Essence of India

Recently we had a great culinary revelation - it's about Indian cuisine. Years back we tried this one Indian restaurant and it just didn't sit well with us. It was a little too spicy and we just didn't like the food. The reason we tried it was inspired by the Food and Flix movie Today's Special, hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

Since we have cut back so much on meals featuring meat and eating more vegetarian fare, we decided to try a different restaurant. Are we ever glad we did. Essence of India is located in Tallahassee and it's now one of our favorite restaurants. Here is my plate from last time we had lunch there.

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Normally I try and stay away from buffets as there is always the penchant for overeating. In this case it's perfect. So many food items I am unfamiliar with and I can try little bits of each one, learning which are my favorites. And yes, one day I did overeat and paid the penalty!

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The owners and waiters are wonderfully friendly and helpful. When I had a question they were great explaining and educating me on the cuisine, the heat and spiciness of certain dishes and the correct pronunciation of the meals. I am a fan.

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This has inspired me to check out a few Madhur Jaffrey cookbooks from our library. We'll see if I can duplicate some of our favorites. So, here's the question....anyone out there a fan of Indian foods who can advice me on a few good recipes that aren't uber spicy? I have low tolerance for too much heat so if it's like eating fire ants, I can't manage that. But any advice would be very welcome!


~~louise~~ said...

Hi Tina!
Isn't it terrible when a restaurant just doesn't live up to your expectations...BUT oh how wonderful when another makes up for it by being not only delicious but having a friendly, knowledgeable staff!!! Sounds like you found a gem:)

I'm a huge fan of Indian food as long as it is't overly spicy. My first thought is that you should try Butter Chicken. I'm not sure if it's in any of Jaffrey's books though. I have a few vegetarian Indian books, I should see if I have any duplicates because, we are hitting the raod it a few weeks and will be heading south. I plan on doing a post but maybe I better email you all the fantabulous details!!!

Thanks for sharing your meal Tina...

Mae Travels said...

"The Moghul Microwave" by Julie Sahni has many Indian recipes that are simplified for use with a microwave oven. This works because they are often meant for slow cooking that's very like microwave results. The spicing is not overwhelmingly hot, though there are lots of surprises. Also I ignore some of the more extreme uses of a microwave oven like using a browning tool in the microwave instead of using a frying pan -- you can just ignore this and use your frying pan! I especially like the lentil salad and some of the cauliflower dishes.

Though the book is out of print you can get it from for as little as one cent plus shipping. Or it may be in your library.

Best... mae at

Vicki said...

I love Indian food! That looks like a great restaurant.

Katherine P said...

Years and years ago we used to do a meals around the world dinner with the kids and it was so much fun. We'd pick a country and I'd try to stick to recipes that were from there and do as many as I could without going crazy. Our biggest surprise was Indian night! Ever since then I've been wanting to try it again but just haven't made the time. Your meal looks delicious and I love the idea of a buffet for foods you're unfamiliar with. I hope you share any good recipe you find!

Tina said...

Louise, I did try the butter chicken when we were at the restaurant. It was good. I get so many books from the library so I will be experimenting. Thanks for dropping by!

Mae, Thanks for the advice. I will see if I can find that book on Thrift Books. I get lots of older books through them. I appreciate it.

Vicki, I can see us visiting that restaurant often. So good.

Katherine, I love the idea of Meals around the World, what a cool theme. Maybe I ought to try that, it would be fun. Of course I will share :-)

Seven Hour Lamb with White Beans <br>{ make that less than 2 hours in the Instant Pot}</br>

It's good to get back to posting about food after a short break. Next year I will be getting a flu shot; this bout knocked me for a loop...