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Old 01-20-2007, 10:40 AM   #11
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Buckytom, rasmalai are pretty much all cheese, inside and out. Because they are deep fried, jamuns usually have a lighter, airier exterior and a slightly dense center. I'm thinking you had the jamuns. If they were white/looked like formed cottage cheese, they were rasmalai, if they were golden brown, they were jamuns.

Although I've probably been to more than 100 Indian restaurants in New Jersey, Manhattan and London, I've never eaten in Lodi. I think the closest restaurant to Lodi that I've been to is Jyoti in Wayne (rt. 46). Jyoti, btw, has one of the best Chicken Tikka Masalas anywhere.

When you first mentioned Raja Palace, I looked it up on the map. Lodi would be a bit of trek for me. I was thinking that if I were going to travel that far, I'd probably go to Edison instead (Edison has some amazing places that I'm dying to try), but... just now I took another look at the website and I have to admit that I'm intrigued. VERY intrigued. Have they been open long? It looks like they serve alcohol. Is that correct? Is that a TV I see in the corner?

The wed/thur dinner buffet with '25 dishes' for 10.95 looks amazing. Have you been? I'm sure most of the dishes are sides/condiments, but still, that sounds like quite a spread.

If you haven't been to the buffet, you have to go. Indian restaurant food is all about the buffet. And, if you do go (or already have been) I want a report on the number of meat w/ gravy dishes they have. It's pretty standard to serve one chicken w/ gravy dish and one lamb w/ gravy dish (along with the standard tandoori chicken w/out gravy). If they have more than that, I'm so there.

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Old 01-23-2007, 09:33 AM   #12
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scott, they do serve alcohol. i like to order beers of the particular ethcnicity of the food i'm eating, so i've become a fan of kingfisher and taj mahal beer at raja palace.

they've been open for a few years now, and are just finished renevating the front section of the restaurant which includes a seating area and a small bar. it's not a very big place, and not all that fancy, but the food is very good. they have opened a second restaurant in montclair, called natraj palace, if that's any closer to you.

i haven't been to the buffet, but i do remember seeing that they had 2 or three meat and gravy dishes, a veggie dish, the tandoori foods, and an appetizer dish, rice, and raita with papadum. i was getting takeout of the same things and the waiter had mentioned that it would have been much cheaper to stay and have the buffet. oh well.

if you look at the site for natraj restaurant, they flash up a couple of pictures of the buffet.

thanks for the tip on jyoti. next time we're out on 46 and looking for some food, i'll give it a try. there's another little place in saddle brook called bhoj that we've been wanting to go. i'll post results if we ever do make it there.

oops, soory to hijack the thread. getting back: i'm pretty sure i've had both gulab jamun and rasmalai, come to think of it, lol.

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Old 01-23-2007, 11:31 AM   #13
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Hi Buckytom, I wanted to add a little clarification to the difference between gulab jamuns and rasgolla or rasmalai

Traditional gulab jamuns are made with khoya (which is also known as mawa). To make khoya you have to cook whole milk low and slow and eventually it will turn dry and hard. It's too much work to make it from scratch so there are many many substitutes available. One is to make it using ricotta cheese - You cook ricotta with butter until the water evaporates. Then you add some dry milk powder to it and viola you have khoya. You traditionally mix khoya with a little flour and cardamom powder and some ghee and make little balls out of them and fry them and soak them to get your jamuns.

I like to use this alternate recipe which I have perfected after hit or misses for gulab jamun (a lot of recipes need to be perfected because otherwise the jamuns break open when you fry them) that never fails.

4 cups of milk powder (Any kind)
1/4 tsp of cardamom powder
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tbsp of flour
1 tbsp of semolina
1.5 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of unsalted butter
little milk to bind the dough

Make a dough out of these ingredients. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. Make small dough balls and fry in ghee or oil. I like to pierce the balls carefully with a toothpick and then drop them in a sugar syrup that is seasoned with saffron and cardamom. You can sprinkle some sliced almonds and pistachios on them before serving. We normally like to serve this warm.

Rasgolla or Rasmalai on the other hand is made with paneer. You bring whole milk to a rolling boil and shut the stove. Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to it and let it sit until the milk curdles. Seperate the curds out from the liquid in a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and let it get dry for a few hours. Next mix the curds or paneer with a little bit of confectionars sugar to make a smooth pliable dough. Make small dough balls. First cook them in simmering water (without anything added to it and make sure the water is simmering as in egg poaching and not boiling otherwise they will disintegrate). Remove with a slotted spoon and add them to a nice medium thick syrup if you are making rasgolla or add them to a thick sweetened milk seasoned with cardamom, saffron and nuts for rasmalai. These are normally served chilled.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:39 PM   #14
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thanks very much yakuta. copied and pasted as well.

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very, very frightening me!" Galileo
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