Wednesday, February 06, 2008

First Taste of Rajaji: Indian in Woodley Park

Rajaji Indian Curry House
2603 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington 20008
Phone: 202-265-7344

Last week, we were looking for a nice meal near Woodley Park and were interested in trying something new. After looking around the net, I discovered Rajaji, one of three Indian restaurants across from the Woodley Park Metro on Connecticut Ave NW.

So we headed over around 6:30 on a Thursday night. The room was almost empty. I was not expecting a large crowd at 6:30 on a Thursday, but the lack of customers worried me a bit.

Turns out, there was not much to worry about at all. All three of us enjoyed our meals. Mine was exceptional as was our friend's. T's was good, not great.

We started with the combination appetizer platter which consisted of two samosas, chicken croquettes, botti kabab (lamb pieces), chicken tikka & 2 pakoras. These were just what you want from an Indian meal. Served warm with a good level of spice for each of us (we are medium-spice people, though T tolerates hot quite well). The lamb was succulent and aromatic. Pakoras were not too greasy as sometimes happens, and samosas had a nice filling-to-crust ratio.

T enjoyed his vegetarian platter, which started with a salad, then aloo gobi, palak paneer, vegetable kofta, aloo matar, rice, raita, mango chutney, puri and gulab jamun. Again, T felt this was good. Good enough to go back and good enough to be our go-to place in Woodley Park.

Ms. Stitch was very pleased with the Keema Matar, saute├ęd minced lamb, cooked with peas and a delicious sauce. I'm not sure I can even describe it. Definitely some garam masala, garlic, and maybe some cumin and or cilantro. I loved my taste of this and will definitely order it next time we go.

But I was also quite pleased with my dish, the Lamb Doh-Peeazah, lamb with tomato and onion cooked until the flavors were quite harmonious. Delicious and Doh-pleasing!

Gulab jamun, (what my high school friends called "Honeyballs") was less successful, mostly due to being cold in the center. But that did not detract from an otherwise delicious meal.

Oh, and get the cardamom tea. It really hit the spot on a cold night!

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