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4 Indian places in South London

limster Dec 16, 2007 10:12 AM

• Indian Room, Balham
The Lamb Passanda Nawabi was well made, the pieces of lamb impeccably firm and tender, perfect texture. A fairly good rich creamy sauce, enhanced with pistachio. The lamb was a fine dish, although the daal saag stole the show, great feel to the lentils, cooked to point where they still held a shadow for their shape for just a tiny moment, before they disappear into softness. Between the nubs of lentils, the leafiness of the spinach makes for a great textural contrast, a green flavour contrasting with the slightly nutty flavour, earthy flavour of the lentils. Pretty good overall, with high production values.

• Mirch Marsala, Tooting
A decent ginger chicken, well flavoured and cooked, if fairly basic.

• Zaika, Tooting
A hole in the wall type place, while not meriting a huge rave, was unassuming and decent. Chilli chicken curry used thighs, which scored points in my book, even if the curry was bit tired and not fully revitalized by the microwave.

• Ma Goa, Putney
Originally planned to go for pork vindaloo, to find that they only served a modest buffet on sundays. The pakora was a bit flat and the two chicken curries were decent (a red and a green) -- I liked the green better, more mellow spicing, and the fragrance of coconut milk. The lamb curry was my favourite meat item, deep and earthy, bearing the meaty flavours of the lamb well. I liked the daal a lot, a thick liquid with nubs of lentils, aromatic and earthy, and given a lovely flavour by caramelized shallots. Aloo gobi was a nice rendition, if a touch too gingery at parts, another mixed vegetable curry (aubgergines, peas, snap peas) would roar to life with green chilli and coconut milk, a junglely mix of flavours that I liked. Would be back for the vindaloo.