The exotic taste of Indian cuisine in coastal Maine

Posted by Erin Dillon

I have lived on the coast of Maine for my entire life and I absolutely hate lobster; luckily the restaurants surrounding me offer much more than just seafood and chowder.

Portland and its suburbs have every cuisine imaginable, and it is all delicious. Bombay Mahal is no exception. Brunswick, Maine is about a 30 minute drive north from Portland. Maine Street is bustling with shops, cafés, galleries and plenty of Bowdoin students.

Among the countless restaurants is Bombay Mahal, an authentic and cozy Indian restaurant.

Bina and Raj Sharma opened Bombay Mahal 20 years ago, and it has been thriving among the locals ever since.

Bina and Raj go beyond average customer service by making friendly conversation and asking every patron where he or she is from. At Bombay Mahal every customer is treated like part of the Sharma family.

As I walk in I am transported from a frigid and gray Maine winter to a warm and lively India.

The restaurant itself is beautiful, dimly lit and adorned with Indian tapestries and lamps. The menu is extensive but not overwhelmingly so. The menu includes traditional rice, seafood, chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes.

My table starts with Dal Paratha, a whole wheat bread filled with lentils, ginger and spices. As an entrée, I have the Shahi Aloo, a vegetarian dish of spiced potatoes sautéed in a tomato onion sauce with almonds.

The food is hearty, so I end my meal with a simple cup of Darjeeling tea. Despite the bill having been paid, Raj still offers us more tea.

It is now nearly 9 p.m. and people continue to trickle into the restaurant. There is no rush, so we stay for a while and enjoy the comfortable and exotic atmosphere.

Bombay Mahal allowed me to momentarily live in India, and hopefully those outside of Maine can experience a faraway meal on somewhere on the east coast.

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