My first bite produced a snarled lip and to steal a line from Third Base 'the gas face'. Yuck. Bitter, sour and sweet combined in my mouth awash a flood of iced tea. Well I decided, I would eat the bread. And the chicken. The red smoky flavored chicken. But alas, I decided, Indian food was not for me.
Then a few months later, a group of friends persuaded us to re-visit Indian food. This time we trusted their ordering and indulged in some classic items...Chicken Tikka, Shrimp Vindaloo and Okara Masala. As I cleaned my plate twice I began to renig on my 'protest Indian food' campaign. For I not only had found a cuisine that I had enjoyed but I began to crave it!
Here's the thing about Indian food: If you crave the spices and seasonings of Indian cuisine, you cannot be satisfied with any other dish. There are no American substitutes for Indian food. Sure you can combine sauces and spices and create something that 'hints' at being Indian in nature, but there are secret places on the palate that only the spicy burst of cardamom and ginger, garam masala and ghee can touch...
Ghee..that word is a secret password to the world of exotic cuisine. Butter ghee...think of taking the richest, creamiest butter and clarifying it....Ghee is the fundamental basis for many of India's dishes and it is a rich, creamy divine yellow substance that has to have been formed from the hands of the Hindu deities themselves...
Seeking to fill our recent hankering for Indian, we travelled to Memphis to one of our favorite Indian haunts: Bombay House. Located in Germantown, Bombay Palace is home to some of the most delicious Indian dishes in the Mid South.
If you have never tried Indian food, don't assume that it is all curry. Yes curry has it's place, but there are so many other dishes that you should explore. Bombay Palace offers a lunch buffet that allows new eaters to try a number of Indian dishes in one setting.
As you are seated, you are treated to a plate of Indian flatbread known as 'Naan'. Naan is cooked in a brick oven called a 'Tandoor' and is served hot, garlicky and buttery.
The buffet offer such classic Indian dishes like Tandoori Chicken which is a smokey seasoned chicken grilled in the Tandoor oven. Some of the other dishes we enjoyed were the 'Sag Paneer' which is fresh spinach cooked in aromatic herbs and is served with homemade cheese. Creamy lentils cooked in Indian spices is also available aside the Indian staple of Basmati rice, an aromatic white rice with a smoky flavor.
Other items that can be found on the buffet include 'Bombay Aloo', a dish made from potatoes cooked in cumin seeds and tomatoes; 'Aloo Ghobi' which is cauliflower and potatoes; traditional ginger chicken curry, vegetable curries as well as a number of chutneys.
We finished the meal with a delicious dessert of 'Gulab Jamun', doughnut type balls made from cream of milk in sweet golden syrup.
For a scrumptious meal made from classic Indian recipes, check out the folks at Bombay Palace!
1727 N. Germantown Parkway
Cordova TN 38018