Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Shalimar Restaurant

Last week I made a whirlwind trip to Kentucky. While there I got to see family. Unfortunately it was all too brief. The holidays are around the corner so I’ll get to see them again soon, and Chris and Sidney will be able to join me.

One evening, my in-laws and I went to Shalimar Restaurant in Louisville, Ky. Chris and I have gone with them before and enjoyed it. My in-laws go fairly often.

This Indian restaurant is tucked away in a a strip shopping center. If you’re not up for Indian, the center also has Chinese and Mexican restaurants a couple doors down.

Shalimar features lamb, goat, chicken, seafood and vegetarian dishes. While we looked over the menu, naan and chutney were brought to the table. The chutneys were mint, tamarind and onion.

I selected nav ratan korma, which is a cream-based dish with cauliflower, potatoes, chickpeas, lima beans, peas, green beans, carrots, cashews and raisins. My in-laws selected chicken curry and chicken kadal, which is chicken served with bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. Each of us received our own bowl of rice, and we, of course, shared the dishes.

For bread, we choose two rotis, which made eight triangles. They were good, but were sort of wet. It didn’t seem to be from butter or grease. Rotis are baked or cooked on a griddle, not fried. So I think it must have been from sitting covered under a heat lamp.

The vegetable dish was my favorite. The variety of the vegetables provided a lot of different textures and tastes compared to the chicken dishes. The curry was good. It wasn’t the most amazing curry I’d ever had, but it was good. This was the first kadal I’ve eaten. It was tasty, but very similar to the curry, in my opinion.

The service is friendly and the atmosphere is nice. The table settings include white linens, cloth napkins and candles, so there is an air of formality, but it’s not stiff. There’s more of a relaxed feeling. It’s not so formal that you would be uncomfortable dining with your kids or wearing jeans.

Carrot and Sweet Potato Salad

For a quick, warm salad, try carrot and sweet potato salad. This recipe is from “Best Ever Indian Cookbook,” which I’ve also talked about here.

The dish calls for a can of chickpeas, but I used pintos because I had them on hand. I also left out the fresh cut tomatoes, which would also be awesome.

This is really quick and simple. Cook the sweet potatoes and carrots until soft, but still crisp. Then you mix them with the beans/peas and tomatoes and garnish with walnuts, raisins and/or onions. You can also pour the mixture over salad for a decorative effect, but I decided that would be a waste of salad.

I preferred the dish with warmed beans, too, and then topping it with raisins. I’m not sure if I’d warm the cut tomatoes or use them as a cool garnish. I’m certainly willing to try this again, so I’ll have plenty of chances to try this out in the future.

The dressing is yogurt, a bit of honey and pepper.

I served this with spicy meatloaf, also from the “Best Ever Indian Cookbook.” I didn’t really like the meatloaf at first, but it grew on me. I used turkey instead of beef and I think the tumeric would complement beef much better than turkey.

The meatloaf is baked with eggs on the top and bottom, so it’s like an egg-covered meatloaf, which was quite interesting.


Do you like chutney?

Hubby Chris introduced me to Indian food and I love it, especially curries and chutney.
Chutney is an Indian condiment made with fruit and spices that’s great with any type of dish.

I love chutney! If I could, I’d eat chutney and salsa everyday with everything. I’ve made tomato and pineapple chutneys in the past.

On Wednesday, I made a tomato-onion chutney with aromatic chicken curry and rice from “Best Ever Indian Cookbook,” by Mridula Baljekar, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain and Manisha Kanani. I love this cookbook and recommend it to anyone interested in dabbling in Indian cooking.
The chicken curry had tomatoes and broccoli and several spices, and I cooked the rice in chicken stock.
For the chutney, I didn’t have fresh tomatoes on hand so I used two cans of diced tomatoes. I did have an onion, but didn’t feel like peeling it (lazy!) so I used onion flakes instead. Here’s the recipe:
Fresh Tomato and Onion Chutney
8 tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garam masala (found in the spice aisle)
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 cup malt vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. honey

1. Place the tomatoes and onion into a heavy pan.
2. Add sugar, garam masala, ginger, vinegar, salt and honey. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Mash the tomatoes with a fork to break them up. Continue to cook on slightly warmer heat until chutney thickens.

Most Indian restaurants that I’ve visited usually serve a mint or other type of chutney with naan, a flat, leavened Indian bread. I haven’t attempted to make naan yet because it requires rolling it flat, baking it and then finishing it off under a broiler. (Again, lazy.)

I have, however, made chapatis, another Indian bread that is unleavened and is cooked on the stovetop. Here’s the recipe from “Best Ever Indian Cookbook:”


2 cups chapati flour or ground whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water

1. Mix all ingredients together. Knead for 7-10 minutes.
2. (Can let dough sit for 15-20 minutes if you want. I didn’t.) Divide dough into 8 to 10 portions. Roll out each into a circle on floured surface.
3. Place a skillet (or griddle) over high heat. When hot (steaming or when water quickly evaporates when you sprinkle it on the surface), lower to medium heat and add chapati(s) to pan.
4. When chapati(s) begins to bubble and is brown, turn it over and press down to flatten and cook on the other side.

If you enjoy these recipes, check out “Best Ever Indian Cookbook” or other books by the authors.

If you look for another Indian cookbook, I recommend finding one that you know you’ll use. Don’t buy one that gives measurements in metrics if you don’t want to do math every time you want to cook a recipe.

I also like how “Best Ever Indian Cookbook” provides several basic recipes so you can make things from scratch if you can’t find them in local stores, helpful if you don’t live in a metropolitan area. That might be a feature to look for. Some recipes “Best Ever Indian Cookbook” provides are paneer (a cheese), curry paste, coconut milk, tikka paste and garam masala mix.