Northern & Southern Indian at Aroma Palace

by Melody Kettle

When I was in college I worked for a man who came from Southern India, his name was Desai. His wife, Lhata, would send us all kinds of southern Indian fare to snack on.

We received packages of spicy naan flecked with fenugreek, yogurt that was sweet and thick and topped with crushed pistachios, and tiny spicy balls. . . . I don’t know what they were, but they were good too.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed all the Indian food I had shared with Desai, I never attempted making it myself. In recent years I have purchased the ready made jars of Maya Kaimal Vindaloo or Coconut Curry from Whole Foods, but I never created an authentic Indian meal.

A few months ago, Hot From The Kettle visited Aroma Palace, 379 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ. When we arrived the lunch buffet was set out, and the diners were filling their plates, for a very reasonable $7.95. The staff were very welcoming and hospitable.

We walked back to the sizable kitchen where we met the chefs, George and Alex. They prepared two Indian dishes, one from the north, Chicken Tikka Masala, and one from the south, Masala Dosa. It was remarkably simple, and quite delicious.

Take a look: