Where to eat in Laguna: Ashoka Healthy Indian Cuisine

Sunday, May 25, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-


It's great how travelling can change a lot of your perspectives - including food. Last year when we traveled to Malaysia, we were fortunate to have tasted authentic Indian and Malay cuisine, although in only two establishments. From that point on, I no longer associate Indian food with curry alone as the cuisine is truly more than that!

You can only imagine our happiness when my sister and I discovered an Indian restaurant in Los Banos, which is run by an Indian family. Ashoka Indian Healthy Cuisine is located in Sandrose Place, Ruby St., Umali Subdivision, accessible from Raymundo Gate. It replaced Chubby Habbi's Mediterranean grill beside the old Moonleaf.

They say that you will know when you're near the place when you detect the smell of Indian food. It's proven and true especially when they already have a customer inside with their orders being made.

The place is small but cozy, similar to the setup of typical eateries in town. There are several tables that provides four seats but within the restaurant is a space for a group with a mat, several seat cushions, and a low Indian table.



Near the counter is a shelf filled with bottles filled with spice labeled for its type and some bags of seeds for sale. It shows that the owners are passionate for the Indian spices and food that they want to educate other people about their cuisine.

Coming from its name, Ashoka only serves vegetarian food. Absolutely no meat here, other than veggie meat. Also, alcohol is not served.

The first time we dined there, the couple running the restaurant were there with their son in tow. The wife is a Filipina who was kind enough to give us recommendations from the menu. She recommended the variety of homemade cottage cheese, which she shared she frequently ordered in eateries in India.

And so, I ordered roti and the expensive malai kofta, which according to their menu is homemade cottage cheese balls fried and coked with gravy and cream. Meanwhile, my sister ordered economy thali consisting of rice, plain paratha, potato jeera, dal soup, and papad.

The order took a while to cook and the wife explained that the malai kofta is complicated to cook, thus the price. After some minutes, our order came out.



The malai kofta doesn't look appetizing but the cream and gravy with the crushed potato-like texture of the cottage cheese worked and it was delicious! I asked the dish to not be too spicy but I wished I instructed to add a bit of spiciness for an added kick. It was yummy nonetheless.



The roti, meanwhile, reminded me of burnt tortilla. And surely, the burnt taste is there. Maybe this is a booboo of the cook or another version of roti as the one we ate in Malaysia was chewy and had more volume.

I still enjoyed the roti though, thanks to the malai kofta.



My sister picked the economy thali so we can taste the other dishes. For P125, the plate is worth it. We were able to taste my newfound favorite potato jeera, which is cooked with cumin seeds.

Up to this day, I'm still looking for a place to buy cumin seeds just to replicate the dish. (Yes I know there's an Indian grocery store near Alabang but it's too far... hehe) In one of my versions, I just added fennel seeds, but it still did not do justice to the original version.

During my third visit I think, I ordered their samosa for P40. Although small, it packed great flavors with nuts and potatoes spiced perfectly.


After every meal, the storekeepers will bring you India's brand of healthy meal ender - fennel seeds mixed with sunflower seeds. The storeowner said that it would help aid digestion and freshen breath. Fennel seeds, despite its slight pungent smell, can be refreshing in the mouth. It's even better than sucking a mint candy.



Those who would be going to Ashoka will be in for a treat and they won't have any problems probing the menu before going to the store itself. I was surprised that the store is very visible online with a website, Facebook, and Google+ activated. It is even present in munchpunch!

So go ahead and see what it's in store for you by visiting their website and its social media pages:

Website: ashokaindiancuisine.biz/

Location: Google Maps

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashokaPHIL

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116923522695245321978

Munchpunch: http://www.munchpunch.com/ashoka-indian-healthy-cuisine-los-banos/menu