A Handi Karahi Palace

The dust has settled after the awards evening and the word ‘fix’ has been read on many pieces of internet traffic that have been circulating.  Time to move on.

A weekend in Cambridgeshire may be on the horizon, however it is three days since Hector had his last Curry-Heute experience, too long.  The (New) Karahi Palace (51-53 Nelson St, Tradeston, Glasgow, G5 8DZ – just along from The Village) was once again the chosen venue – another chance to experiment.

A small group deep in discussion was blocking the doorway as I entered.  Were they about to eat, had they eaten?  They left, leaving Hector once again the sole diner in a Curry House.

The waiter recognised me and approached without the menu.  Hector had two objectives:  to sample the Handi and avoid the dreaded Capsicum.  I asked for the menu.

There were various options on the Handi list.  The Chicken was dismissed but these still left Lamb permutations. Chops – half kilo – Kerala (sic).  I took advice, well I tried to.  Nothing was being recorded and the young waiter was not giving much away.  The word Vegetable was uttered when the Karela was enquired about.  This was it – but I was then informed it was not ready and there would be a fifteen minute wait – perfect – cooked just for Hector!

 Karela v Kerala

Hector thought he was ordering a regional dish.  It now appears that this was no menu misprint; ‘Bitter Melon’ or ‘Bitter Gourd’ (how much?) is how Karela is described on other sources.  The advantage of the internet and hindsight.  It is ‘yon jaggy green vegetable’ I keep seeing in KRK and had no idea what it was or what to do with – though the shape does tacitly put images in the mind that are better never disclosed.

Fifteen minutes later

I had declined the ‘Salad and Sauce’, I had no intention of eating it.  ‘Chapatti or Nan?’  I was asked in the interim.   The Mushroom Pilau arrived – gosh – is this all for me?  Then a marvellous stone pot filled near enough to the brim with Lamb was set before me.  Not since the Alishan served their famed Pholan Devi in such a manner has a Curry looked so impressive.

The tender Lamb (on-the-bone) was dry and cooked to perfection.; the Masala such as it was, thick.  There was a thin layer of Ghee on the bottom of the pot.  The thickest Chapatti ever set before Hector was dipped into this melange – there are times dining alone can be frustrating and so dear reader you may imagine me punching the air. What a find!

Handi Karela Gosht

The super-taste that would put this curry top of my list never revealed itself; however, there was something decidedly unique about the flavour.  I now know what.  There was a stringy green-black Vegetable strewn through the Lamb – was this the Karela?  If so, I look forward to this experience again.

More bitter than Methi, cooked by a Chef who clearly knows what he is doing, cooked to order: this experience ticks many boxes.  At £10.90 (lemonade included) this is great value too.  I could not finish the Rice and left a third of the Chapatti.

How many more hidden Curry Cafe gems does Glasgow have?

Take another look, is this not simply perfect?

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2 Responses to A Handi Karahi Palace

  1. John S. says:

    A first time visit and as such would have been considered a hanging offence in the not so distant past. To venture past The Village without so much as a cursory raised middle finger.
    A Lamb Handi (hot) with pulau rice and roti was the order. The salad and sauce offer was accepted and duly abandoned. This curry man does not “do” raita.
    Reassuringly , the chefs appeared busy but with Kerry Oots rather than Sitty Doons. I was the sole client for the latter.
    10 – 15 mins later my sizzling flower pot arrived with a mountain of yellow and white rice and steaming roti.
    First impression was not overwhelming – or it was, if blandness can overwhelm.
    The crunch of onions was evident and the meat was tender but it just didn’t have the bite of other favourite offerings elsewhere. Something was missing.
    Overall not bad for £9.00 and I was thanked for my custom as I settled the bill.
    Worth another shot I reckon, especially if Papa Baig continues to rest complacently on his diminishing reputation.

  2. Tracey says:

    Howie and I went to this place for lunch yesterday, and we both thought it was great. He had the karahi ghosht which arrived at the table sizzling, and was full of gorgeously tender chunks of lamb.
    I had the keema handi. When the keema initially arrived I was disappointed because it had lots of capsicum and tomato (i like raw tomato, but not cooked) in it, but once I’d managed to remove these little offenders the dish was absolutely delicious. It looked to have been cooked in the same clay pot in which it was served, as there were a couple of areas of of burnt sauce inside the pot, which, when scraped away and stirred back into the curry gave it another tasty depth of flavour.

    We had skipped starters, but while waiting for our food, we were brought a small salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion. It came with a little bowl of dressing, which looked to be a raita of some sort. Once we’d finished the salad, we planked the bowl of raita to the side and it later became a brilliant addition to our main dishes, as it was cool and yoghurty, but slightly garlicky and very heavy on the black pepper and was really nice. I stirred it into the last dregs of my mince, and also into the leftover egg rice, and relished every mouthful.

    There was really nothing negative to say about this place other than Howie thought the paratha was slightly over cooked. There also seemed to be a shortage of napkins/paper towels. We were each given one thin paper napkin with our meal, and I noticed another customer went into the toilet twice while we were there. Each time he came out with his hands dripping wet (there must have been no paper towels in the toilet?) and stood at the counter while the guy who was serving passed him a paper napkin to dry his hands on. I’m sure if we’d asked for more napkins we’d have been given them, but no one came to our table at all while we were eating to check if everything was ok.

    That’s all… great lunch! We would definitely come back to this place.

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