For our second night in Perris, California, we wanted some good Indian food, which didn't appear to be available in that city. Instead, we found ourselves on a 20-minute journey to the city of Temecula to Mantra, which dubs itself as fine Indian cuisine.
The restaurant itself is huge as they typically offer buffet style meals. On this Tuesday night, however, it was pretty empty. They had a vegetarian section of their menu, which is always encouraging, and were willing to make many items vegan. The pappadums served with cilantro sauce were quite tasty.
Many of the appetizers were already vegan like the samosas and pakoras, so we started with those. The samosas were your typical fried pockets filled with potatoes and peas. They were okay. The pakoras were mixed vegetable fritters that were very oily. Both were quite filling.
For our entrees, we ordered Tofu Masala and Bhindi Masala. The Tofu Masala is typically not vegan, but they made it with coconut milk for me instead of cream. It turned out to be a creamy tomato sauce with a lot of tofu, bell peppers, and onions. It was a bit too creamy for me.
The Bhindi Masala, on the other hand, was a delicious dish of fried okra cooked in tomatoes, onions, ginger, and garlic with mild spices. We decided they were better mixed together as I wanted more veggies and my friend wanted more sauce. Voila!
They said they couldn't make the rice vegan, but they did cook the Roti vegan. Other vegan options included the Aloo Gobhi, Chana Masala, Aloo Matar.
We left pleased with our meals. The service was attentive, the restaurant was nice, and the prices at only $10 per entree were just right. I'd definitely recommend this place if you are in or near Temecula.
27645 Jefferson Avenue
Temecula, CA 92590