A flavourful passage to India
Barbara Young enjoys the delights of traditional Indian cuisine at India Village in Woodhall Spa.
Situated in the heart of the village on the Broadway, India Village is a well established popular eatery which has long been treating discerning customers to a delicious dining experience in a modern, relaxed, friendly setting.
Whether you’re an enthusiast of all things spicy, or prefer more subtle flavours, this family-run contemporary restaurant offers tempting choices to suit all palates.
The well thought out menu, which appeals to both curry connoisseurs as well as those who prefer to stick to what they know, India Village provides a well balanced choice of traditional dishes, together with some less well known regional favourites from around north and south India, as well as Bangladesh and Pakistan. And if you’re still undecided about what to choose, just leave it to the knowledgeable staff who are always on hand to advise and recommend different dishes to try.
Owner Jamal Hussain has been involved in his family’s restaurant business since he first left school, later opening his own establishment in Horncastle in 1991 before moving to Woodhall in 1995 and then launching the current premises which comfortably seats up to 60 diners, which opened in 2018.
Jamal remains deeply passionate about his menu and working with his team to introduce new dishes, while also going the extra mile to create a sophisticated setting in restful shades of grey and gold, where customers are always warmly welcomed.
All food, including the selection of dishes on the takeaway menu (which you can also order online), is prepared in-house by Jamal’s trusted, experienced team of chefs who pride themselves on using ingredients which are ethically sourced from reputable importers of spices, while also supporting local producers for fresh ingredients, following strict guidelines for traceability.
As well as long-time British favourites such as Butter Chicken and Tikka Massala (which has a vegetarian option), don’t miss trying some of those listed as Chef’s Recommendations which include the tangy Nibu Chicken with lemon zest, turmeric, curry leaves, mustard seeds and garlic, or if you like it hot, try the Naga chicken, lamb or paneer made with the world’s hottest ghost chilli and spices.
Having lingered over our crispy, fresh poppadoms and pickle tray, we opted to share a starter of a mixed platter for two, which features a mouth-watering selection including pieces of chicken chilli coriander, grilled lamb chop tandoori, minced lamb seekh kebab, but for us the star of the show was the Malay Chicken with paneer cheese which was delicately spiced with a hint of cardamom.
On the recommendation of Jamal, for our main dishes we opted for the Chef Special Chicken, which was not only beautifully presented but full of flavour and cooked with ginger, garlic, turmeric, paprika, coriander and pepper, with buttered garlic naan bread and served on a bed of wilted spinach – lush and so moreish!
There’s a choice of naan breads, including Keema and Peshwari, but each is the perfect combination of chewy and crispy and exactly what every Indian dish needs to complement the otherwise succulent and intense flavours.
We also couldn’t resist trying another of Jamal’s recommendation, Khandhani Gust, made from a century-old recipe with tender slow cooked lamb pieces, ground coriander, onions and potatoes, which can be served either medium or hot. Warming and melt-in-the mouth delicious – an excellent choice!
There is also a choice of rice including pilau and herb, but we opted to try the tangy lemon rice subtly flavoured with curry leaves, which proved the perfect accompaniment.
We finished off our meal with refreshingly cool desserts, including Hazelnut Crunch vanilla ice cream and Pistachio Kulfi, both of which proved light and sweet – a perfect way to crown a delicious tasting experience.
Together with the soothing Indian background music, sophisticated ambiance, great food and graceful service, it’s not surprising that India Village is listed in the National Curry Club Guide as one of the best Indian restaurants in the county.
If you want to enjoy a relaxed evening out and sample authentic flavours with a varied and interesting menu featuring well spiced, fragrant dishes, this is the place to go.
For bookings and more information tel: 01526 352223 or visit www.indianwoodhall.co.uk