The India Global Marketplace is located along the World Showcase promenade between the China Pavilion and the Refreshment Outpost. Last year I tried the Madras Red Curry and as it was one of my favorite dishes of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Because of that, I was pleased to see it return as I wanted to enjoy it again. If you’re looking for more coverage of the festival, head on over to our Ultimate Guide to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
Mike and the girls had other items they wished to try more, so that was, unfortunately, the only item we ate from this booth. I was curious about the Mango Lassi and thought the girls might enjoy it, so I ordered one of those as well. Here in our India review, we’ll cover the Curry plus the Mango Lassi. If you’re interested in the overall India menu, you can find a picture of it below.
Below are our thoughts on this dish and beverage from India.
Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas, and Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice – $5.00
For the price, this is one of the best values we encountered at the Festival due to the sheer size of the portion given. Granted, a good part of this rice, but the complexity of the curry and the quality of the dish more than justifies the price in my opinion.
This dish is a welcome relief for me due to my gluten sensitivity. While I can enjoy quite a few dishes, I do find myself having a hard time getting “full” or “satisfied” as I am usually only able to enjoy one item from a few booths. The Australia booth was fabulous as I could enjoy all three dishes there. Of course, I am sharing with my family, so I am not eating all of it. In any case, Mike and the girls were eating a lot more than I was! I looked forward to this dish, not only because it was delicious, but it provided some substance and helped sustain me as we kept working our way through the festival.
Mike and the girls tried a couple of bites of this dish as well. This usually wouldn’t be Mike’s cup of tea, but he really enjoyed it, particularly the spicy element to the sauce and the fresh chickpeas. Anna and Elsa surprised me as I didn’t think they would be fans, but after their initial surprise of the new flavor profile, they both came back for more. I love that the Festival inspired them to try new things and hopefully will serve to diversify their tastes over time.
The curry has an incredibly rich flavor and a pleasant kick of spice. In fact, I believe it was one of the spiciest dishes we tried at the Festival. I like spicy food and find that what the Disney World chefs deem as “spicy” still isn’t really all that spicy (of course, that is totally an individual preference and assessment!). The curry has a good mild heat and is loaded with fresh vegetables. The roaster cauliflower really stands out in a good way. I am not a huge cauliflower fan but love what the roasting does to the flavor. I wished there was even more in the dish. The chickpeas are ladled in separately when the dish is served so they don’t get mushy. I loved this as it gave the dish even more texture.
I also loved that while this dish is filling, I knew I was eating something healthy. Outside of the excellent Spiced Verlasso Salmon at the Active Eats booth, this was more than likely one of the more balanced and nutrient-packed dishes at the Festival. If you are trying to maintain your “real-life” approach to eating and not just have all “vacation indulgences” this is an excellent dish to enjoy from the Food and Wine Festival.
Mango Lassi (Non-Alcoholic, Kid Approved) – $5.00
Since I enjoyed the Curry last year and remembered the pleasant kick of spice, I wanted to have something sweet to balance out the heat. I also thought the girls would enjoy this drink. I wanted to be safe in regard to my gluten sensitivity, so I asked the cast member who was taking my order if the Mango Lassi was gluten-friendly. She didn’t know, and the binder they keep did not have any info on the drinks. She happily called one of the chefs, and they confirmed that was safe. If you plan on having the Mago Lassie and need it gluten free, you need to confirm this yourself with a cast member.
The mango lassi was a thick, refreshing yogurt-based drink, with chunks of fresh mango. All four of us enjoyed this, especially paired with the spicy curry. It was not overly sweet at all, and the mango flavor was strong but not overpowering. I definitely see why this is marked as Kid Approved and I feel like this was also one of the “healthier” options offered at the Festival. Mike does wish it was a larger drink, given the $5.00 price.
And with that, we’ll wrap up our India review for the 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Although we only enjoyed one food item and one beverage, this booth made a strong impression.
While we didn’t order it, the Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa and Coriander Pesto Dips seemed to be a very popular item as almost everyone around me ordered it (I had to wait a few minutes while the cast member called the chefs to confirm the safety of the Mango Lassi). This is a wonderful way to try some of the flavors from the amazing and popular Sanaa Bread Service without going all the way to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So please don’t overlook the India booth as it has a lot to offer.