Sunday, January 16, 2011

Love @ Taj Mahal

Almost all of us know that Taj Mahal is a symbol of love based on its history. The word "Mahal" in Filipino means love (what a coincidence, isn't it?).  In Utrecht, Taj Mahal, is a place situated along the same street as The Dom, where HT couple fell in love with.

What brought our feet to this restaurant was when we had a nice sumptuous homemade indian lunch last Christmas.  HT hubbie and I were thinking of just to wait for 2 months, and we can eat all the indian food we can when we're back in Asia.  Luckily, we don't have to wait for 2 months when mijn schoonzus (sister-in-law) came to Utrecht and we all decided to go Indian that night.  (I tried making reservation using Dutch and was so proud that I was able to manage until before we hang up...the guy said "Thank you" to me in English...Ai yoh...there goes my bad accent pretending to be a local *LOL*).

The menu was very extensive and it really made me confused what to order until I settle down for one of their curry specialiteiten.  I was planning to order the chicken tikka masala but seeing raisins, almonds and cashew nuts in the curry made me think, it was westernized.  When the ober (waiter) heard my order, he crinkled his forehead and told me "hmm, you might want to settle on one of the medium or hot curries in the menu".  At that point, i felt like he looked at me as if i was a huge chili pepper, all red with a green stem on my head.  Nevertheless, i'm glad i followed his lead.

I got myself one of the medium ones...
Chikken Tikka Bhuna - since I was given for a short period to choose on the medium curries selection, I chose this which is close to chicken tikka masala...but I'm not sure what Bhuna means.  But I ask the ober if there's a spicy kick in this dish and he assured me so I went for it.  And, I was not disappointed.  I can smell the herbs, tomatoes and capsicum that they have used.  The curry went well with the basmati rice and the naan that were part of our orders.  But i guess, the medium curries here are considered mild for my thick tongue (from too much eating :D)

The naan here was a bit thicker and quite burnt on the under side from what I'm used to, but still smackingly good!  Sorry no pictures of the basmati rice (long grains)  and the free papad with 3 types of chutneys.

Sorry for the bad shot...Chicken Passanda was my sister-in-law's choice for the night.  This was categorized as mild and this was one of the westernized dish that i was telling earlier.  It is still made of masala curry but cooked with wine.  I'm not sure if indians really use wine in cooking.  Hence, it was on the sweet side with almonds, raisins and cashews cooked with it.  I like how tasteful the dish excluding its sweetness.

Lamb Rogan Josh - cooked Kashmir style.  I was intrigued by the name Rogan Josh and I have to visit my best friend wikipedia again.  Rogan Josh can mean cooked in oil in intense heat or a meat dish that is red in color.  Rogan meaning color and Josh meaning passion, hot or red.  I would love to hear it from somebody who really knows what Rogan Josh is and what's the history behind it (coz it sounded like a hunk bollywood turned hollywood actor).  This dish looked like how it was described, oily and red.  It also had its spicy kick and the lamb meat was very tasty.  The three of us agreed, that this was the best for the night.  I can't resist but to grab a few more spoonfuls of basmati rice to eat a portion of this even if i felt like i'm gonna explode.

We decided to skip dessert and ended the night with just the nice main courses we had and the gezelligheid (coziness).

I might not be an expert in terms of Indian food, but I would recommend this place for its ambiance, service and good food!

And I wouldn't mind having this at home.

Price Summary (in euro)
*from mild to medium
Chicken Passanda - 16.75
Chicken Tikka Bhuna - 14.50
Lamb Rogan Josh - 14.25
*all curries include a bowl of salad with your choice of either naan or basmati rice.

Taj Mahal
Zadelstraat 32
3511 LV Utrecht
Tel: +31302314530

*P.S. Searching about Rogan Josh, I read that Kashmir style, are usually cooked with raisins.


  1. Whoo! Nice! Indian cuisine ftw. Hot and spicy!
    Hmm naan actually tastes pretty awesome with fish head curry :)

  2. Haha, I wonder where you had delicious home made food at Christmas. ;)

    Ironically, just last evening I was asking my wife when we could go to Taj Mahal. As a principle, she doesn't like eating Indian food in Utrecht.

  3. For a while I thought you did go to the Taj Mahal, I would love to see those pics!

    Still, good looking food there, especially the naan. Giving me the naan craving now haha!

  4. Hey Charlene! THey're careful with spiciness here it's not up to our standards :) haha

    Rohan! If i can cook Indian food as good as Rosa...I wouldn't be eating Indian food around...but this place didn't disappoint me, though. Try it and let me know what you think, experts :) And those homemade briyani and mutton curry still haunts us!

    Harris! Haha yeah, i can only go to the Taj Mahal nearby...LOL. I was surprised with the was pretty good...i had low expectations at first.