Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2021

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 22 JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2021 es of Mumbai, is a mixture of crunchy puffed rice, nuts, fruit, vegetables, chutney, and an Indian spice mix called chaat masala packed with cumin, coriander, and fennel. While the spicy salad mostly follows tradition, Gilchrist subbed in puffed faro for rice and tops the dish with amaranth popped like popcorn. Vegetarians eat very well at Taj—the Bhel puri is just one example from a menu that is about half vegetarian and mostly naturally glu- ten-free as well, since Indian cuisine tradition- ally relies more on rice and potatoes than flour. Many dishes, like aloo tikki, skip both meat and wheat. This indulgent potato pancake stuffed with peas and aromatic spices is amped up at Taj—the potatoes are shredded rather than mashed, so when they are fried, they develop a crispy texture similar to a hash brown. Aloo tikki is purely vegetarian, but the light, crispy samosas (made with a wheat flour crust), have options for both meat eaters and vegetarians: Choose either potatoes and peas, or try the butter chicken version. Entrées mostly cover Indian classics— paneer saag, lamb tikka masala, tandoori chicken—all with traditional layers of flavors and long-simmered goodness. But a few dishes, like the mango curries—available with shrimp, lamb, or chicken—are a bit more fusion. To CONTACT 3 Duncan St., Gloucester, 978-515-7337, craft those, Gilchrist blends Indian with Thai, creating a bright tangy dish with flavors of lime, mango, coconut, and Indian spices. E AT + D R I N K Indian pickles; above, lamb yikka masala These hearty dishes packed with warming spices are particularly satisfying in the depths of winter—and they travel and reheat well for takeout. In fact, curries and soups are pre- pared a day or more in advance, so the flavors can meld prior to serving, thus do not suffer from transporting. Of course, samosas and naan in particu- lar are best enjoyed fresh from the kitchen. Patrons want to experience those at their best will find a casual dining room, dominated by a long counter and chalkboards, located in a cooperative space shared with Breakwater Roasters coffee shop and the community nonprofit, Backyard Growers. During the day, there's breakfast (think egg sandwiches on naan English muffins) and Fair Trade certified coffee ordered from the counter. But at night, the lights come down and table service is avail- able in the cozy space. Desserts are also best enjoyed in person— while the mango cheesecake travels well, the mango sorbet and coconut gelato can turn into soup pretty quickly. Besides, at press time, cocktails were not offered to go, and Taj's Vanilla Chai Espresso Martini might be exactly what you need to get through this winter.

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