Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pani Puri at Mango Grove

Mango Grove is the unique place for Indian food in Howard County.

I can't recommend enough an evening where you try the dosas and other southern Indian food.  Dosas are thin crepe-like pancakes that are cooked crisp, then rolled around flavorful fillings.  The masala dosa makes for a terrific starting point, and the special Mango Grove dosa is lacy and different enough that you should bring along friends so you can order both.

If you want to start with a mild adventure, try the pani puri.  Your appetizer will be a plate of crisp, puffed shells and a bowl of cooked vegetables.  With a spoon, you break part of the shell, then scoop in some of the filling.

The beauty of Mango Grove is that you can order the most-exotic items off the menu and know that you're eating vegetables.  This isn't Hunan Taste where I was surprised to learn that "Ox Lung" isn't ox, isn't lung, but still isn't body parts that I order regularly.  The pani puri is a conversation starter, and it's a plate to start if you're splitting with four or five people.  Consider the samosa chat appetizer as well.

Click here for last year's post about Mango Grove.  You can actually make your own pani puri at home if you stop any almost any Indian grocery store.  Click here the 2009 "best restaurants" in Howard County or for my overview of Indian restaurants in Howard County.


kam said...

I love Mango Grove. Last time I was there I had the aloo palak (potato and spinach curry) and it was incredibly good. My husband and I are considering just doing an appetizer and a shared main dish because otherwise it's a ton of food (but then we get leftovers for lunch the next day or two!) so we'll have to consider the pani puri next time.

I'm not quite as fond of Mirchi Wok. Things I've tried have been hit or miss there, so generally if I'm wanting non-vegetarian Indian I'll go to House of India. Suggestions would be welcome, though, if that doesn't go too far off-topic for this post!

BeerGuy said...

That looks fun! Thanks for sharing B.

I usually go to the Indian place (I forget its name) in the center with the Azul 17 and Pho place just off Snowden River Pkwy. and have their matter (mutter?) paneer, big ol' cheese chunks with peas and basmati, favorite Indian dish ever.

Hungry Bob said...

I had Mango Grove's lunch buffet last week after a long break, and found it uniformly very good. Mirchi Wok was closed for some reason so they put a few chicken dishes on a separate table. These dishes were a disappointment across the board. I left most of what I took on the plate. Like kam, I'll stick to House of India when I'm going non-veg. I've also had good luck with India Delight off McGaw.

kam said...

BeerGuy: That'd be Akbar, which is also good, although I prefer House of India.

Hungry Bob: We'll have to try India Delight. Is that the one that changed its name recently? Hopefully it will live despite being in the Shopping Center of DOOM. (I miss Atlanta Bread Company's Bavarian pretzels. ;_;)

Also found the previous posts on Mirchi Wok. If we do go back I'll have to try the chicken/rices/spices dish.

Anonymous said...

Just don't go on a Tuesday. Mango Grove is a favorite of the vegetarians in our family, but we recently discovered that the Mango Grove side is not open on Tuesdays and you have to sit in Mirchi Wok. But in spite of being told that hte menu is the same, Mirchi Wok does not make all of the Mango Grove menu on Tuesdays, such as the crepes. We were very disappointed.

s5 said...

Pani puri actually refers to the puri with a flavored water that is then put into your mouth whole. The puri with mixed vegetables I believe is called puri bhaji.