Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Thursday, Sep 2nd - Maurya Indian Cuisine - Best Bharta!

Spinach and Paneer Naan
When I first moved to Vancouver four years ago, I was worried I would not be able to have a proper Curry. I was happy with the plethora of options for Asian and Asian fusion which was lacking in London at the time other than Pub Phad Thai, an common oddity I have not yet come to terms with.  However, a good belly full of well prepared curry cannot be beat.  I loved the fact that the English referred to the full gamut of Indian and Pakistani cuisine as Curry.  You would be asked by a friend or colleague 'Fancy a Curry?' which meant do you want to go for Indian Food.  The answer was repeatedly yes.  I mean really you cannot beat Brick Lane and the area for a good curry.  It is often said the best Indian Curry in the world is in London.  I don't doubt that.  There are the Michelin star restaurant places in London too like the Mint Leaf which I have tried but it isn't the same and not necessary expense for quality or authenticity which does apply in some countries for some cuisines such as Sushi in London.  I would suggest you pay to have decent Sushi there.

It is funny how those culinary diaspora has this exceptions and pockets of hightened development which is not necessarily tied to migration patterns.  For example, Thai food in Vancouver is hit and miss for me whereas in Toronto you have a good spectrum.  But then in Toronto, you cannot find a lot of good Sushi but good Curry. 

Actually in Vancouver, the Curry situation is improving and I am seeing more places open up along Broadway.   There was always a decent selection further south toward the Punjabi village or Surrey but that is not necessarily the best option for a girl without a car.

Maurya's was the first Indian place I visited after I moved to Vancouver.   After having their Eggplant Bharta, I  knew I would be back again and again.  I make Eggplant Bharta often at home and have come to like my version but have found it more difficult to find the spices I need here so have made some concessions.  I told D the best Bharta I ever made was when I used a whole hunk of Butter.  You just can't replicate the silky, luxurious feel of Gee in Indian food.  MMMM  We have been here a few times and I had a Curry craving I could not shake.  We were meant to come here earlier in the week but I got on that Mercury and heavy metal detox whim that I had to follow with Cilantro Pesto

Roasted Eggplant Bhart
I held back on what I actually wanted to order which is three dishes that we share.  D raised and eyebrow and asked if I was really that hungry.  I guess they weren't small plates so it might have been a bit excessive.  So I just ordered my favourite Roasted Eggplant Bharta and D ordered Lamb Korma.  We also ordered an order of Basmati Pilao, Spinach and Paneer Naan and Plain Naan when the Spinach one ran out.

My Bharta was wonderful as always.  The Eggplant, which is the heart of the dish was mixed with Peas, which I hadn't recalled and will try at home.  The dish was topped with some Cilantro and shards of fresh Ginger.  Yummo!  Though served on traditional, delicately small Indian silver or copper dishes, do not be deceived.  The portions are substantial.  I never cease to be amazed on how filling it can be.  The server will ask you what heat level you prefer and I chose Medium.  I could have withstood a bit more, I think.  It was rather mild.

Lamb Korma
Basmati Pilao
D had a very interesting Lamb Korma.  It is an inherently milder Cashew based sauce that has a creamy appearance.  D enjoyed the Lamb as evidenced by the dish wiped clean by a nice bit of Naan.  I tried the sauce.  It had the Korma flavours and quality I am used to and something I have not seen so pronounced in a Korma before.  It had a distinct Rose-floral aroma.  I thought it was quite pungent but D liked it.  I guess it is balanced more with a piece of lamb.

I really liked the Spinach and Paneer stuffed Naan and their plain Naan as well.  It is a must!   The rice however was a tad oily and on the small side for two people.    I think next time I might have their 'combo' where you can add Naan, Rice and Daal for a mere $6 extra.  D warned that might mean small portions so we did not bother this time. 

Cost: $$-$$$
Service: Acceptable and at times, felt we had to flag rather frantically to anyone to order more food

1643 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J
(604) 742-0622
Maurya on Urbanspoon



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