Unique dishes blast the flavors of Asia’s Sub-Continent at West Palm Beach’s Taste of India

Taste of India is in an Okeechobee Boulevard strip mall.

You’ll find rare Desi offerings at this Okeechobee Boulevard strip mall eatery that are full of flavor and worth trying. More familiar dishes on the menu, to be sure, also are aromatic and flavorful.

By Alan J. Wax

Not too long ago, we decided to dine on Indian food in West Palm Beach so friends could pick up a relative at PBI. But where?

A search of Facebook foodie groups produced a recommendation from Indian-American restaurateur Samir Changela for Taste of India on Okeechobee Boulevard, west of Florida’s Turnpike. His description: “The most authentic Indian food I have found in Palm Beach County outside of my mother’s kitchen.”  High praise, indeed.

Our choice was made.

Following the GPS app on my iPhone for our first visit on a rainy Sunday evening we turned into a side street with a blocked entrance to the parking lot of the strip center where Taste of India is located. It became apparent that we had to head further west to Golden Lakes Boulevard to enter the lot. Not a huge problem.

Taste of India, I realized, was just steps away from Grand Lake, a Chinese restaurant that specializes in dim sum that we’d been to a couple of times in the past. But that’s another story.

Taste of India opened in 2010, but has been solely owned since 2019 by Sudhakar Prabhakar, according to public records.  Prabhakar, who got started in the restaurant business in Chicago some decades ago,  is from Natham, India, according to his Facebook page. Natham is a village in the southeast Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Inside Taste of India, the bright yellow walls filled with brass artwork and the colorfully lit bar (late-hanging Christmas or Denali décor, perhaps) in the rear made for a garish appearance.  There are both booths and tables.  After experiencing the springy seats at a booth, we asked to switch to one of the black granite-topped tables and were accommodated graciously by our server. TVs mounted in opposing corners of the dining room blared Bollywood movies.

Kothu Parotta.


Chicken Chutney Wala.

Perusing the menu, whose 100 entrees cover many regions of India from north to south, I saw many of the usual suspects: curries, biriyanis and tandooris.

Chicken Korma.

Tamarind Eggplant.

Special Mduri Lamb.

But there was so much more, including dishes that I’d never before seen on a desi restaurant menu, many of them street foods as well as Indo-Chinese dishes, the latter including fried foods cooked with soy sauce and spicy chiles.

I pondered my order while munching on complimentary papadum, thin cracker-like rice flour flatbreads, and their accompaniment, a trio of chutneys. Be warned: It’s easy to fill up on these.

We started one of our dinners with Kothu Parotta ($15.99), described as a famous street food snack across the Tamil Nadu region of South India, home of the chef.  It was composed of flaky South Indian layered bread chopped and cooked with onions, house-grown curry leaves and a mild aromatic masala sauce with egg and chicken. It resembled a cross between a salad and lasagna. It was served with a cup of a yogurt-based dip known as raitha. An interesting change of pace from the usual food of the Subcontinent that I tend to order, to say the least, and more than adequate for four diners.

We also shared a trio of crisp vegetable samosas ($8.99), savory fried stuffed triangular pastries.

On another visit, we started with a previously unfamiliar appetizer, Tamarind Eggplant ($8.99), a delightful plate of crispy discs of eggplant covered with a sweet and sour sauce of chopped onions, tender chickpeas, yogurt and tamarind (a sweet-sour tropical fruit). We had to stop ourselves from filling up prior to the arrival of our entrees.

As for my entrees, it seemed my eyes were bigger than my stomach, ordering plates that might feed an entire family.

On my first visit, I opted for Mdurai Special Lamb ($29.99), which turned out to be more than a simple entrée. Indeed, it included a green salad, entrée, rice, naan bread and dessert, all on one platter. The star was the incredibly tender slow-roasted lamb in a spicy aromatic masala sauce with curry leaves. It was accompanied by a brilliantly colored, aromatic vegetable rice biriyani, garlic naan, raitha and a tiny ball of galub jamun – fried Indian cheese soaked in a cardamom-flavored sugar syrup. Like other dishes, this entrée originated in the chef’s home region, Tamil Nadu.

Tandoori Mixed Grill, tender and flavorful.

I veered traditional on our second visit, ordering an entrée of Tandoori Mixed Grill ($28.99), an enormous savory platter of proteins roasted in a clay oven. The foil-line platter delivered to the table included chicken tikka – bits of boneless chicken; tandoori chicken on the bone; chicken Hariyali, a Mumbai-style preparation in which chicken chunks are coated in a green sauce of coriander and mint; baby lamb chops; and tandoori shrimp. Tangled up with the proteins were curls of purple onion, bits of cooked squash and cooked carrots.  I’ve never before had tandoori meats so tender and so flavorful.  And it made for three more meals at home.

My dining companions, who were spice averse, were happy with their choices, at least on our initial visit: Chicken Korma ($18.99), chunks of chicken in a mild cashew and almond coconut cream sauce, and a dish from India’s West Coast, Chicken Chutney Wala ($18.99), also served mild with a sweetish curried mango and ginger sauce tinted light green by bits of coriander and mint. The same dishes on our second visit were equally tasty, but the chicken proved to be tough.

When someone recommends a restaurant such as Taste of India as close to his Indian mom’s cooking, it’s hard to ignore. I’m glad we didn’t. And with so many interesting choices on the menu, we’re sure to return for the attentive service and the incredibly flavorful cuisine.

Taste of India

7750 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33411


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