Your favourite old-school dishes have a first-class degree in flavour at Indian Tiffin Room
Friday night curry is an unbreakable tradition in curry houses and takeaways up and down the country, from Bolton to Bollington and everywhere in between. There’s something comforting about relaxing into the weekend with your favourite curry be it korma or jalfrezi, unchanged since 1976.
Familiarity breeds contempt and sometimes we’re so busy looking for the most authentic, ethically-sourced lentil or whatever (guilty as charged) that we forget that there is a reason why these old-school curries have become so embedded in our food culture. People like them.
Indian Tiffin Room goes old-school?
Indian Tiffin Room has a reputation for outstanding, authentic curries but it doesn’t exactly spring to mind when you’re searching for your traditional favourites. Too modern. Too hip. Not be-swirly-carpeted enough.
That’s where you’re wrong – but not about the carpets.
If you’re prepared to move away a micro-step from your usual curry house order, you’ll realise that many of Indian Tiffin Room’s unfamiliar dishes are iterations of traditional favourites. Turns out they’re quite familiar after all – and – as it’s Indian Tiffin Room we’re talking about, the quality is always sky-high.
What’s for starters?
If it’s just not an Indian without an onion bhaji and a chicken pakora to start, it could be if you order a vada pav and a chicken lollypop. The names may be less familiar but a vada pav is almost like an onion bhaji with bonus veg and a chicken lollypop is just deep fried chicken wings shaped like lollypops. I say ‘just’ but the special ITR spicy marinade and the accompanying hot garlic sauce make it anything but mundane.
Tikka chance on something different
ITR curries are like comforting standards with a touch of ITR magic. Swap out your weekend chicken tikka masala for butter chicken. It’s creamier with less of that overly tomato-ey often unnatural taste but it’s not a million miles away from the curry house classic. Think of it as a classy classic.
Or if you’re a tandoori fan, change up your tandoori chicken for dhaba style chicken instead. Dhaba style cooking is Indian road trip food but it’s a lot better than a Little Chef. With dhaba style chicken, you get a similar smoky flavour to tandoori chicken but the dish feels richer and more luxurious. Friday night is the weekend after all – you deserve some of the good stuff.
Lamb lovers can up-level their Friday night feast too with a lamb nalli nihari. This is slow-cooked on-the-bone, fall-apart lamb shank curry and there’s a quality chasm between this and the diced lamb of your bhuna or your rogan josh. However, the aromatic sauce isn’t challenging or overly spicy. It has an easy familiarity that will make this dish feel like your new favourite.
Old-school curries rely on the formula of meat plus sauce so good vegetarian options can be harder to come by. As for vegan classics? Forget it. Not at Indian Tiffin Room. The channa batura is a great chickpea curry with fried flatbread whilst the dal mahkani is a fab version of the lentil staple with kidney beans for added oomph.
A bit on the side
Chips and curry is a culinary classic but at Indian Tiffin Room food doesn’t have to begin with a ‘c’. Try okra fries instead of your fries. Or try jeera pulav instead of your usual pilau pairing. It’s just that little bit more perfumed with cumin but it’s a good team player, going with any curry so it’s easy to share with the rest of the table.
And if your Friday night curry tradition is always served to your sofa, then Indian Tiffin Room is also available on Deliveroo. Netflix and chilli chicken.