Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thali of India

My husband and I have gone to Thali for the all you can eat buffet at lunch, which is super yummy, but tonight was our first time for dinner.  We met up as a family there because my daughter won a $50 gift certificate for Thali after I put her in charge of our raffle tickets at the Women Helping Girls auction while I emceed.  She put a great number of tickets in the box for an Indian-themed gift basket because she knows how much her father loves Indian food; I know, she's pretty awesome!

So, we had a lot of gift certificate to burn through, a delicious task.

My daughter started with chicken soup, which had a wonderfully warm spiciness to it with a slightly limey-tomato base with cilantro, onions, and good sized chunks of chicken.  She had the chicken tikka masala (mild).  Theirs is less tomato-y and slightly more creamy than I've had elsewhere, maybe a bit more like butter chicken.  Filled with chicken and lots of onions and green peppers; again, a really warm, spicy sweet taste.

My son had the longstanding Indian delicacy chicken tenders and fries.  He is not a fan of this cuisine, outside of garlic naan, which he could eat all day--as can his sister.  Thali's naan was a bit hit; we had 2 orders.

My husband ordered the tandoori mixed grill with chicken and lamb and more chicken subbed for shrimp (blech!).  It was a lot of food:  traditional tandoor chicken legs and a few yogurt marinated kabobs in chicken and lamb, all paired with onions and green peppers.  And, it came with a side of chicken curry.  He requested medium, but it seemed to be mild.  The curry was a bit sweet for me, though that didn't stop it from disappearing from his plate.

I wanted to add a vegetable dish to the table, so I went with eggplant bhartha (medium)--a smoky eggplant mixed with grilled onions and tomatoes spiked with bright green peas.  It had a dense, rich curry flavor.  I'd never had it before and loved it, as did my husband.   It really packed a kick, so the heat had several layers.  Nice!

As always, I ordered raita.  Thali's is a bit thinner than I like my raita, but it was tasty.

So, an appetizer, three major entrees, a kiddie meal, two orders of naan, and a side of raita--plus a chai and a soft drink--and we left for about $55.  Or, as my daughter noted, dinner "cost" us $5 plus tip.  We walked away with a mini-Indian feast of leftovers for my husband's lunch, too.

The verdict:  "we need to come back for dinner more often," my daughter!

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