26 February, 2011

Some Like It HOT....

Where I live in Oklahoma you'd be hard pressed to find a place that serves Indian food that I would call "great".  In point of fact, my Mister and I drive 20 miles away to Norman, OK every time we are itching for some great Indian food with all the trimmings.  

In Montgomery it’s not so far.  7 miles from Maxwell is as far as you have to go.  On McGhee situated in its own little pocket location is India Palace.  They are preceded only by their reputation.  It’s been described to me as "fixture" and "The best Indian food for miles."  That's a direct challenge to my palate.  Indian is my FAVORITE "genre" of food EVER.

 Bar Area
Wall Art

View from our table

When we were seated I asked the waiter what their signature dishes were...I wanted to try the very BEST of what they had to offer.  Right away we ran into a little problem...language barrier.  None of the wait staff workin' the front had a firm grasp on English.  But, the owner did.  He was taking all the orders, handing out the dinner tabs and ringing people up; everybody else was playing the part of "runner".  He was EVERYwhere in that place.  I swear there was TWO of him!  We eventually got our water w/ lemon from the waiter and he brought us a complimentary order of papad.

Papad w/ mint & plum dipping sauces

I scanned through the menu and quickly noticed this was a far more extensive menu than most Indian places have.  When the owner made his way to our table I let him know I really enjoy spicy and I generally keep it real with lamb in whatever dish I order.  He directed me to the Rogan Josh.  We ordered it all up right...regular naan, onion kulcha and we tried their paneer pakora.  

While we were enjoying our papad we noticed small amounts of Indian men and women were slowly trickling in and heading for the tables next to us marked "reserved".  That's a GREAT sign people!  When someone from India wants to eat at the Indian place you're at, you KNOW you are in good hands.  Bet on it!  They are a very traditional, proper people with their customs.  Food is NO exception.  If it’s not right, they go elsewhere.  I was on the edge of my seat now.  *rubs hands together*  The anticipation was THICK. 

The appetizer made its way to the table...

Paneer Pakora

I'd never ordered anything like this before.  In my head, cheese just isn't a good pairing with traditional Indian flavors.  Ha, ha....silly Amanda.  This was really a fabulous way to start out at a place that was going to challenge my perception of what "great" really is for Indian food.  Paneer pakora is cottage cheese stuffed with mint sauce; dipped in graham flour and fried.  Okay...you're speaking Minnesotan now.  Cheese, dipped....fried....what else is there in life?!  It was just the right amount of savory followed up at the back end with the sweet tang from the mint.  Excellent!  

In the middle of gorging ourselves on the appetizer they brought out the entrees and breads.


Onion Kulcha

Rogan Josh

My first mouthful EXPLODED with flavor!  I could taste it all...cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, cumin; aniseed with the saffron, fennel and red chillies hitting the back of my tongue.  PERFECT!  They hit the traditional Kashmiri flavors exactly as they were meant to be.  The rice was tender and cooked wonderfully.  The lamb....CROSS YOUR EYES moist and juicy.  The naan and the onion kulcha were wonderful.  There was SO much food...much more than we could possibly have finished even if we sat there for hours.  How many ways can I convey that I was in my own private Heaven???

Moments like this come along only so many times in life.  It's like the end of an amazing chess game.  You sit back and know you've been bested (which is hard to do...) but you're glad that it was THAT person that got you.  You admire them; you're impressed.  A tantalizing fight just took place but you didn't win; and you don’t care.  You’d let them beat you again just to dance the dance one more time. 

I'll go ahead and agree with ALL the word of mouth advertising, ALL the travel websites and ALL the other online reviews of India Palace.  It is a fabulous walk through all the regions of India for your taste buds.  I'd recommend it for anyone that has a discerning palate for Indian flavors and textures. 

India Palace on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks Chase! Were you trying to decide whether to go to India Palace or not, or just curious? Just checking...lol...I love to know WHY people read my flog. =)

  2. We live a few blocks from India Palace and order take out from them regularly. Glad you are spreading the word...I always worry about their potential fate because of the location. It's not exactly a booming shopping center. Certainly is a destination rather than somewhere you'd just happen upon!

  3. You're most welcome! So are they. I will admit...I drove RIGHT past it when we went there that night. It was kinda burried back in that shopping center. Thank goodness for Google Maps! =) I believe the only reason that shopping center exists is because they are so good. It brings other business to that section of town. I will always go back to this place and recommend it to people in Montgomery! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your feedback immensely! =)