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   TASTE OF INDIAN Indian Cuisine in Las Cruces
2010 - Volume 1 Issue 2
¡Comidas Sabroso!
Cuisines of India
Article: Joe Burgess
Photos: Joe Burgess
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Vino Sharma was born and raised in India and was educated in both India and Western Europe. His career was as an artist and art restorer, having worked with museum projects that included mosaics, frescos, oil paintings and icons, and as an art instructor, at the International School in Belgrade. Vino notes with a smile on his face that his retirement gift was a restaurant in Las Cruces.

    Taste of India, located across from New Mexico State University, was opened four years ago by Vino Sharma.

Taste of India
1001 E University Ave
Las Cruces, NM
The food at Taste of India is reminiscent of northern India. “The difference between the food in northern India and southern India is like night and day,” states Vino. “Northern India has no coconut or pineapple and the spices are completely different. The staple in the south is rice and even the bread is different.”

I was served Tandoori Chicken with slices of onion and bell pepper, a favorite especially among those who are not familiar with Indian food. The chicken is skinless, marinated over night and baked, hanging from skewers in the center of a 400-degree tandoor, an oven with 2-inch thick walls. The thin flour bread, or naan, that can accompany your meal, is cooked by slapping the dough against the hot wall of the tandoor for five seconds.

A delicious lamb curry is on the menu containing onion, spices and herbs, no flower or sugar. The meat is cooked in the curry providing a consistent and flavorful entrée or side. For drinks, the British influence included tea, of course, but the mango lassi is to die for. It is a thick drink with milk, yogurt, fresh mango pulp and saffron for color. Very refreshing…and even healthy.

I get excited about desserts, and India has some great ones. There are the rice and mango puddings and the pistachio and mango ice creams. For a different experience, gulab jamun is essentially cottage cheese balls deep fried and dipped in light syrup and rose water or the rasmalai, cottage cheese in sweetened cream and rose water.

The food here is chemical-free – it contains nothing that is not normal for the body. “We use fresh food whenever possible and make our own cheese, yogurt and even the ice cream,” states Vino. “Indian food is healthy and the spices make it very flavorful. Too often in America, we mishandle our bodies with a diet consisting totally of processed foods. There is plenty of food readily available that is in season and right
for the body.” ///
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