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India's Kitchen offers wide selection

India's Kitchen in Medford offers lovers of Indian food a quick way to get their favorites with a lunch buffet.

Located at 970 N. Phoenix Road #101 in southeast Medford, the restaurant is tucked into a shopping complex not far from Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and other health care facilities.

India's Kitchen is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., with the lunch buffet offered for $9.95 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

I recently met a friend there for lunch. After a greeting from our server, we were able to go straight to the buffet line and start choosing from a wide variety of cuisine from north and south India.

Diners can arrange their own complete meals that include cool fruits and salads, soup, appetizers, entrées and desserts.

For an appetizer, I sampled the spinach pakora, a crispy, flavorful combination of spinach fried in batter made from chickpeas.

A thick lentil soup with vegetables was warm and filling, but contained too much salt.

India's Kitchen offers a choice of white rice or tomato rice with a colorful orange hue. I made a bed of white rice and topped it with chicken makhani, which had boneless slices of chicken cooked in a traditional tandoori oven swimming in a creamy, slightly spicy sauce of tomatoes and herbs.

For fans of chicken tikka masala (which was not offered in the buffet), chicken makhani is a close match.

Sticking with the chicken theme, I also had a bone-in leg of chicken marinated in spices and cooked in the tandoori oven. The meat was of good quality and had the bright vermilion color of traditional Indian spices.

The buffet includes plentiful naan (Indian flatbread) to help round out meals.

My friend loved the eggplant curry, which she said was flavorful and spicy enough to cause a satisfying burn in her mouth.

She also gave high marks to the beef curry — an unusual item for an Indian restaurant — which she described as tasting like a grandmother's comfort food stew of meat and potatoes.

She also tried an entrée with tofu, but found the tofu to be too thick.

The day we were there, the dessert options were rice pudding and gulab jamun. The gulab juman was a spongy, sweet bread swimming in a clear syrup — slightly reminiscent of French toast with syrup.

For people who want to dine at India's Kitchen at night, the cooked-to-order menu is vast.

À la carte entrees, which include rice and naan, are $11.95 for vegetarian options, $12.95 for chicken items, $13.95 for lamb selections and $14.95 for seafood dishes. For an additional $3, the meal includes several more courses, including vegetable curry of the day, lentil vegetable soup, raita (house-made yogurt with onions, tomatoes and cucumbers), papadam (thin, crispy circles of spiced, fried dough) and dessert of the day.

More than a dozen vegetarian options are offered, such as aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower cooked in spices), channa masala (garbanzo beans in herbs and spices) and paneer tikka masala (house-made cheese cooked in a mildly spiced cream sauce.)

Drinks options are mango beverages, soda, coffee, regular and chai tea, wine and beer.

For more information, call 541-773-6800 or see www.indiaskitchen.com.

— Vickie Aldous

Food from India's Kitchen buffet makes a quick lunch. Mail Tribune / Vickie Aldous