A friend of mine who had lived in Hali for the past two years was recently in town and dead-set on a meal at the Taj Mahal. Being a lover of Indian food myself, I was quick to agree to his dinner suggestion. I love Indian food for a somewhat unconventional reason…I love how sloppy it is! You have an infinite number of flavor and texture combinations; mild, medium and spicy, meaty or vegetarian, creamy or tomato based, all yielding to soak into fluffy Jasmine rice or begging to be scooped up by soft, warm naan.
We decided to share a couple of dishes w/ an order of rice and naan. We selected two curry-based sauces; Chicken Saag, a sweet yet spicy flavour pairing with chunks of tender chicken that practically dissolved on my tongue, as well as the Shahi Chana Masal, a rich chickpea curry with a luscious tomato base that made a touch of sweat appear on my brow.
top ~ Shahi Chana Masala
Chickpeas cooked in thick onion & tomato sauce with Punjabi spices.
bottom ~ Chicken Saag
Chicken & fresh spinach cooked in spices & Punjabi curry paste.
We also shared an order of Onion Bhajia; deep-fried’s best-kept secret! These little tid-bits are the more exotic cousin to the onion ring- crisp batter with a slightly chewy bite enclosing the delicate, perfumed onions.
Onion Bhajia ~
onion fritters mixed with mildly spiced chickpea batter.
If you’re looking for a good sharing meal Indian is the way to go…or Thai, or Japanese for that matter. Trying out some new flavours and old favorites both challenges and comforts your taste buds simultaneously. An order of rice and a nice slab of pillowy naan, and you’re good to go!