Rose Harissa’s guest post on Mumbai inspired me to at least take my tastebuds on a trip to India last Sunday. My cohort in crime, Laura Hodges and daughter Kirsten Pampu joined us for the afternoon feast.

Tatjana and Kirsten

When I first moved to London it lacked culinary diversity. You pretty much had a choice of English or Indian food, with the exception of the odd French restaurant, so Tatjana has grown up eating Indian food, but this

Chicken Tilkka Masala

was a culinary first for Kirsten. As you can see, we got a little carried away ordering, because we wanted her to get a little taste of everything.

Mango Glazed Baby Back Ribs

The plain and garlic naan (peeking out of the corner of the picture above) came piping hot. The contrasting textures of the soft billowy inside with slightly crispy, smokey outside was just too much for our will-power to bear, but we still found room for the Chana Masala (spicy Indian chickpeas), Eggplant Bharta (roasted eggplant sautéed with onions and spices, and Chicken Tikka Masala.

Lamb Korma

I even forced myself to make a diversion from my usual beloved Lamb Korma (Laura ordered it so I knew I could steal a bite from her when she wasn’t looking), and tried the chefs’ recommendation of the mango baby back ribs – blissfully tangy with layers of spicy richness.

Yellow Chicken Curry

Kirsten went with the more mild yellow chicken curry, but I fear it might have still been a bit too spicy for her. I think she was grateful for the raita on the side to help cool her palate, and then avidly devoured the rice

Rice Pudding

pudding the restaurant treated us to for dessert. I would have preferred it with perhaps some chunks of caramelized mango or maybe a creme brûlée type crunchy sugar topping to break through for a bit more

Laura and Jewels

flavor and texture, but then the rest of the meal was so divine, I had no room for dessert anyway. What culinary tours of the world have you taken lately? It is the next best thing to international travel itself when the travel bug bites, but you lack the time to physically go.

PS. The lunch was a thank you to Tatjana for re-editing my homepage video, and to Laura for helping upload over 200 recipes to the new website coming soon with exciting new tools that are being perfected as I write this!

This post was first published July 13, 2012

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