Amrit Palace

Throughout the past month, spices used in traditional Indian cooking have found their way into many of our evening meals. When Ryan was in England a week ago, he went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant with some of his coworkers and came home raving about the chicken biryani. He said he knew I’d love the dish and we decided to head out for Indian food last night so I could try it out.

Amrit Palace Ocala

Though I’ve loved the at-home attempts Ryan and I have made at Indian cooking, Amrit Palace, a local Indian restaurant, put all of my meals to shame!

We started off with Kingfisher beer.

Kingfisher beer

It was crisp and refreshing and I liked it a lot!

My meal came with a small cup of lentil soup.lentil soup

Compared to the amazing flavors in my entrée, this soup was a little bland. I didn’t finish all of it, but it was a nice little appetizer.

When it came time to dig into our entrees, Ryan and I did a lot of sharing.

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I ordered the lobster curry which was fabulous!

Amrit Palace

The spices in the curry were strong and absolutely fantastic. I am not normally a big fan of white rice (I find it very bland), but when I poured my lobster curry on top of it, I couldn’t stop eating it. Yum!

lobster curry

Ryan ordered the chicken biryani and we both thought it was delicious. We were glad we ordered tandoori roti, an unleavened Indian bread, with our meal because it was perfect for dipping into my lobster curry.

Tandoori Roti

As we drove home, Ryan and I agreed that we will definitely be returning to Amrit Palace in the future. I think this was actually my first foray into Indian food at a real Indian restaurant, and I can’t wait to try more Indian dishes in the future.

Questions of the Afternoon

  • What are some of your favorite Indian dishes?
  • Any fantastic Indian-inspired recipes out there that I must try? Feel free to link up in the comments section!

Comments

  1. Kyler says

    I’ve actually never eaten at an Indian restaurant but my boyfriend is obsessed and recreated his favorite dish for us – chicken tikka masala. It’s so good and I can’t wait to try it at a restaurant sometime!

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  2. says

    I’ve been to an indian food restaurant once but I ordered American food because it was a diner combination. I’m super picky so I don’t know if I’d like all the spices and things in Indian food. I can always go for some naan bread though!! I love your outfit- that blazer is super cute :)

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  3. says

    I think its so funny that Ryan was in England, he wasn’t far away from where I live either! Hope he had a fantastic time. Your Indian meal looks so tasty, great to get a cup of soup with it too, yum! I love Indian food, there’s a great place near us that does the most amazing Goan Fish curry. They do a little salad too with pumpkin seeds and spices, which is so good.

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  4. says

    My husband and LOVE LOVE LOVE Indian food!! He got me hooked on it when we first moved to Sugar Land and we love this hole in the wall place right next to our house! Our meal of choice is, sag paneer, chicken tikki masale (spelling) and vegetable kwarma (again spelling?!?!). I have never attempted to make any of this at home but really want to try! When you go back, try some of the above dishes! you will not be disappointed!!

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  5. says

    Three words: CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA.

    As an Indian, I can definitely recommend this dish and tell you that it is one of my all-time favorite restaurant dishes. It’s actually (or used to be) considered the “national dish” of England! Also, if you’re a garlic-lover like I am, I highly recommend trying garlic naan next time! It’s so good that you can eat it by itself. And as a fellow lobster-lover, that lobster curry sounds fantastic. I’m glad you enjoyed the food!

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  6. Irina S. says

    Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines! I’m never *not* in the mood for Indian food. My favorite is saag paneer (aka palak paneer). I also like chana masala. They’re both great vegetarian dishes, and a few places will offer saag tofu (tofu instead of the paneer cheese), so you save on some calories/fat that way. To me, paneer tastes like tofu. Happy Super Bowl Sunday, woooo!

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  7. Christina says

    i LOVE indian food. Chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken and aloo gobi are some of my favorite dishes. Also, try the samosas SO GOOD.

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  8. ashley says

    Indian food is pretty much my all time favorite. I always get palaak paneer but also love malai kofta, chana masala, veg biryani…and so many more!

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  9. says

    I had a random roommate in college who was Indian and everything she made always smelled SO good. The spices really are different and so much more pronounced in the entrees. Everything she always cooked was delicious!

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  10. Ellie says

    Indian food is my favorite food to eat out! Butter chicken and chicken tikka masala..oh and lots of naan!! I like to go to our local Indian restaurant for lunch because there is a buffet and I get to try a little (ok a lot) of everything:)

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  11. says

    Indian is my absolute favorite type of food!! And my favorite dish? Anything saag (spinach). Particularly Paneer, but also saag chaana (chickpeas) or with chicken. Also, if you ever have the chance, try South Indian cuisine! Most of what you see in restaurants is North Indian, and south is a really different/interesting type of food. It’s especially great for vegetarians, because it’s almost exclusively veggie!

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  12. says

    I’m not a huge fan of indian food. It’s good but I can’t really stand spicy food and so for whatever reason it always tastes the same to me. I have a hard time getting past the spice and tasting flavor. I should open myself up to it again. Especially because I’ll NEVER turn down naan… ;)

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  13. says

    I am obsessed with that bread at Indian restaurants. My aunt took me to Indian town in Chicago and had me try a mango yogurt drink, which was also to die for. Look for one next time you go! You’re beautiful :)

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  14. Laura Katherine Clark says

    I had my first indian restaurant experience last night as well!! A few of my friends and I ordered veggie samosas for appetizers, raita (yummy condiment to add on), Nan (lots and lots of nan), Navratni Vegetable (fresh veggies in a curry sauce) and Chicken Makhani! I was apprehensive but I ended up really enjoying it!

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  15. Jamie Phelps says

    My father is from Pakistan and my mother is 100% Italian. My mom makes the best Indian food ever! She makes Chicken Biryani from scratch, and it’s amazing! I know you shop at Publix a lot, so I wanted to share this…the other day I was looking at different soups and right across from the soups in the same aisle there was a section with all kinds of things to help you make a really great Indian meal at home. I bought the jar (it’s in kind of like a jam jar) of Chicken Tikka Masala and I also bought the Biryani Concentrated Curry Paste. The brand for both of those is Patak’s. I haven’t made the biryani yet, but I can tell you that the Chicken Tikka Masala is 100% true to what my mom makes that takes an entire day – and this only takes about 20 minutes! My only suggestion if you try it is to add some red pepper flakes for a little heat and top with chopped cilantro at the end! Also, I DID NOT buy the Chicken Tikka Masala Concentrated Paste – they offer it, but I was looking for a quick pour and serve type of meal without a lot of hassle! :0)

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    • Sarah says

      Yes, Patak’s is a great brand! My parents are both 100% Indian lol, but while my mom likes to make food the authentic way (her chicken biryani is to.die.for. and so is my aunt’s lamb version- YUM!!!), she uses Patak’s in a pinch.
      But I like naan WAY better than biryani, and pair that with authentic butter chicken? Be still my heart :)

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  16. says

    Love Indian food! My boyfriend is Indian, so we go to Indian restaurants a lot and I’ve tried a ton of things. Highly recommend getting a dosa if they make them. I also love baingan bharta (eggplant tomato curry). SO good!

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  17. says

    I LOVE Indian food. Spinach, Chickpeas, Naan….it’s all so amazing. One Indian restaurant by me has pumpkin as a side dish. Oh my goodness. It’s SO good. I usually get curry wherever I go because I just love it.

    They also have a dessert called Gajar Halwa. YUM. I don’t usually order dessert at restaurants but this was SO good.

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  18. says

    I love curry! I’m a super picky eater so it’s actually pretty surprising to most people. Blue Menu Chicken Madras is my usual fix as it’s quick and easy for one. I also use Patak’s sauce from time to time. No star chef here so it’s actually a really easy meal.

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  19. says

    There is an INCREDIBLE Indian restaurant in DC called Rasika. They make a dish called palak chaat which is basically spinach that is fried in chickpea flour and served with a sweet yogurt dressing. It’s really just an app or a small plate, but I could get about four and eat only that for a meal!

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  20. says

    Indian is my favorite cuisine! I don’t have a favorite dish becuase everytime I eat Indian I try to have something different.
    The vastness of Indian is amazing and delicious!!!

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  21. says

    It’s so funny you posted this today, my boyfriend and I were just saying that we want to try good Indian food soon! I have only made Indian at home, never gone to a restaurant so if anyone knows of any in Chicago land please let me know!

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    • neelam says

      Hayley, in Chicago there are quite a few Indian/ Pakistani food joints. My personal fav is Serena and Usmania. Both are on Devon street. Serena’s biryani is less spicy if you’re not a spice fiend. But anyone who likes curry must try Nihari curry. It is curried beef and shank meat, slow-cooked (are you listening Julie?) over-night and has to be the most flavorful curry I’ve ever had.

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  22. AJ says

    lobster curry?! YUMM! I don’t eat a whole lot of Indian, but when I was in Japan we went to an Indian restaurant and I had cheesy nan…it was the best thing in the whole world!

    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.blogspot.com

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  23. Meg says

    My family owns several indian restaurants. Chicken biryani is definitely the best! I also like Dal Makhani (lentils). At our restaurants, they make it without a lot of cream so its healthy and yummy.

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  24. says

    Hi I read that quickly and totally thought you said armpit palace. I was like wow thats either the worst restaurant name ever or Julie really didn’t like it. Glad it wasn’t armpit palace and you enjoyed your meals!

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    • says

      Armpit Palace is what many call it locally that do not like Indian food. I have been there and the food was great. I didn’t see the lobster curry though so if I ever go again I will be getting that myself. I usually end up a block or two away for sushi. LOL

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  25. says

    at first glance I read the title of your post at armpit palace and continued to until I realized that just could not be right lol! I love naan bread that we usually get with Indian food, I am a huge fan of chicken tikkal marsala and shrimp shaag which is shrimp and spinach, its delicious!

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  26. Caitlyn says

    Other than biryani, vegetable korma is one of my favorites. One if my good friends from college is Indian and her mother used to make the most amazingly delicious dinners for us…her lentil dish is awesome but I have no idea what it’s called!

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  27. Andrea D. says

    Omg lobster curry sounds absolutely delicious! I am a huge fan of Indian and recently have discovered Chicken Tikki Saag, which is soooo good! You should definitely give it a try! If the restaurant doesn’t offer tikki saag, regular saag is very good too. I found this recipe recently that is actually Moroccan chicken, but the flavor is exotic and delicious–definitely something different to try if you are looking to kick up the flavor in the kitchen!

    http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/moroccan-stewed-chicken.aspx

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  28. says

    mmmm! i LOVE indian food. i would recommend chicken tikka masala, chana masala, saag paneer, dal, and lots of naan! samosa is a great appetizer too. honestly, i don’t think you can go wrong with indian food. if you’re looking for healthier options, stick with the tandoori options. yum yum yum!

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  29. Esha says

    It always makes me so happy to see people enjoying Indian cuisine! I’m Indian, but from another part of India where our home/local cuisine isn’t the typical Indian restaurant fare you would see at restaurants, so I don’t really make that style food at home. Punjabi food (like the restaurant you ate at yesterday and most Indian restaurants) is no doubt amazing and next time, like someone else had mentioned, definitely try Chicken Tikka Masala or for a veggie dish try Palak/Saag Paneer (kind of like a creamed spinach and cheese dish) or Chole (chickpeas dish)…based on what I read on your blog I think you guys would enjoy it!

    Also, since you’re the Smoothie queen, I could totally see you liking a mango lassi!

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  30. Esha says

    Ooh, and you should totally try South Indian food sometime! A lot of times they offer South Indian food at Indian restaurants that serve mainly Punjabi food, but my 2 favorites are dosa and uttapam, both of which are similar. They’re like thin semi-crispy crepes but dosa you can get plain or filled with a spicy potato filling and uttapam mostly already has vegetables in it like a pancake. But both you can dip into a coconut chutney or veggie stew/soup and they’re heavenly!!

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  31. Bridget B. says

    Everyone is saying it, but I will just add Chicken Tikka Masala is out of this world, especially if it’s hot and fresh. Saag paneer is also great. I love the samosas too, but they are addictive and definitely fried so very few health benefits. Hah! The flavors are all so tempting. Enjoy yourself!

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  32. says

    This is great! My roommate is obsessed with Indian food. Eats it all the time and even cooks tons of dishes at our place. I’ve NEVER had anything other than Naan. Terrible, I know. I made a promise to her and her boyfriend that I’ll give it a shot. We have some great spots around us that have lunch buffets. I think that might be the best bet for me. That way I can try a bit of everything and see what I really like!

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  33. Karey says

    I spent a year doing voluntary service in England a few years ago. I was in Bradford, England which is considered the curry capital of the UK because it has over 365 Indian restaurants. So, as you can imagine, I ate a lot of indian food. :) My absolute favorite dish is Chicken Korma with Mango Lassi to drink. The korma is a little sweeter and definitely worth trying sometime!

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  34. says

    yum! I love curries, but I’ve only ever made Indian food at home. I don’t have anyone who wants to venture out into the restaurant world with me to try Indian food. Looks like I might just have to go on my own! I love naan bread though; it’s so so delicious, but I’m a bread lover. I love Indian food because there’s so many vegetarian options as well.

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  35. Karen says

    My favorite Indian dish is chicken & spinach, you must try it! It looks like creamed spinach. Some menus called it Saag or Saagwala or Shaag (which means greens, and can be spinach, mustard greens, and/or fenugreek) and other places call it Palak (which actually means spinach).

    Saag/Palak can also be served with lamb, cheese or chickpeas – but the chicken is my favorite!

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  36. Kesley says

    I could eat Indian food everyday for the rest of my life! Seriously so yummy. My absolute favorite is any Vindaloo- it’s a spicy curry and Saag Paneer. !

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  37. Sarah says

    Most Indian restaurants I’m aware of have a lunch buffet – I’d highly suggest that to get tastes of lots of things. My favorite is Chicken Korma, and I’ve also started to like gajar halwa (sweet carrot pudding).

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