Chicken Tikka Masala is one of those iconic dishes that, despite its Indian heritage, is actually a modern dish, most probably originating in Soho, London in the 1960s!
It is so popular in Britain today that it is considered part of British Cuisine – a British national dish. A recent survey in Britain found nearly 50 different recipes, many of them quite variable, however Chicken Tikka Masala generally includes chicken, tomato and coriander in a creamy sauce.
Spice Gurus at Underwood creates its own signature Special Masala ($15.90) of seasoned chicken, slow-roasted until tender then finished in a smooth sauce of onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and coriander.
This is a complex dish with distinctive flavours – tender chicken combined with an authentic, mildly spicy Indian sauce with no artificial colouring, making it less orange than many commercial products. We teamed it with a Goan Fish Curry ($17.90) – a delicate mild curry with perfectly cooked succulent white fish fillets in an intensely flavoured tomato sauce – and saffron rice, multicoloured and full of subtle flavours – this was an extraordinary Indian meal.
Not your average British Tikka and rice – and one of the best Indian meals in Brisbane. As would be expected at a guru’s residence, the décor at Spice Gurus is minimalist – even austere. No fancy overheads. Laminex tables with paper cloths. Simple chairs and basic settings.
The service is welcoming and warm, but a little slow – due to the dishes all being made to order. The food is simply superb. All dishes are freshly made – unlike some other franchise operations with mass-produced, reheated offerings. The naan ($3 each) are, like everything else, freshly cooked and soft
We chose to share a mixed vegetarian entrée ($12.90) to start – Onion Bhajji (onions lightly fried in a crisp slightly spicy chickpea “tempura” batter), Vegetable Samosa (a potato and pea filling wrapped in hand-made pastry), and a tasty crispy potato dumpling served with a tangy tamarind dipping sauce. We finished with a selection of home-made Indian desserts including mango and pistachio ice creams.
The lack of décor is made up for with fabulous food and the friendly, homely service. This is a little gem, hidden in the suburbs and very popular
with the locals. Highly recommended. Incidentally, guru means someone with knowledge and wisdom – a teacher – and the owner conducts cooking classes in genuine Indian cuisine. Call to find out about class times and to book.