Answers: about a year; many glowing reviews ; and my Philly outpost is – get this – one intersection and twelve row houses outside of their delivery area. How frustrating is that?
I know I can haul my ass up to
So...I finally went all the way up to
The menu is definitely Northern Indian, so you’ll find lots of unleavened flat breads, and mild, creamy curries . Unfortunately, the bread oven was on the fritz the day of our visit, so no breads were available.
We started with onion bhaji (pakora or fritter), a fried appetizer of onions, potatoes, and spinach dipped in gram flour. Mmm. Fried. I rarely eat fried foods, but, when I do, I enjoy the heck out of them. These fried balls had subtle Indian spices peeking through the grease.
aloo papri chaat
My favorite Indian appetizers are chaats, a savory snack or small dish made with varying puffed flours. We tried the aloo papri chaat made from lentil wafers and topped with potatoes, chick peas, yogurt, and chutney. There’s something about crunchy puffs and creamy yogurt paired with sweet and sour chutney and hot spices that really pleases me. It pleases me so much; I’m declaring
I admit that I’m partial to spicier Southern Indian cuisine over Northern Indian cuisine, but I do enjoy (and frequently eat) Northern Indian food. My litmus test for Northern Indian curries is malai kofta, a mild, cashew cream curry with vegetable dumplings. I’ve had malai kofta as mild as primavera sauce (tasted like it, too – yuk), but I like my malai kofta creamy, yet tangy and spicy.
The navratan korma was the mildest of the curries we ordered – you could have fed it to a two year-old. The sauce was thick and creamy, but bland on the scale of Indian curries. Spice – and I mean heat – levels, of course, are subjective. If you like very mild dishes, or find yourself red and dripping sweat when eating Indian food (and don’t like that), you might want to try
The baingan bharta, a curry of smoked eggplant sautéed with tomatoes, onions and spices was the spiciest dish we ordered and the tangiest curry thanks to the tomatoes and lack of cream. I found this dish pleasantly spiced and smokey, but another found it too spicy. Again, heat levels are subjective.
A kofta ball, lots of peas, one carrot slice, and, what, is that a bean?
Where were the vegetables in the vegetable curries? Yeah, malai kofta never has vegetables – just those vegetable dumplings – so that curry is off the hook. But the navratan korma had about four slices of carrot and a few beans. If the baingan bharta had eggplant, it must have been pureed, or maybe it narrowly missed the spoon that ladled our curry into the bowl. Peas seem to have made it into every curry, but that doesn’t compensate for the lack of substantial vegetables in the curries.
Tiffin Store, 710 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19123