I've been making my way through the menu at the Indian restaurant across the street.
Paul and I share one night off, and we go out. We've been to Nihal three times so far, and are planning to go until we get tired of it or until we move, whichever comes first.
So far, for main courses, I've stuck to the lamb: Masala, Korma, Vindaloo, Roganjosh. (And now you're thinking well, that's four and she's only been three times. Paul got lamb once, too!)
I like the vindaloo quite a bit and it has potatoes in it. The rojanjosh has thinner sauce, but better quality lamb. The Korma is more of a traditional curry (or what I think of when I think of curry). I swear there was coconut milk in it, but all the recipes I've seen say the meat is marinated in yogurt and that's what makes it so creamy. In any case, the meat in the Korma was of a really low quality. It was tasty, but gristly and chewy. I don't know if that was unusual, or if the different sauces are designed to mask the qualities of the meat.
The restaurant also serves Chinese food, and what they call Continental food. I'd like to try the Chinese -- the Indians here have a decent reputation for Chinese -- but not at the expense of my once-weekly Indian. And Continental, it turns out, just means fish and chips.
Paul has mostly stuck to chicken. Last time he got the Chicken Tikka. He likes curry, and Indian food, almost as much as I do. But he's allergic to something in the curry, so ordering for him is tricky. By process of elimination, we think he is allergic to cayenne pepper. So if he asks for his curry not spicy, he doesn't usually have a problem (or hasn't so far).
We've also had the lentil soup, the spinach soup, the vegetable samosas and naan. Oh, how I love naan. And we haven't even tried the stuffed naan yet. We always end up with too much food, but that's fine by me: It mealeftovers for work the next day. I'm still looking for a different appetizer. The samosas are made with a biscuit-like crust, and are pretty heavy (considering that inside the biscuit is yellow lentils and maybe peas?) Dinner for two of us is never more than $20, and it's only that expensive because we're trying to sample different things.
But my absolute favorite part of the meal is the papadam. Oh how I love papadam! They are thin, crisp wafers/bread made of lentil flour. I think they should sell them in the store or a bakery or somewhere. I'm pretty sure they're fried, so that rules out making them at home. (Speaking of Indian food at home: Have you all tried the Indian Roti that Costco sells? Those are easy to make at home and so yummy!)
I think Trader Joe's -- or maybe it was the Monoprix in France -- had mini papadams in the chips aisle. But they were flavored, and they didn't really taste like real papadam. I think they have a pretty short shelf life, like they get soggy if they aren't eaten right away.
So I haven't yet figured out how to get more papadam more frequently. On my way into work, I see a shop sign that suggests the shop sells papapdam, but the store is always shuttered.
As to when I'll get tired of Indian food? I'm pretty sure we'll move first.
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