Diya and Shuvra introduced me to Ananda, a large and popular Indian restaurant outside of Baltimore. The design and decoration are sumptuous, slightly old world. We sat on a veranda with the doors raised. The fall evening was beautiful. The food is Indian with twists---familiar dishes often sport new ingredients or spices.
We started with these figs dressed in a thick, rich balsamic vinegar. A dollop of goat cheese was served on the side. I am a sucker for fresh figs. The balsamic vinegar made for an inspired offset to their sweetness.
For the main course, Shuvra ordered beef, Diya chicken, and I ordered the lamb korma. The lamb was very tender and the korma sauce perfectly balanced cream with spices. The spinach on the side had a hint of tamale, which worked very well.
Our naan was delicious.
Our dessert was outstanding: cardamom ice cream with masala tea. The cardamom wasn't overly strong---it complemented the cream without fighting it. The masala tea was cool so it didn't melt the ice cream; it complemented both the ice cream and cardamom perfectly. It was a bit like a cup of tea inside out, with the tea surrounded by the cream. This dish captures the spirit of the restaurant---full of new ways to look at our food.