Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Usually one doesn't associate Dim Sum and Indian Food together; yet, at Rajdhani, there actually is a connection between these two thoughts, albeit in a round about way. Like Dim Sum, there are servers that dispense food from table to table, from patron to patron, plus it's not going to cost you an arm and a leg to eat at Rajdhani. A mere $13.99 plus tax and tip is all you have to pay.
Instead of carts, the food is served from hand carried bowls or platters. Instead of small portions of dumplings, rice noodles and other similar dishes, you will be treated to small servings of various vegetarian Indian dishes, but what moves Rajdhani a little ahead of the pack is the set price you pay above is for an all you can eat meal. Once you're seated, you're given what's referred to as a thali plate, which is basically, a large silver plate with smaller silver bowls. Think of it as an empty canvas from whence the food will eventually paint what your meal will be like.
At each table, you will find a trio of condiments that include tamarind chutney, carrot pickles and mint chutney plus you will be served a glass of chass, which is a salty buttermilk.
As soon as you've settled in, the servers start coming around and serving the food. They basically will keep coming until you raise the white flag of surrender. The complete meal itself will consist of around 10 different courses, with the menu slightly varying each day. What may stay consistent are three different types of Indian breads like the Pappadam, Puri and Chapati.
For my particular visit there with my dining group, we were first served the Khandvi, a pasta made from chickpea flour, buttermilk and sprinkled with coriander seeds and shredded coconut.
Following the Khandvi came what almost seemed like a tomato salsa, but didn't taste like one and another dish that I can't identify. Unfortunately, I didn't take any notes during this meal and the only reason I'm able to even identify some of the dishes now is due to the postings on Food GPS, Street Gourmet LA and LA Weekly.
Next up was Daal, a spicy lentil stew and Kadhi, a yellow spiced yogurt.
Soon after, a trio of stews appeared. One of the stews had chickpeas and paneer cheese as ingredients while the other stew was chock full of eggplant, potatoes and peas. As for the third one, I'm not sure, but at least, you can see a picture of it below.
By now, my empty plate was actually getting quite filled up, but I managed to save some room for the Khichari, a boiled rice dish seasoned with yellow mung beans.
All the food was actually quite filling just with the first pass, although I did get seconds of a few things. When you've had your fill, part of the meal included a choice of one dessert. I went for the Gawar Halwa, which are grated carrots cooked in sugar, milk and cardamon and garnished with pistachios and almonds.
Other dessert options included Besan Halwa, roasted gram flour simmered in milk, sugar, and cardamom topped with shaved almonds and pistachios and Gulab Jamun, fried milk powder soaked in cardamom and saffron syrup.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Rajdhani. I wouldn't say the food is mind blowing, but everything tasted good and so reasonably priced that I'd definitely make my way there again.
18525 Pioneer Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701