Okay, so Sunday night we were going to see The Dead at the Court Theater (wonderful, on through this weekend, we got tickets at Hot Tix)and somehow decided we wanted Indian food before the show. I couldn't see any sign of it until I tried a Metromix search by cuisine and neighborhood and learned that Rajun Cajun is soul food and Indian. And so it is. Looks like a fast food place with formica booths. Limited selection sitting in trays, half Indian, half soul. You can mix and match, so if you want macaroni and cheese and sweet potatoes with your lamb curry, no one will stop you. Very friendly proprieter (I assume it was the owner, Trushar Patel) describing everything and making suggestions. Sunday's Indian selections included a lamb curry, a chicken curry, something called something like cream chicken (a milder curry), tandoori chicken (always available), curried cabbage, dahl, chickpeas, potatoes with spinach and mustard seed, and palak paneer. The special gives you a meat curry (or tandoori), two sides (any of the veggies) plus a samosa and a piece of paratha. The dinners run $6-8. It was plenty of selection for us, though a soul-food eating regular bemoaned the lack of cauliflower. To our regret (especially after we'd tasted how hot the curries were) they were out of raita, but when we went up to the counter looking for it they apologized and instead brought us out a dish of a very smooth whole milk yogurt with a little cumin mixed in.
The tandoori was excellent, perhaps not up to Devon's very best, but flavorful and moist and much better, for example, than the tandoori from Khyber Pass in Oak Park. I'd order it again without hestitation. Of the curries we tried, the cabbage (which the proprieter had recommended) was the real winner. Somehow they'd kept the cabbage closer to crunchy than to mushy. Beautiful shades of yellow, wonderful complex flavors. But the lamb curry was good too. The paratha was ordinary, the samosas fine.
Hyde Park's obviously not the first place you'd go in Chicago for Indian food, but if you find yourself there, especially if you're also hankering for a corn muffin, give it a try.
1459 E 53rd
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