Sometimes it gets tiring, this eating out lark. Yes, visiting restaurants is my main hobby and I love discovering a new one, soaking up its atmosphere as well as enjoying the food. It's not always convenient to eat out in congested Dubai,a car-oriented city where you can't always take a leisurely stroll to your local eaterie for fear of being mowed down by a Jumeirah Jane multitasking a Pajero with Nokia Snake. Either that, or you get blown away by a sandstorm or melted like a snowman in the heat- thank goodness for the many takeaway outlets that deliver to your doorstep! UK star Kelly Brook recently praised Dubai for the fact that 'even Mc Donald's deliver to your hotel room here' so decided to try it for myself. No, not Maccy D's, but a highly recommended hidden gem, the Curry Box.
Curry Box is a funky Indian/Pakistani takeaway, more Manchester than Bur Dubai as it features some of Blighty's much loved curry house classics like Chicken Tikka Masala, Vindaloo and Peshwari Naan. Unlike Dubai, British curry houses often blur the line between Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine and generically name it either 'Indian' or 'Tandoori'. Some curries have been adapted for the British market, like my namesake Vindaloo being a potent dish rather than the traditional hot and sour pork dish. Biryanis in the UK tend to be served with an omelette on top. Anyway, back to Curry Box. Our meal arrived slightly earlier than scheduled (good as my tummy was rumbling) in the neatest presentation box I have ever seen a takeaway in:
Although there were a multitude of starters on offer like Bhajis and Vegetable Patties, I didn't want to be greedy so went for Vegetable Achaari, Pilaf Rice and Peshwari naan. Carnivorous colleague predictably went for Chicken Tikka Masala with a Sweet Lassi to wash it all down with. Chutney and onion salad were thrown in complimentary. As you can see from the pic below, the Achaari was packed to the brim with healthy greens, not a frozen vegetable in sight:
The portions of both curry and rice were enough to feed two, so it was a good idea not to go for starters. The Achaari was bursting with flavour, non-greasy unlike some of the ones back home, padded out nicely with green beans and peas with a hint of aubergine. Piquant yet sour at the same time, the pickle base harmonised well with the aubergine and spices. The rice had a unique blend of aniseed and coriander and appealed to my traditionalist tastebuds as it had coloured rice grains in; I remember a time when every curry house in England used to do this rice but nowadays it seems to be disappearing in favour of the yellow pilau.
I was happy to see Peshwari naan after such a long time, it seems to be a rarity in Dubai, but it was well worth the wait. An equal balance of raisins, coconut and bread, this Pesh was not too big, not too small, but just right. I hate it when some Peshwaris have minimal filling, you may as well have ordered a plain naan. This was the right thickness to mop up the remains of my Achaari. The plain but sweet lassi was a break from my Mango Lassi rut, a flavour I have never contemplated trying before, but hit the spot as the perfect tonic to digest the Achaari.
with such a large menu to work your way through, a copy of the Curry Box menu needs to be in every discerning curry enthusiast's kitchen drawer. Curry perfection.