Review: Madhuban Authentic Indian Cuisine
When I eat at places like Madhuban Authentic Indian Cuisine I become extremely confused when I hear people tell me that they don’t like Indian food. What the hell is wrong with you people? You must just not know what to order. I once ate an Indian curry while in Malaysia that completely shut all of my mental capacities down from its amazing deliciousness. Madhuban isn’t quite that good, but it is good enough to make me swear when eating it, and I can’t come up with a higher compliment than that. So for all you Indian food haters out there, get over yourself, go to Madhuban, and eat the following:
Madhuban Boise Offers Free Palette Tinglers
When you take your seat, you will find three little jars on your table with spoons sticking out of them. Your server will then promptly bring you a large piece of crispy flat-bread. The flat-bread is heavily flavored with cumin seeds, and is more like a cracker than a bread. It is to be eaten with the contents of the three little jars.
Those contents happen to be different chutneys, and they are fun. The Green is pureed mint (and maybe parsley), with some green chili for a kick Yes, it is hot. But the deep read chutney next to it is sweet and has a nice mild chili and sweet spice flavor which perfectly cools your tongue down after the Green. The two are exceptional while bouncing back and forth between them on your cracker bread. But stay away from the third bottle of chunky pickled disgustingness. I don’t know what the spice is they put in this stuff, but it is truly awful.
Madhuban Boise Serves up Incredible Naan
Next up is the Naan. Naan is a traditional Indian bread that is cooked on the side walls of a very hot tandoor oven. It cooks very quickly and usually gets tiny little char marks on it. Madhuban offers a good selection of plain and flavored naan. But do yourself a favor and order the Coconut Naan. This is hands down the best naan I’ve ever had anywhere. It is loaded with sweet shredded coconut and a touch of cilantro. I thought the cilantro would ruin it, but it was surprisingly perfect with the coconut. The naan is very most, very flaky, has a touch of crunch from the tandoor, and is just awesome. The whole thing is kicked up a level with the melted ghee (clarified butter) they spread all over the top. So damn good!
Madhuban Provides Pungent Flavored Basmati Rice with their Entrees
Pungent indeed. This stuff is loaded with whole cumin seeds and cooked with cinnamon sticks. It’s strong, but works alright with their dishes. I really admire the texture though. The grains are completely separated from each other, and it is not mushy at all, nor is it dried out. This may be due to the oil they toss it with, but I admire a well served plate of rice. I might prefer a touch less cumin seeds, but its good none the less.
Madhuban Boise’s Best Dish is their Butter Chicken
This reminds me of that chicken curry I ate in Malaysia, but is completely different at the same time. Madhuban doesn’t call theirs Butter Chicken, but rather use the more authentic name of Makhani Chicken. Butter Chicken is practically Great Britain’s national dish, and I bet Madhuban’s would do the Brit’s proud.
I ordered mine with medium heat, which was plenty hot enough. The chicken is tandoori chicken (marinated with yogurt, garam masala, and other spices), which is very moist. It is diced up and stewed in an amazing rich bright orange colored curry gravy. The gravy is very savory, has a nice butter flavor, and is mildly sweet.
Above the gravy’s mild sweetness, there are awesome little sweet hits now and then which come from golden raisins which are tossed into the dish. They were fantastic in there. There are also fresh chilies, tomato puree, ginger, and cream present in the curry, as well as some desiccated coconut. Good good good! It is especially delicious sopped up with the coconut naan. Oh my gosh, I think I need to go change myself!
Madhuban Boise Has Some Savory Mughlai Curry
Mughlai is a type of Indian cuisine from Northeastern India. Mughlai cuisine likes the use of flavorful spices, and Madhuban sticks with that theme here. The Mughlai Masala is pungent, savory, and very delicious. They offer several versions to choose from, but I went with the combination meat version to sample them all.
The shrimp was very nice with the curry. It was perfectly cooked as well; soft, not rubbery. I would have thought that the delicate flavor of shrimp would get lost in the pungent spices, but it held up remarkable well and may have been my top choice of the meats.
The lamb’s darker gaminess accentuated the masala flavors extremely well. The red meat chunks just seemed right with this dish. But, I think it’s a number two behind the shrimp for me.
The chicken, on the other hand, was the lost little step-child in this dish. It was cooked great, but just wasn’t substantial enough to hold it’s own in the spices. Skip it, and stick with the lamb or shrimp.
Like I said, the Mughlai curry has a lot of spices going on in it. As such, it is a bit grainy from all of them. But the flavor combinations are wonderful. There are big hits of ginger and cardamom mixed with a touch of coriander. These flavors blend with cooked tomatoes and who knows what else. I gotta tell you, it’s damn good.
Madhuban Lunch Buffet
Perhaps the best way to experience Madhuban, and introduce yourself to Indian food if you’re not familiar with it, is to go to Madhuban for lunch. Their lunch buffet has most things on their menu, including their traditional Indian vegetarian dishes. I haven’t had the chance to do the buffet myself yet, but I’ve been told it is pretty awesome and the best way to experience Madhuban’s dishes.
The Bald Gourmet greatly enjoys Indian cuisine and is pleased with Madhuban Restaurant in Boise, Idaho.
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