In simplified fashion, karma is illustrated in the dining room of Karma Restaurant Bar & Lounge each day. Polite waiters are rewarded for their work with tips, and diners reap the benefits of their past acts of kindness while enjoying meals with good friends. The menu offers a full spectrum of traditional Indian dishes, from rich lamb-coconut curry to vegan-friendly plates of yellow daal, all perfectly scooped up with soft pieces of plain, garlic, or olive naan. To bolster the dining experience, the staff surrounds guests with Indian artwork and pairs dishes with classic beverages such as masala-infused chai tea or mango lassi.
Swagat Cuisine of India lassos a tapestry of tastes to curb hunger with a menu of low-fat Indian food prepared in 100 percent vegetable oil. Warm up stiff stomach-based food processors with pre-meal stretches of samosa ($2.95) or vegetarian pakora ($3.95), a gaggle of cauliflower, potato, and spinach dredged in chickpea batter, fried golden brown, and painted with tomato chutney. The lamb korma ($10.95) curbs advancing appetites with a bill of lamb meat simmered tender in an elixir of cream, spices, and nuts. Saag paneer ($8.95), a blend of pureed spinach and cubes of paneer with onion, ginger, and spices, appeases vegetarians, and chicken tikka ($9.95) banishes marinated chicken to the depths of a tandoori oven before it gets a finishing drizzle of tomato-fenugreek-saffron sauce. Guests can anchor any meal with a side of aachar ($0.95), a traditional Indian mix of pickled vegetables bestowed upon victors of dal wrestling matches.
Taj Palace dishes up flavorful Indian fare born from 30 years of culinary experience and homemade recipes. During dinner hours (5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.), the slow-cooked, quickly consumed chicken tikka masala graces plate space with a savory mix of tomato sauce, cream, garlic, and herbs ($9.99). Gently simmered curry with chicken ($8.99) or vegetables ($6.99) hits high notes of garlic and ginger, whereas fish or shrimp tandoori stew stoically in a clay charcoal oven ($12.99). The meat-free vegetable methi, doused in thick onion gravy and methi leaves ($7.99), and the vegetable vindaloo, which is paired with zesty vinegar and potatoes, enable vegetarians to get their fill without gnawing on a ficus ($6.99). Indecisive appetites can sample a little bit of everything during a daily lunch buffet (served 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) that includes complimentary naan and a sweet finish with dessert.
The Taj Café’s tandoor cooks many of the dishes on the menu. Chefs marinate chicken and skewer pieces of fish before tossing them into the traditional clay oven with classic Indian-style breads. Sautéed spinach wraps around housemade cheese cubes in the vegetarian-friendly saag paneer, and basmati rice pairs with seasoned lamb in the lamb biryani. Golden-orange walls blanket the café, reminiscent of the curry powder sprinkled into dishes and patrons' mouths.