The smell of hot food can be intoxicating… But the smell of hot Indian food? Even more so. The mouthwatering cuisine served at Raaga is accompanied by outstanding service and comforting surroundings. Paddy Rawal succeeds in making guests fully satisfied – and not only their stomachs – but their hearts as well. He serves the definition of soul food, as you are virtually guaranteed to be singing at heart after having a full belly of this food. There is an extensive menu that provides countless dishes, each providing a unique complex of flavours specific to that plate. Vegetarians and vegans alike will be delighted upon finding there is an array of dishes for them, not only one meager item on the menu.
Regardless of your diet habits, you must try the Baingan Bharta vegan entrée. This curry is fantastic and blows ALL other curries I have ever had completely out of the water. Every single bite you take will send you right up to Heaven with a new, exciting burst of flavour. Typically to provide even more variation in a meal, I will order a few items on the menu and save leftovers for the following day. Indian food is unique in that the flavor only gets better as it sits. The other notable vegan entrée is the Pindi Chana – an intensely spiced meal that embodies the essence of Northern Indian flavor. All of his dishes have genuine, authentic, REAL masalas – Paddy is a master of the art of flavour.
I am not a fan of fried food – nor will I ever be – although the one exception to this rule is the vegetable samosa appetizer served here. The four samosas are paired with a simple, yet incomprehensibly delicious mint chutney. No matter if you have a fried-food stigma like I do, you had better enjoy yourself and order a plate of these. Sometimes I even feel tempted to order two, and I don’t regret it. Another tip is if you are a vegetarian, you can order Naan, although if you are vegan you had better stick with the Tandoori Roti. When ordering you will be asked how spicy you would like your food – like any Indian establishment should do. What is really great about the way Paddy has set his restaurant up is that there is a level of heat for everyone – mild, medium, hot, and hell. Hell is for people like my partner John, who simply cannot get enough heat in a meal no matter where they get it from. If you try this level of heat, and it isn’t enough for you, ask the server to put in Hell x2 or double Hell.
If you order takeaway and would like an alternative yoghurt to go with your meal, check out CoYo – made in Albuquerque and available at the local La Montañita Co-op or at Whole Foods Market (not sure if the smaller one has it, but the main one does). Additionally, we have found the vegan meals to be more filling, and unless you have a voracious appetite, you can often get two servings out of one entrée (when eaten with plenty of rice and roti/naan, of course!). Paddy has one cookbook that was written and released a few years ago, and another is on its way right now. He is also set to open a restaurant in Cherry Creek, Denver, CO on September 1st of this year! Titled “Curry Curry,” this is sure to be an outstanding experience.
In short, if I had enough money to, I would eat there every day without question – I’d actually be eating there right now. A five star review of his restaurant can’t speak the volumes that I feel about his food. I am shamelessly in love.