Chinnar Indian in Berwyn serves up tasty, hearty Northern Indian fare in a comfortable atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety of choices: soups, tandoori grilled meats, chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetable curries, and rice-based biryanis. Just about everything is excellent, mainly fueled by a wonderful balance of assorted spices.
I’m a sucker for the decadent, curry-based dishes such as the zesty chicken tikka masala, the creamy chicken, lamb or vegetable (navratan) korma, or the classic chicken curry. The sauces are always spicy and delicious — so good, in fact, that my true moment of epiphany during each Chinnar meal is when the dregs of the creamy, pungent sauce can be swirled all together with some plain jasmine rice, and slurped up in all manner of messy glory!
Tandoori Chicken, the classic dish marinated in yogurt and spices then broiled in the tandoor to a golden red, is a mixed bag. The leg was wonderfully tender and succulently seasoned, but the breast meat — though also well seasoned — was dry. Once mixed with some extra curry sauce from another dish, however, it was quite reasonable. One of the few disappointing dishes we’ve tried is the seekh kabob (ground lamb seasoned with herbs and spices grilled on skewers), which was a bit rubbery and not really enough food for adequate sharing.
The meat dishes don’t typically have many vegetables with them, so we always try to order at least one veggie entree. The aforementioned navratan korma is a perfect balance of sweet, creamy and tender, but all that cream may cancel out the benefit of the vegetables. Along those same lines, lasooni gobhi is an appetizer of pan-fried cauliflower that is both crunchy and tangy, if a tad heavy. Chana masala, spiced chickpeas cooked with tomato, is an aromatic treat. One can only eat so many chickpeas, but we used the leftovers to create some Indian-spiced hummus the next day. (Fusion!)
A Chinnar meal isn’t complete without a few orders of their house-made breads. Whole-wheat roti is a favorite: oily and chewy yet pillowy soft, best dipped in one of those fragrant curry sauces.
We prefer Chinnar to go (hopefully remembering to print the website coupon), but the interior is clean and elegantly casual. For lunch, a buffet is available for $8.95.
Chinnar Indian Cuisine
416 West Swedesford Road
Berwyn, PA 19312-1164