Written on: 17/05/2012 by mikebennett
Thinking I had already sampled the delicate and unique fusion of traditional and innovative fare served at Stevenage's excellent Taj Mahal, I was delighted to have discovered yet another culinary gem. Served on a bed of keema rice the Naga Chill Rogan is simply the most flavoursome curry I have had for a very long time. Unlike many high street 'Curry houses' the chef resists using the pre-prepared 'Mr Naga' chilli oil in this amazing dish. Instead he uses fresh Naga chillies, which when blended into the tomato based sauce, is incredible. Although the dish has been created for those who love their Curry with a kick, you can have this superb dish customised to your liking.
For my side dishes I went for a keema mushroom curry and and a niramish bhaji which had so many subtle herbs binding the vegetables together, including cumin, fenugreek and garlic. In order to counteract the wonderful but slightly explosive effect of the Naga chilli, Rogan the waiter brought me some homemade mint sauce which was delicious and certainly provided the 'calm after the storm'!
My partner, who likes her curry a little milder, ordered a chicken and keema pasanda, which I simply could not resist sampling. It was superb! The chicken was so tender and the minced lamb that formed the basis of the sauce was just to die for. I also cheekily sampled her side dish, which was one of the best aloo peas I have ever tasted. Her stuffed paratha was also excellent. In fact due to the fact that I devoured most of it, she was compelled to order another.
Then we received a special surprise from the kitchen when the chef presented us with his masterpiece. Egg and keema bhuna. Although not on the menu, the Taj Mahal cater for the individual palette, and on overhearing how my partner had sampled this dish in Nepal, it was customised with immediate effect! I have to say the textures were amazing. Although it contained a myriad of aromatic spices the taste retained subtlety, and had an air of traditional home cooking.
Another dish we could not resist sharing was the beef tikka bhuna. The sirloin beef, (which is an unusual meat to find in an Indian restaurant), was so tender, and the perfect companion to the thick spice infused bhuna sauce. Despite all we had eaten, we still managed to devour the entire dish, along with 3 freshly baked rotis, which again had the flavour of traditional home cooking.
As the Taj has a fabulous reputation for seafood, we (at the risk of sounding greedy) ordered a prawn pasanda and a pair of delicious crab cakes, which were just fabulous.
During the course of the evening we had two bottles of Blue Cove wine (one white/one red), and a pint of ice cold Kingfisher beer each. I must say the wine list looked as extensive as the eclectic menu, which has to be the most diverse I have ever seen.
Having sampled the food at the Taj Mahal on two occasions, I am now set to become a regular. It is certainly the best Indian food I have tasted for decades.
As rated by real users