Out of the Comfort Zone

A top-notch Indian restaurant provided for a quick and delicious dinner for one

Let's be honest. Not everyone is a fan of Indian cuisine. Maybe it's the big bold flavors, or the spice that gets you right when you least expect it, but these ethnic delicacies can be a little off-putting for those unsure about venturing out of their comfort zone. 

A few offerings from Blue Taj (clockwise from top): Roasted masala vegetables, Goan spiced trout,  naan bread, and lamb Vin d' ahlo over Basmati rice

I decided to test out a local Indian restaurant — Blue Taj. A sister restaurant of uptown's Copper, I figured I couldn't go wrong with any dish from this well-liked Ballantyne eatery. I decided to test out two dishes, one my own traditional standby and the other a new venture.

Goan Spiced Trout: Filets of local boneless lake trout marinated in a Goan style Xec-Xec rub and  broiled to perfection

The result: I'll admit, I have never a) ordered seafood from an Indian restaurant or b) learned several of the words in the description. Regardless, I dove in headfirst and ordered this dish. I was very, very pleasantly surprised.  The sauce had a creamy and tomato taste to it while being reminiscent of a masala sauce – a perfect balance with the fresh charred trout. This dish is a perfect choice for Indian food beginners.

Lamb Vin d’ Alho: A Goan style spicy curry made with vinegar and garlic marinated lamb chunks

The result: This is always my go-to at Indian restaurants. I ordered a 5 out of 5 on the Blue Taj spice level and the chef did not disappoint. The rich and spicy flavors of the lamb blended perfectly with the clean and creamy basmati rice. Plus, the warm naan was perfect to sop up the rest of the flavorful sauce.

All in all, I think you'll find that Indian food is not as scary as you may have been led to believe. First, you can adjust the heat level of just about anything at most Indian restaurants. So, if the fear of something being too spicy makes you break into a cold sweat – don't worry. No one has to know you're a little bit of a wuss. Secondly, many Indian restaurants, including Blue Taj, offer lunch buffets on specific days during the week which make for a great excuse to taste a few different dishes and decide what you like before you order a dinner sight unseen. 

 

Categories: Dine & Dish, Food + Drink