Shahnawaz Palace - Edison, NJ
Happy Curry Week! Twitter says it's National Curry Week, but I'm not really sure what nation they're talking about. I'm just going to assume it applies to the U.S.
To segue into our curry-themed post, I love and hate all-you-can-eat buffets. Love: you can eat as much as you want, and usually a huge variety of food that you can't order at a regular sit-down restaurant. Hate: I usually forget to wear my fat pants.
I particularly love Indian buffets. My life before going to London must have been pretty bland because I didn't eat Indian food then. In London, we happened across this Indian restaurant, Humaira Tandoori, with £5.95 Saturday buffet dinners. I really enjoyed the nights when a big group of our friends would fill the middle table of their cramped dining room and compete to see how many plates we can each put away and waiting eagerly for the servers to refill the naan. Since then, my taste buds have embraced a much wider variety of cuisines. Thank God, because I was really missing out.
Yesterday, we went to a Pakistani restaurant for their lunch buffet. I know, Indian and Pakistani aren't the same and it would be rude of me to consider them the same thing...so let's just say they're related by way of being South Asian.
My first plate consisted of a dollop of everything. I had chickpeas, sweet potato-carrot mush, beef, lamb, chicken tikka masala, fried fish, potatoes, shrimp masala, eggplant, and a lot of other unrecognizable stuff. I topped off my plate with the requisite naan and yogurt sauces.
Everything was delicious, undoubtedly. I had waves of that my-mouth-and-lips-are-burning sensation from the spices, but that was alleviated by the chai and mango lasse. Most of the lamb and beef were bone-on and cooked in stews until the meat was tender. It probably would have been very delicious had I picked chunks that weren't all bone. The chicken tikka masala could have been a bit more flavorful and the chicken itself was a teeny bit on the dry side, but I thought it was cool that you could see the skewer holes in the chunks of meat, meaning they probably roasted it before dunking it in sauce, nice and legit. I really enjoyed the shrimp masala, which I'd never seen before. These growth-stunted - perfectly cooked with a little snap at first bite - shrimp were swimming in a brownish green sauce. I could have eaten a bowlful of them! The one drawback was at the end, my plate was a technicolor puddle and I didn't have enough naan to soak it all up.
Speaking of naan, they had an interesting way of doing it: the naan was rubbed with some herbs, oil, and garlic. I love naan. For some reason, I didn't love their naan so much. Usually naan has its own bready flavor, but their naan was already somewhat overpowering. Also, the texture was slightly different than other naan I've had and loved; it was not as fluffy and had pockets of air inside. Oh well.
I had a second plate of french fries, veggie fritters, fried breaded shrimp, and more naan and chicken tikka masala. Had to pick my cravings.
Finally, dessert! They had gulab jamun swimming in thick sugary syrup and whatever the white version of them is. Gulab jamun is a dense ball of fried dough with a dark crust and a fluffy interior, and it's usually served swimming in a pure sugary sauce. The white balls of dough are lighter, probably not fried, and served in a milky sauce. Both are very very very sweet, but even though I don't have a big sweet tooth, I love gulab jamun and other ladoo (sweets)! I skipped the red velvet cake, cupcakes, and ice cream at the dessert table in order to squeeze in some ladoo for the closer of the meal.
When I came home later that evening for dinner, I was still stuffed to burst, but my dad said he had made chicken curry for dinner. UGH, way to torture me. I waited until my lunch food baby dissipate a little and took a few bites of Dad's chicken curry.
And I had a ton of the curry leftovers for lunch today. Happy Curry Week!
159 Jackson Avenue, Edison, NJ
159 Jackson Avenue, Edison, NJ