When I was in college, I had a serious problem with my groups of friends. Some were Maharajah friends and others were Jaipur friends. The two didn’t really mix.
No, I wasn’t in with dueling Indian street gangs. I simply had some friends that ONLY went to eat at the Maharajah restaurant near Via Nazionale and some that only went to Jaipur. Both were delicious, but I only got the chance to eat at Jaipur while I was in Rome.
By the way, every time we went to Indian restaurants, we ALWAYS ordered the same thing. Maharajah was a veggie samosa to start, then butter chicken, mixed vegetables, biryani and naan to share. They didn’t even give us a menu. Back when I lived close to Jaipur in Trastevere, there were many a night when I would get palak paneer, butter chicken, rice, a samosa, naan and a large Peroni to go. While it seems like a feast for two, my stomach knows few bounds when it comes to Indian food.
Anyway, we started off our little Jaipur dinner with the complementary popadums, naturally. I must say, their sauces are incredible. The tamarind sauce is tangy, the chutney mildly spicy and I could drink the mint sauce with a straw. I will admit to eating it with a spoon. Next came meat samosas and onion rings, smothered in those delicious sauces. For the main course, we got the house speciality and favorite of my bff Nico, the white murgh. This entailed a huge portion of tender, tender chicken cooked in a magical white sauce with plenty of ginger and other unknown spices. I’ve only seen it so far at Jaipur and it’s the kind of sauce that you just want to take a swim in.
Do I have a personal preference as to Maha or Jaipur? Do I really need to pick sides? Can’t we all get along when it comes to amazing Indian food?