As some may recall it was very warm last Friday evening and with the sun splitting the stones, as they say, making it very hard even think of eating or preparing a meal.
Having just finished an eight hour shift the last thing I wanted was to cook at home. Luckily, Ram Chamoli, chef/owner of Dawat Indian Restaurant in Claremorris, had invited Julie and I to sample his fare.
With temperatures high outside, it was lovely to be seated in the shade. Dawat is situated in the square and the restaurant is upstairs. We were seated at a window table, overlooking the hustle bustle outside.
Ram’s son Balram was our host, and quickly brought us a menu and glasses of iced sparkling water, which was really appreciated.
While we looked over the menu, Balram brought us a basket of crisp poppadoms, with three dips. The poppadoms were light and delicious and the dips, onion, mango and mint, all unique in their own way. The mango was sweet, the onion, red, tangy and spicy and the minted yoghurt sharp and tasty. A lovely way to start a meal.
I have eaten in Dawat before as there is also one in Castlebar, so we decided to share a mixed vegetarian platter as a starter.
This came out sizzling, on a bed of onions and the presentation was amazing.
The vegetable samosas were homemade, crumbly pastry with a lightly spiced filling, really tasty, as was the onion Bhaji, which is onions, cumin and anni seeds cooked in gram flour, which paired well with the raita dip.
We also had Aloo Tikki which was a potato, pea and chilli fritter, crisp outside with an undercurrent of heat very different but lovely.
I rarely get to taste totally new foods so the Cashew nut roll was a real pleasure - ginger, garlic, cheese, nuts and vegetables, again in a light spice an experience I recommend.
There was also a light spring roll filled with corn and coriander, equally delicious.
I also recommend the sharing platters as a starter to anyone not familiar with Indian food, in order to get a taste of all the different flavours and spices.
Overall the menu is very impressive with a choice of starters and mains, it was difficult to pick something. All the curries are cooked to different degrees of heat, from a very mild Korma cooked in a mild creamy sauce with coconut to the very hot Vindaloo and Kohlapuri dishes that feature fresh chillies, mustard seeds, ginger, garlic and curry leaves.
I decided on Murg Jaipuri as my main course. This is a medium hot Chicken dish with mushrooms, tomatoes and herbs. Again, the presentation was fantastic, served in a heated copper pot. The dish was full of flavour, melt in the mouth chicken pieces, with a nice kick of heat, really tasty food.
Julie ordered Tandoori Shashlik, is a dry spiced chicken skewer dish with onions, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. This came out on a sizzle platter and was accompanied with a copper pot of curry sauce, topped with coriander. Of course had to try some and it was delicious.
Our pilaff rice was colourful, fragrant and very tasty, even on its own, and we also had the most delicious Peshwari Naan bread, which isn’t even on the menu, but is a favourite of mine, Chef Ram will happily cater for all tastes and cook the dishes your way.
The restaurant was slowly filling up at this stage and I noticed that there were quite a lot of takeaways being picked up.
Dawat has been thriving in Claremorris for the last three years so if you like Indian fare, give it a go. There is also an Early Bird menu from Monday – Thursday 5pm to 7pm which offers great value.
Dawat is also open on the main street in Castlebar, above the Next Step near Elvery Sports.
Both restaurants offer a takeaway and delivery service as well as accommodating parties of 25+, at all times with an emphasis on sharing menus with a buffet choice of main course dishes.
To really appreciate great Indian food and its freshness, book a table now. Dawat’s Indian food offers a delicate control of spice (as opposed to heat ), proper cooking and highly recommended.
Catering for communions, confirmations, office parties, etc, call on (094 ) 9372222 or (094 ) 9373777, ,or check out their menu on www.just-eat.ie/Dawat to view the full menu.