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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

Bawarchi Indian Cuisine, A Feast for the Senses in El Dorado Hills

Nov 30, 2015 12:02PM ● By David Norby

Navaratan Kurma

Good Indian cuisine is distinguished by its cadre of aromatic, heady and intoxicating herbs and spices. Even the ingredient names—cardamom, tamarind, saffron, garam masala—are as striking as the flavors they deliver. I recently stopped by Bawarchi with my girlfriend and was treated to these enchanting tastes.

Once inside, Bollywood clips, Indian hip-hop, college football and sounds from a water feature pleasantly intermingle with the hum of happy patrons. Surrounded by colorful walls, it’s a proper environment for the vibrant, intense flavors that soon arrive at your table.

We started with mysore bajji—deep-fried rice balls that were golden on the outside and creamy on the inside. It was especially fun trying them with the various chutneys served alongside.

Our main courses included navaratan kurma—a mild vegetarian dish with a velvety masala tomato sauce chock-full of vegetables, nuts and Indian-style cottage cheese. A side of garlic naan with its crispy, lightly charred bubbles on the surface and moist, chewy interior served as a perfect spoon to eat practically anything that came our way.

My favorite of the night was the lamb curry—a classic and addictive offering of mildly spiced curry with succulent pieces of boneless lamb in a dark, reddish-brown sauce. Scoop up big, saucy bites of the meat with your “naan spoon,” and I guarantee you’ll be daydreaming about this dish for days.

The most unusual and adventurous offering we tried was the goat biryani—a hefty bowl of aromatic basmati, pungent herbs and spices, and slow-cooked meat that sported a texture somewhere between beef and lamb. The accompanying bowl of raita, a cool and creamy yogurt-based condiment, paired perfectly. 

To satisfy our sweet tooth, we tried ras malai—soft cottage cheese orbs soaked in thickened and sweetened milk, and gulab jamun—spongy balls immersed in creamy cardamom syrup.

As we pushed back from our table, contently full, we left with the sentiment being—dinner was a rich and warming feast of both familiar and exotic flavors that we can’t wait to experience again.

by Jeremy B. Neely. Photos by Dante Fontana
Bawarchi Indian Cuisine, 2085 Vine Street, Suite 102, El Dorado Hills, 916-222-8222,

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