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Originally published March 9, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 9, 2007 at 2:00 AM

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Mehras Indian Cuisine | New owner brings out the familiar — and lots of it

Mehras Indian Cuisine, which occupies a spacious, high-ceilinged spot in the business district of White Center, offers a straightforward...

Special to The Seattle Times

Mehras Indian Cuisine, which occupies a spacious, high-ceilinged spot in the business district of White Center, offers a straightforward, homespun eating experience.

New ownership and a new name distinguish Mehras from its previous incarnation as Moon Indian Grill.

Owner Mehar Ali took over in December, brought in a new cook and redecorated, although the décor — including baskets of artificial flowers, rose-colored lamps and gold doilies — is not the coziest.

The menu will be familiar to devotees of Indian food. The northern and southern cuisine found here is substantial and tasty enough to make it worth a stop if you are in the neighborhood.

Mehras meets vegetarian expectations with such choices as baked Eggplant Bharta ($9.95) and okra-based Bhindi Masala ($12.95).

Mehras Indian Cuisine


9809 16th Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-658-0117

Indian

$$

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 5-10 p.m. Sundays.

Credit cards: All major cards accepted.

Drinks: Mango lassis, teas, sodas.

Access: No obstacles.

Rating: Recommended.

Those looking for meat staples can make a beeline for the chicken curries ($10.95-$12.95); Lamb Tikka Masala ($13.95); or Rogan Josh ($13.95), the classic Indian lamb curry.

Fresh, puffy naan ($1.95) is essential for sopping up delicious sauces. You can also get roti, an unleavened bread, or cheese and meat-stuffed naan ($1.95-$4.95).

Fried appetizers include a spicy samosa and vegetable pakoras ($3.95).

Clay-oven-baked tandoori-style dishes ($11.95-$14.95), such as Chicken Tikka Kabaab and Jallandhari Chop (marinated lamb chops), round out the menu.

The food arrives quickly, though our server was slow with the bill, and the portions are hefty — so save room even if you are tempted to eat up all the fresh papadum (a crisp flatbread) that arrives before the meal, or drink a mango lassi.

The atmosphere may not be the draw, but a trip to Mehras will certainly be satisfying.

Check please:

Vegetable Samosas: You can order these triangular deep-fried pastries with or without lamb. The vegetarian version had a wonderful heat mixed in with the potatoes and peas, but the crisp exterior was a tad tough.

Saag Paneer: Mehras' version of the classic blended spinach comes dotted with firm and chewy homemade cheese cubes. But a light hand with the spices resulted in a bland flavor and texture.

Lamb Korma: Fork-tender cubed lamb comes with a sauce thickened with ground cashews and infused with the delicate flavor of saffron. It's lovely and creamy, and you'll want naan to scoop up more sauce.

Allo Gobu: Cauliflower gets a chance to shine in this vegetarian dish, combined with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and spices. And we appreciated the chef's patience, letting a brown, flavor-laden crust form on the cauliflower florets and chunks of potato. It was hard not to bicker over the last bits.

Vegetable Samosas $3.95

Saag Paneer $9.95

Lamb Korma $13.95

Allo Gobu $9.95

Naan $1.95

Tax $3.40

Total $43.15

Nicole Tsong: ntsong@seattletimes.com

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