I must finally admit defeat! No matter what I do I simply cannot replicate the taste of a good restaurant curry. Indian food has become a family favourite of ours over the years but I have to confess that my homemade dishes never have quite the character of a decent restaurant version.
I had one final go the other night and I gave it my all but… it’s just wasn’t the same and I don’t think it ever will be. I follow recipes to the letter, I marinade in advance and I make sure I have all the spices I need but it never tastes as good. I don’t know what it is but the absence of my own tandoori oven to lend the meat that smokiness is one factor that immediately springs to mind!
It’s a little shaming, but friends make similar admissions and in fact there seems to be a general consensus across the country now that not only do we all love a restaurant curry but we will often indulge in the cosy takeaway option too.
I know from experience that it can be a bit of a culinary minefield though. There are a lot of greasy curries out there that are a little heavier on the ghee than a mummy, no matter how slummy, would really like to see her family ingest. Often the best Indian restaurants have a tendency to keep a low profile as well which means recommendations can be a very good thing.
A bit of a bucket-list sort of restaurant for us is Lasan in Birmingham. Of course Birmingham has a great reputation for all things curry and even has its famous Curry Triangle. Lasan is a name you might know as the restaurant was promoted by Gordon Ramsay on his programme The F Word. It goes for a really polished, fine-dining take on Indian cuisine and it looks incredible.
London obviously has loads of great places that do very authentic Indian cuisine too, but a particular favourite is Dishoom. If you’re ever near Covent Garden then head over there as they do lovely Indian-style brunch dishes such as Bombay Omelette and Bacon Naan Roll. The décor is very cool too.
Closer to home, in the South-West, Goa Spice Premier has some very interesting Goan dishes. Their Goan Special Curry includes beautiful chicken tikka, minced lamb and even garden peas in traditional Goan spices.
So dining out is obviously great, but for us these days it’s more likely to be an indulgent takeaway. I find the easiest thing at the moment is actually Deliveroo. There’s none of that rooting through kitchen drawers to find greasy old menus that are out of date, as it’s all just on their website and app.
One of the best things about it is that it eliminates a lot of the guesswork that comes with takeaways. In other words they care about the quality and you’re sure to always get a good curry.
And I know that the coverage in the UK was slightly limited at one time but it seems to have been branching out a lot recently. In fact, a mummy friend living out in the London suburbs was recently delighted to learn that Deliveroo coverage had extended to her neck of the woods! When I last spoke to her she was eagerly planning her takeaway for when her little ones were safely tucked up in bed. And with all this talk of curry, I might just have to follow her lead. Now where’s my phone…?