So Indian food—you might have noticed I don’t have a ton of posts about it. It is a cuisine that I haven’t explored as in depth as I have a lot of others. But friends of ours have suggested to us to go to Amber Indian for a while so we wrangled our gaggle of kids and checked it out together. It was nice being with them because they are regulars at the place and really know what they like. They also were willing to order a ton of stuff (always my favorite way to go) so we got to try lots of things.
They served us some papadum to start—these are thin, crispy cracker-like discs that are sort of like the chips and salsa of Indian food. There was a sweet, slightly tart, thick brownish/purple sauce, a green cilantro-based sauce and a red spicy chili sauce. I enjoyed a bit of all of them. We also had an order of onion pakora ($3), which were little bits of onion battered with chickpea flour and other spices and deep-fried. I liked them because they had an interesting, almost nutty flavor. My son loved these and finished off everything that everyone else didn’t.
We ordered a ton of things like I said, but my favorite things were the chicken tikka masala (13.99) and the chana masala ($8.99). The chicken in the tikka masala was super tender (it was seasoned and cooked in the tandoori oven) and the creamy sauce had a great complex flavor. There was certainly a cream type of base, and there was some tomato as well as a bit of coconut in this one. I really enjoyed it. The chana masala has chickpeas as a main ingredient. This one wasn’t cream-based and had more of a garlic and ginger flavor to it. It had a bit of heat as well. There were also bits of tomato and peppers and cilantro as a seasoning. The chickpeas were very tender and made it seem like a fairly meaty dish even though it was veggie.
We also had the chicken legs from the tandoori oven (they call them kebab chicken) ($7.99). These were also good and were popular with the kids. The meat had a nice flavor from being marinated with herbs and spices and was pretty tender—but not like the chicken tikka masala (maybe the sauce is what made it seem so tender).
There was also a very spicy dish called vegetable jalfrezi ($8.99) as well. These were large pieces of lots and lots of kinds of veggies—things like cauliflower, carrots, peppers, green beans and corn. This was probably the spiciest dish we had and wasn’t my favorite just because it was so spicy. I did like that this dish had a lot more texture than much of the other dishes, which are a creamier, soft consistency.
We had the palak paneer ($9.99) as well which is like a creamed spinach dish with a few chunks of cheese mixed in. The creaminess in the spinach had a slight curry taste as well. You certainly need to like spinach to like this dish, which I do, but it was hard to eat a lot of it—better as a kind of side dish. There wasn't a lot of the cheese. Finally, we had the daal curry ($8.99), which is a lentil based curry with tomatoes and cilantro. This had more of a straight up yellow curry flavor which is my least favorite of the Indian flavors—must be the turmeric.
The naan, which came included with everything (as well as white rice) was really, really good. Naan is a type of bread that is cooked in the tandoori oven until it is slightly blistered. A little similar to pita bread, but way better. You could get garlic or plain and we had half and half. I really liked the garlic one best myself, but I can’t see how you can’t improve almost anything with garlic. Honestly just dipping the Naan in all the dishes is what makes this cuisine. The rice is good to add a little texture, but the Naan, well, it was delicious.
I really enjoyed my meal and was really happy to try lots of different things. I think that is the key for me to get to know Indian food better. I am not sure if I would have ordered the chana masala if it had just been me, or just hubby and I, and I was really glad we did.
Now, since I am trying to delve a little deeper here, tell me where you like to get Indian in Indy, and what are your favorite dishes?
12510 North Meridian
Carmel, In 46032