Review: Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine & Sweet ShopAuthor: indianapoliseater | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: Fishers, IN
Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine & Sweet Shop
14096 Trade Center Drive
Fishers, Indiana 46038
In 2013, I’ve given up meat (I still eat seafood). Yes, considering my history of meat gluttony on this blog, that is a strange decision. The reason I’ve done it though is not because I’m against meat or for any particular health reasons, but more to challenge myself to see if I can actually stick to it. It’s a small battle against myself to see if I still have the will power to stick to any sort of decision I’ve made.
Anyway, since I am abstaining from meat, it’s tough to find places that have non-meat dishes outside of the typical salads, fried vegetables or pastas. There is one kind of cuisine that is different though and that is Indian cuisine. Over half the Indian population is vegetarian, so there are a lot of flavorful varieties of food to choose from since they have to come up with varieties with which to feed their culture. Plus, I like Indian food, so I wanted to give this place a shot as it is under new ownership with a new name (there had been two previous iterations of Indian food restaurants at this exact same site, one of which made me violently ill).
Now, seeing that this place had “Sweet Shop” in the name kind of made me laugh, but sure enough, my first sight when I entered the restaurant was this big deli case of sweets (I didn’t get a wide angle shot because I didn’t want to look too creepy marching in here and snapping pictures). I didn’t get any sweets on this trip, but maybe I will some time in the future.
What I Got: Saag Paneer; $8.95. Saag Paneer is an entree, according to the menu, that is “Cooked with green spinach, green mustard, broccoli and cabbage with onions, ginger and ricotta cheese with Indian Spices” (Paneer is cheese and Saag is spinach).
As you can see, it’s also served with a rice concoction that pretty much resembles vegetable fried rice like you’d get at a typical Chinese restaurant. As for the Saag Paneer, it’s certainly not going to win any beauty contests as it was just a container full of green, spinach-smelling sludge. If you believe the statement that states that you eat with your eyes, well, this didn’t look very appetizing.
I do have limited experience with Indian food, so I know that Indian food sometimes isn’t the most attractive thing in the world, but that gets made up for with the flavor of the dishes and this Saag Paneer was no different. The Saag combination was more creamy than anything and certainly had a nice kick to it (I got it at medium spice level, so I can only imagine what hot would have been). The potent flavor of the onions, ginger and other Indian spices (I want to say they at least included garlic and cumin, which is typical) certainly had a nose clearing tendency. That potent kick when mixed with what turned out to be a creamy spinach mixture was a solid flavor combination. The only thing that was odd about this dish was the paneer itself. The cubes of cheese were almost tofu like in that while they maintained their shape, when you bit into them, they basically disintegrated in your mouth like you were letting the air out of a balloon, which was certainly different. It definitely was not anything like your Super Bowl party tray cheese cube, that is for sure. That said, the flavor was fine and salty, but just the texture of it was different.
The rice was pretty much as you’d expect and provided something nice to mix with the Saag Paneer. I won’t spend much time on it other than that since it wouldn’t be worth my time to get too descriptive.
Would I Buy It Again? Yeah, I suppose I would. This certainly was not wonderful by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a decent meal with a very large portion that would definitely fill a person up. If I had to compare this to something American-ized, I would say that this sort of reminded me of the creamed spinach that you can get at Boston Market and since that is my favorite thing at Boston Market, that is a compliment for this Saag Paneer. Assuming my vegetarian quest/challenge continues, if I order this again, I think I’ll drop the Paneer and just stick with the Saag. One other positive aspect of this experience was that this did not make me sick like one of the previous Indian iterations in this location did and that is ALWAYS a positive.