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I had high hopes for Swagat being that simple, home-cooked style Indian restaurant I've been searching for. Unfortunately, this place not only serves generic food, but the food is heavy, low on flavor, and the restaurant itself is depressing. Vegans also beware: they put cream in every dish, so ask them to leave it out. Avoid the rice, as well, which is made with ghee.

The restaurant consists of one small, dark room with rickety tables and chairs. There's little decoration to speak of, other than some photos of India. The space is low-lit, but not in a romantic, hip way; here it just feels sad and tired.

The kitchen door was open so the few of us diners could see the disorganized and shady space where all the food is made. There seemed to be a lot of confusion going on.

I had the channa masala (chickpea curry) ($10) and the aloo gobi mattar (potatoes, cauliflower and peas) ($10). Amazingly, they were out of the baigan (eggplant) so I couldn't order that.

As noted before, they put cream in every dish, which is both depressing and also surprising (the dishes I ordered traditionally are not made with cream, so they must be trying to cater to fattier American tastes).

I hated both dishes. The channa masala was an oily mess that I could barely take a few bites of before feeling revolted. The aloo gobi mattar was passable, at best, and was missing one of the main ingredients: mattar (peas).

As can be expected with Indian restaurants, they didn't have an option for brown rice, and the rice they do serve is laced with dairy.

In summary, Swagat makes terrible food and has bleak atmosphere. If you're looking for good North Indian food, try Zaroka in New Haven; if you want good South Indian food, try Thali Too, also in New Haven.

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