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Enjoy a World of Flavors this Valentine’s Day at Cinnamon Indian Cuisine

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By Christina Ruotolo
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

If you’re hungry and seeking more authentic flavor for your next meal, why not and take a trip to India without leaving Greenville. Go beyond steak & potatoes, dive into a new culture, expand your culinary palate and you’ll be sure to add Cinnamon Indian Cuisine to your top favorites. Located at 419 Evans Street in uptown Greenville, they are within walking distance to ECU. Owners, Tirath Singh and his wife, Jasvir Kaur are your trusted food guides who will help you find the perfect dish to fall in love with. Cinnamon’s is a family owned and operated business and they always make me feel like I’m going to their home to enjoy an authentic experience every time.

Open seven days a week, they offer customers a wide variety of Indian dishes with unique flavor combinations to delight your culinary senses. They specialize in Punjabi (Northern India) cuisine offering an authentic experience every time. There are over 90 choices including chicken, seafood, vegetarian options, lamb, clay oven specialties, appetizers, soups, salads, and desserts. Traditional food from India is prepared using an assortment of both familiar and exotic spices including turmeric, earthy cumin, and nutty coriander for its aid in digestion, warm cinnamon and nutmeg, and saffron for its rich golden yellow hue. They also use Gram Masala, which is a traditional spice blend from India that adds a depth and richness to many of their dishes.

Valentine’s day is tomorrow, so for those of you that have not made plans, then why not come out to Cinnamon’s Indian Cuisine for their lunch buffet or come for dinner and choose an entree from their expansive dinner menu. Let’s start with lunch. They offer a weekly lunch buffet Monday-Friday from 11:30am-2: 30pm. For those seeking a quick lunch spot, or for those want to have a lot of choices to choose from at an affordable price, the lunch buffet is the answer. If you are new to eating Indian food, the lunch buffet gives you the opportunity to sample from just the items you want to eat, or be adventurous and try them all.

The buffet has dozens of items to choose from starting with a fresh salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and lettuce. Make sure to add a sauce to your salad such as the mint chutney, Raita (raw vegetable dressing), onion chutney, Tamarind chutney, hot sauce, or traditional ranch dressing. Some are clean and smooth, others with a touch of heat or warm spice. Get saucy the way you want. Moving on, you can choose between 2 types of rice; the white Basmati rice or the savory seasoned Biryana Rice.

For potato lovers, you can choose from the Aloo Chana Chaat which is boiled potatoes, chick peas, onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, pepper powder, chaat masala, and lemon juice. It has a bright and fresh flavor with a nice cool onion and sweet aftertaste. Another bean dish is the Aloo beans which are large chunks of potatoes sautéed with green beans and spices. It was rich and tasty. You can always get traditional Naan bread on their buffet, which is a flatbread made with super fine flour and baked to a chewy and soft texture in their on-site clay oven. It is one of my favorite dishes to sample between meals or as a starter. It also makes a great spoon to use to scoop up many of the dishes, which contain thick, flavorful sauces.

Now onto to the more intense and more traditional India dishes the buffet offers. First, try the Sag Paneer. This dish may not be for everyone, but give it a try because you may be surprised how good it tastes. It’s a traditional Indian dish that is made with sautéed spinach mixed with homemade cheese cubes. It has vibrant spinach flavor mixed with a bit of salty from the cheese and many in Indian culture scoop up this unique dish with their Naan Bread.

Next, try the Khadi Pakaroas which are various vegetables fritters like broccoli and carrots that have been dipped in a spicy chick pea flour and then a yogurt sauce seasoned with cumin, turmeric and garlic and then fried to a golden, crispy brown. There is nothing yummier to me than fried vegetables. You get the healthy veggies part with the slightly heat filled crispy batter. Dip in one of those cool sauces to tone down the spice.

The buffet has a wide array of vegetarian offerings like those fried veggies and their rice and potatoes dishes as well as another dish that has chickpeas as the forefront in the dish. The Channa Masala is chick peas sautéed with fresh tomatoes, and seasoned onion sauce. It’s rich in flavor and bright in color and great mixed with your favorite rice. Let’s have some more veggies with the Navrattan Korma, which are mixed vegetables tossed in a spicy creamy tomato sauce. It is vibrant in both color and flavor with its thick stew style consistency.

Moving on to the meat dishes on the buffet. Cinnamon’s is known for their clay oven dishes and one of their clay oven specialties, the Chicken Makhni is a top pick. It’s chicken pieces that have been roasted in the clay oven and tossed in a delicious mixture of butter and tomato sauce. It has a robust flavor that is both creamy and vibrant at the same time. This dish is perfect piled over white rice. Next, is the their most popular clay oven dish, the Tandoori Chicken which is chicken marinated in yogurt and spices and roasted in the clay oven. It comes out with a bright reddish-pink color from the spices. It has intense and bright flavor and the chicken is tender and quite delicious.

For those that want a sweet finish to your lunch buffet choose between the Mango pudding which is creamy and tangy, the Kheer which is a sweet and fragrant rice pudding made with white rice, milk, and sugar, or the Carrot Halwa which is carrot pudding with almonds, raisins, and a sweet cream sauce.

So as you can tell, the lunch buffet allows you to open up your taste buds and send them on a global journey to India and back all in the course of your lunch hour or during a romantic Valentine’s Day lunch.

If you can’t make a lunch date work for you, then head to Cinnamon Indian Cuisine for a romantic Valentine’s dinner and take advantage of their special. This dine-in only offer includes dinner for two and two glasses of house wine for only $60 before tax and tip. No matter how you celebrate happy heart day with loved ones or friends, or if you just want to take a trip to another country for your next meal, Cinnamon Indian Cuisine is the answer.

The weekly lunch buffet is Monday-Friday from 11:30am-2:30pm for only $9.99 and students with valid ID can enjoy the buffet for $8.00. They also provide discounts to our hardworking Police, EMT, and Firefighters. On the weekends, they provide a buffet from 12-3pm for $13.00 that comes with a Mimosa or soda. They are paired with Takeout Pros in Greenville, so you can order from home and have it delivered. Cinnamon's also caters events including weddings. For more information, visit the www.cinnamon419.com or call 252-551-3253

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