Monday, September 28, 2009

Celebrating an Indian Wedding at Taj Mahal Calgary

We had the pleasure of attending a wonderful East Indian wedding of our friends Paul and Aman last weekend. It was our second experience of the traditional ceremony at temple and of course, the amazing food. We're not well versed in all the do's and don'ts, but the celebration is always colourful and spirited, and we certainly appreciate how friendly and welcoming everyone is. We had to cover our heads and remove our shoes as we entered the temple, and men and women were seated separately. This particular temple in NE Calgary also had projectors translating the entire ceremony, allowing us to understand the blessings and prayers by the gurus. Ceremonies at the temple included a snack in the morning - delicious mixed pakora and veggie samosas and a buffet lunch...yum!

We were invited to join a smaller group for dinner at the Taj Mahal in Calgary. The restaurant has been around for 38 years, and I only recall driving past the giant Taj Mahal facade on the front and never thought to try it - always seemed so cheeseball! I still can't tell you much about what the restaurant looks like inside because the reception was held in a small event space on the third floor...but I can tell you that the food was absolutely wonderful!

Fish pakora with hot mint jelly - I think I could have hot mint jelly with everything and I just love fish pakora.
Crisps with chick pea salsa, yogurt and tamarind sauce - a unique snack that I had not had before, thankfully there was someone to show me the way. The crisps reminded me of the crisps we put in our congee :P

Saffron rice/naan
Goat curry - this was my first time having goat curry and my favourite dish of the night.
Chicken makhni (butter chicken) - if you have never had butter chicken you are missing out on one of my all time favourite dishes, it is boneless chicken simmered in a rich butter/tomato sauce.
Gulnar paneer (Indian cheese) - was delicious and served with yet another flavourful sauce.

Although our gracious hosts tried to appeal to everyone by offering both an Indian buffet and a "North American" one that boasted roast beef and vegetables, it was of course the Indian buffet that was lined up and enjoyed by all. Tony and I were stuffed and found it hard to prevent ourselves from refilling again and again because we could simply fit no more of the delicious food in our stomach.
Indian weddings are a wonderful experience - a unique celebration embraced by the entire family, young and old, and celebrated through food, music and dance. We were happy to be a part of our friend's wedding and have the opportunity to indulge in such amazing food.

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