For a while now, I have wanted to try the food at MyIndiKitchen located in south Lakeland in the Winn Dixie Plaza off of Lakeland Highlands and Edgewood. MyIndiKitchen is like your mom’s cooking when you were growing up, but Indian style. You will find her in the restaurant’s kitchen just like you would find her at home creating the same kinds of dishes she creates for her family. Her dishes are traditional, but does add her own flair to the Indian favorites. Chef and owner, Kamini Kumar is not trained in the culinary arts formally, but by time and tradition. Like most home cooks, including Chef Kumar, whom have opened restaurants, they will tell you they cook for the love they feel when they see people happy and enjoying the food they have created.
Chef Kumar is from the state of Jharkhand in India in the north-northeast region of India. Chef says her culinary influence is primarily the Mughlai style of cooking, but loves the flavors found throughout India, and she incorporates them in various ways throughout her cooking.
If you have read my Dish Picks, you may have noticed I try to give my readers the dish’s flavor profiles giving a true sense of how the dish actually tastes. This is especially true of when I talk about spicey. Spicey can mean a lot of different things. What makes Indian food so unique (and complex) is the combination and varieties of spices that make up the dishes themselves. This is highlighted in Indian food in a mixture of seasonings called garam masala where masalas can vary depending on who created it. It is the total combination of the spices that creates the strong flavors. So, yes, spicey in Indian food can vary greatly. There are some spices that you will see as common Indian ingredients, but it is the combination of spices in the dishes that make them unique. So, lets dive into it!
For those not familiar with biryani. What is it? Simply put, biryani is a spice mix of meat and rice.
At MyIndiKitchen, Chef Kumar marinates her lamb traditionally in a yogurt marinade of salt, ginger, and garlic overnight giving a flavorful, tenderness to the meaty chunks. Chef parboils basmati rice and then adds her own biryani masala (spices of saffron, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorn, chili pepper and fresh herbs, like coriander (cilantro) & mint and golden raisins to add a little sweetness) giving the rice an array of yellow and orange color and aroma that you can almost taste.
The lamb is tender as you would expect as compared to mutton, giving a savory base to the dish without the gamey undertone. From each bite your palate truly grounds to the savoriness of the meat and caramelized onions with a kick from the flavorful spice blends of the rice. Think of the rice as a pilaf, an Indian pilaf that is. Unlike an Indian curry dish, biryanis are not gravy based, but not dry at all. This dish is designed for flavor and moistness when the ingredients are combined by layering, covered and then baked all together creating not only a tasty dish, but bursting with color as well. This dish is spicey, but in my opinion not overly, and on a heat scale, I would say it is about a 3 out of 10. If you are looking to tame down the spice heat, then look no further. Chef Kamini serves raita as a side dish. Raita is made with yogurt and a variety of spices, herbs, vegetables and sometimes fruits. There are many kinds of raitas, but most include cumin which helps the yogurt blend act as a cooling agent. Chef garnished her raita with fresh mint which stood out beautifully to the white background of the dish. With my lamb biryani, I dolloped a spoon or two on my plate adding a nice flavor distraction to each bite of the spicey dish.
If you have not tried Indian food, then MyIndiKitchen is a great place to get an authentic taste and of course, if you love Indian food then you probably already know about this place.
Are you CRAVE’N for Indian food? then you must go to MyIndiKitchen and try their Lamb Biryani!