Try an authentic taste of India at Taj

Telegraph correspondentAugust 31, 2012 

With more than 1.2 billion people, India is the seventh largest country by area in the world, and the second most populated. But, you don’t have to travel half way around the globe to get a taste of its cuisine.

It won’t be confused for a trip to Mumbai or Delhi, but a visit to Taj Indian Restaurant, located at 5033 Brookhaven Road in Macon, will give you a sampling of India’s flavors.

If you go, I’d recommend taking some friends and trying a host of different dishes. The more, the merrier. From what I can tell, they’re all good.

To start with, order some naan, (an oven-bake flatbread). You can get it in an array of styles, such as stuffed with garlic, cheese or potatoes, or for those more adventurous, with some of that eye-watering Indian spice.

There’s also a sweet-tasting naan that could almost be served as a dessert. It has a blend of nuts, raisins, papaya and pineapple baked into the naan.

From there, I’d welcome variety.

The Chicken Tikka Masala is a creamy, tomato sauce-based dish full of flavor and richness. It’s perfect with some fluffy saffron-flavored basmati rice. Also worth trying is the Chicken Jalfrezi and the Lamb Kabab. Both are cooked with onions and other vegetables skillet style. The chicken I tried was moist and flavorful. The vegetables were much the same. I thoroughly enjoyed the lamb. Ground up with spices, I found it to be very unique and unlike anything you’d normally find in traditional American cuisine.

Prepare yourself for a wait if you visit Taj. Everything appeared to be cooked to order on the spot, and there was a family atmosphere in the restaurant that I found warm and inviting.

One thing I could have done without was the reality television programming in the background, but then again, I hear India is a hectic place, so perhaps a little noise makes it more authentic.

One thing’s for sure though: I didn’t leave hungry.

Taj Indian Restaurant

Address: 5033 Brookhaven Road, Suite 300, Macon

Phone: (478) 785-8540

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays

Payment: Cash, credit

Smoking: No

Alcohol: Yes

Kids menu: No

Noise level: Low

Health rating: 93

Price range: $1-12.95

Rating: Three 1/2 stars

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