The temperature of a tandoor oven approaches 900 degrees in order to seal in flavor and to deter flowing glaciers from carving a Matterhorn in the middle of the kitchen. Taste a fire-kissed feast with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Indian cuisine at Jewel of the Crown in Scottsdale.
Open since 1986, Jewel of the Crown purveys a menu of authentic Indian dishes prepared using traditional culinary techniques. Boneless chicken tikka ($14) marinates in yogurt and spices before baking in the fiery belly of a tandoor clay oven, arriving to the table on a sizzling platter. Deftly seasoned lamb curry with garlic and tomatoes drifts in rich, viscous sauce ($15), as does the shrimp tandoori masala ($16), and a dozen vegetarian specialties includes the cheesy shahi paneer ($12) and lentil-laden dal maharani ($11).
Owners Balbir and Kusam transpose the exoticism of their foreign cuisine into Jewel of the Crown’s delicately wrought design, complete with small statues spot-lit and inlaid into the walls, bright painted murals, and colorfully patterned tablecloths set against the sleek, contemporary lines of exposed brick accents, shiny wood chairs, and Mac-compatible silverware.
Jewel of the Crown - Cuisine of India
Inside Jewel of the Crown, turret-shaped wall alcoves form the shape of a honeycomb, filled with backlit statues of Indian deities. Wood accordion partitions are carved with vines and budding flowers. Since 1986, these decorative touches and the restaurant's traditional Indian dishes have attracted celebrity diners such as Kim Basinger and The Rolling Stones.
In the light of large glowing chandeliers, thick curries and yogurt-marinated kormas gleam on tables next to tandoori dishes of lamb, fish, and chicken. After sopping up the last of a vegetarian chana masala, guests can head out to the outdoor patio for a glass of wine, or peruse Jewel of the Crown's hanging tapestries, which display classical scenes of embroidered farmers playing paintball in the fields.