For a fusion of complex spices, ingredients and flavors, India Palace is the place for an excellent taste of Indian cuisine. Authentic from the first step inside the door, diners' taste buds will be put to work with the explosion of flavors.
Indian cuisine is as diverse as its culture, languages, regions and its climate. Every major region of India brings its own unique dishes and subtle variations to popular dishes. Throughout its history, India has been invaded by armies, traders and immigrants from all over the world which have added to the country's culinary spectrum of cuisine; also adding to the complexity of India's cuisine.
Even though dinner at India Palace is an enjoyable time, I had experienced the lunch buffet at India Palace least twice before, so my two lunch companions were eager to sample many of the most popular Indian dishes.
India Palace is situated in a strip center on the northeast corner of 71st and Lewis, and as we entered, Indian music and aroma of Indian spices were our initial sensory experience. Once seated, all three of us ordered hot Chai tea ($1.50) for our beverage (Spices--cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger--and milk, black tea, and sugar make up the key ingredients).
We then began our first trip to the buffet. Besides a decent-looking salad (which I passed by), dishes included Tomato Soup, Vegetable Fritters, Pillau Rice (Saffron flavored basmati rice sautéed with peas, fruits, nuts and homemade cheese), Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Curry, Meat Balls (with light brown gravy), Creamed Spinach, Chicken Massala, Potato Beans, Chicken Biryani, Chickpea Massala and my very favorite, Nan Bread.
I began with Tomato Soup--good, but a little weak, diluted of rich flavor. I somewhat modestly loaded my plate with a sampling of most everything, as did my dining companions. We all enjoyed the Nan Bread (similar in looks to pita bread). Traditionally, nan breads are cooked in or along the side of a Tandoori oven which is a clay oven shaped a bit like a flower pot. Yeast, yogurt, milk, sugar, egg, oil and white bread flour are the ingredients of this delightfully soft and tasty bread.
The Tandoori Chicken (chicken marinated in yogurt, garlic, ginger and very mild Indian herbs) was a favorite among us, the flavors incorporated into this chicken and the sauce, which we poured over the rice, was exotic. The Chicken Curry (boneless chicken prepared with an exotic curry sauce) had a kick to it. Traditional spices for this dish include ginger, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, hot pepper flakes, tumeric).
Generally speaking, in the West, curry's standard spice blend contains cardamom, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin and chillies, while various others can be included, such as ginger, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, mustard, garlic, fennel, and black pepper, to name a few.
The Creamed Spinach was a favorite for all three of us--it was rich with many of the curry spices. All the dishes were delightfully tasty; probably the least favorite for us was the Chickpea Massala (chickpeas with a spicy sauce).
Two desserts are part of the buffet--Mango Custard and Rice Pudding, both of which are worth a taste.
India Palace is always an adventure. I return regularly to sample the diverse dishes from the dinner menu--Soups, Salads, 11 types of Indian Breads, dishes From the Tandoor, along with Vegetable, Chicken, Beef, Lamb and Seafood dishes. Pricing is reasonable, around $8-$12 for entrees.
6963 S. Lewis
Share this article: