Taj India, a small Indian restaurant located in Southside, has been serving delicious Indian foods since 1986 at five different locations in California and Alabama under the banner of Royal Taj-Taj India. The restaurant offers an outstanding variety of traditional Indian dishes from the sumptuous cuisines of Mogul Emperors, wholesome Panjabi preparations, the earthy delights of Tandoor (clay oven) with the seafood dishes of southern golden coast and the robust cuisine of the northwest-frontier.
After ordering, a serving of two chapati rounds (Indian flatbread) are brought to the table alongside two Indian chutneys for dipping. Both chutneys, one a sweet/sour tamarind and the other a mildly spicy mint, pair well with the crispy bread.
We chose a new menu item recommended by our server for an appetizer: Fish Pakora. This dish consisted of crispy-fried catfish pieces served alongside more of both chutneys listed above. The fish was battered in yellow lentil flour and rice flour with tangy spices, making it quite flavorful.
On to the entrees. We tried the Aloo Bengan-cubes of fresh eggplant and potatoes sautéed with onions in specially roasted spices. This vegetarian dish was absolutely delicious and paired very well with naan.
We also tried the Goat Biryani, which stole the show. This dish consists of lamb and saffron flavored basmati rice steamed in curry sauce, raisins and roasted nuts. The roasted goat is incorporated throughout the dish and is on-the-bone. The slightly sweet and ever-so-savory flavor are complemented by a latent heat that slowly approaches as you consume this dish. This was truly one of the best Indian dished we’ve ever tried.
To finish our meal, we had the traditional Gulab Jamun, one of India’s most popular sweet. These deep-fried dumplings/donuts made of dried milk [khoya] are dipped in a rose-cardamom flavored sugar syrup and make quite a treat.
Taj India is located at 2226 Highland Avenue South | Birmingham, AL
Monday-Friday: 11AM – 2PM and Saturday-Sunday: 11:30AM – 2:30PM
Monday-Saturday: 5PM – 10PM and Sunday: 5PM – 9PM