Growing up in a big city to start and a pretty darn big one to finish, my youth was full of different cultures.
I could travel about 15 city blocks in Chicago and meet people from a half-dozen, or more, different backgrounds.
It meant different types of dress, verbal rhythms, musical preferences and most importantly:
It came at me in droves. Greek. Persian. Chinese. Italian. Mexican. Hungarian.
Then there came Indian.
Ah, India you sure do know how to make a belly rest with a big smile on its face.
If Indian food is heaven, well the Baytown’s Amaravati Indian Cuisine, 4609 B Garth Road, is definitely one of the elevators to take us there.
The food here is absolutely dazzling.
Walking in to the quaint and non-fanfare restaurant you feel that the owners didn’t want to distract us with glitz and glamour. They just wanted to come with good food.
They certainly do.
I kept it simple on this particular day, ordering Karaikudi Curry – a type of dark curry that my chicken took a bath in along with spicy onion tomato sauce and garam masala (a form of hot spice mix).
To say I was pleased would be an understatement. Instead of wolfing down my meal, my mouth alerted me it was imperative I take my time and enjoy the moment.
Supplementing the dish was some rice to rest the entrée with and that perfect soak of curry juices with the rice made my hands so impatient to serve my taste buds I clearly spilled some on my tablecloth in my zealous need to feed myself with this insanity.
One has to order some “naan” which is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread common with cuisines of West, Central and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Caribbean.
I got the plain version with some butter, but it is perfect for dipping into the blissful curry sauces and when it finally reaches its destination – the mouth – it is nirvana.
Don’t like your breads plain? Amaravati offers a number of variations of bread-flavor combinations and they all appear to be just as delightful.
Indian food is an acquired taste for many, but if curries are what worry someone trying the faire, remember: There are a number of curries, which means different tastes, textures and level of spice.
They are brought forward to have perfect marriages with all kinds of meats. Amaravati might be the place to break a longstanding denial of indulging Indian food.
Amaravati is not just a perfect representation of the culture and its food, it is the ideal place to become temporarily fatter and leave without a simple guilt complex.
Yes, that good.
Amaravati Indian Cuisine is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Alan Dale is the Sports Editor for The Baytown Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.