The Joint Experience
If you have never been to Indian Oven and are wanting to dip your pinky toe in the curried sauce, be prepared to get SLIGHTLY out of your comfort zone. The first thing you will notice is the fragrance. If you have grown up in Amarillo and never ventured past enchiladas and chicken fried steak, you will take note of the bouquet of spices you have never experienced. It is not unpleasant, just unfamiliar. The second thing that tips you off that you are not at Texas Roadhouse is the background music. It is an Indian pop music that is not disagreeable, but just not the terrible top 40 junk that you hear too loudly in chain restaurants.
Upon opening the menu, you are presented with a list of words that do not resemble anything you are accustomed to. My go-to order is the Madras Chicken, medium spice and an order of garlic naan. Today also included Bhindi Masala. It is okra and a few sautéed onions in a delicious coating. Don’t ask me what’s in it. I have no clue. It is just good.
The Madras Chicken is the star in my book. The spice is just right and mixing it over the provided rice is pure heaven. I would still be eating it if there were more in the bowl. The okra is amazing and the naan is out of this world.
Stop the hate crimes against your palate. Be adventurous. Don’t believe your inner lies. Venture out of your Amarillo Food Rut. If you are that person who hates yourself for going to the same 5 restaurants and never tries anything new, this is a beginner foray: order some samosas, some naan, and some tandoori chicken. It doesn’t get more basic. Or get wacky. Have a vegetarian dish. Have a mango lassi for dessert. Life is short, stop wasting your peak culinary years.
By the way, I still hate bananas.