swirled with a delicious sweet tamarind sauce and contains 4 ground lentil patties. When I went there on a Saturday for lunch the lentil patties were still warm and the contrast between the cool yogurt and the lentils was fantastic. Last night the whole thing was the same cold temperature but it was still so good we licked the bowl and ordered another one. Other favorite recent dishes include Chicken Xacuti ($8.50) which is a coconut and tamarind curry, kind of sweet and only mildly spicy and the Mirchi Ka Salan ($10), a vegetarian chilli curry described on the menu as "for brave hearts, returns not entertained". It was very very tasty once I adapted out on the spiciness a bit. It was great mixed with the Chicken Tikka Masala ($11). And don't forget the dosas, a specialty of southern Indian restaurants that is done very well here. It is a crispy lentil crepe about 14 inches in diameter, rolled around potatoes and onions (my favorite) or potatoes and meat. The mango lassi is also quite good, especially as a dessert drink after the chilli dish. The only disappointment in two visits was the kheer (Indian rice pudding) which was too thick and bland for my taste. New Mother India does a better one that is both soupier and richer, and includes giant golden raisins as well as cardamom. Rangoli's is too gloppy for my taste. In any event, it looks like Rangoli is often overlooked, right next to Pho Pasteur and a couple of popular bars. They are always almost empty and they are good. Give 'em a try.

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