Monday - Friday     11am - 10pm
Saturday   11am - 11pm
Sunday  11am - 11pm
Only the finest meats and freshest vegetables, which come fresh from the farmer’s market, find their way into our kitchen.  Once there, they are cooked with the best spices and pure light vegetable oil to bring out the true flavors of authentic Indian cooking.  Our extensive menu offers a wide selection of dishes ranging from traditional to modern recipes, appealing to all tastes.  Diners can request entrees made vegetarian-style, or in the traditional style with any of our fresh meats.

Indian cuisine is characterized by the use of various spices, herbs and other vegetables, and sometimes fruits grown in India and also for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society. Each family of Indian cuisine includes a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. As a consequence, it varies from region to region, reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically-diverse Indian subcontinent.

Hindu beliefs and culture have played an influential role in the evolution of Indian cuisine. However, cuisine across India also evolved as a result of the subcontinent's large-scale cultural interactions with Mongols and Britain making it a unique blend of various cuisines. The spice trade between India and Europe is often cited as the main catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. The colonial period introduced European cooking styles to India, adding to the flexibility and diversity of Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine has influenced cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.

Indian Cooking derives from a 5000 year old timeline, during which culture has changed, geographical boundaries have changed significantly leading to confusing terms such as sub-continental cuisine while other parts of a region want a separate culinary identity. Indian Cooking has however evolved significantly over time and the varying influences brought into the country by the various rulers and travelers, it has not lost its original identity, rather become richer with the assimilation of the myriad influences. This is very apparent in some of the unique regional cuisines.

The staples of Indian cuisine are rice, atta (whole wheat flour), and a variety of pulses, the most important of which are masoor (most often red lentil), channa (bengal gram), toor (pigeon pea or yellow gram), urad (black gram), and mung (green gram). Pulses may be used whole, dehusked – for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad – or split. Split pulses, or dal, are used extensively. Some pulses, like channa and mung, are also processed into flour (besan).

Most Indian curries are cooked in vegetable oil. In northern and western India, peanut oil is most popular for cooking, while in eastern India, mustard oil is more commonly used. Coconut oil is used widely along the western coast and in southern India; gingelly oil is common in the south as well. In recent decades, sunflower oil and soybean oil have gained popularity all over India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as Vanaspati ghee, is another popular cooking medium. Butter-based ghee, or desi ghee, is less used than formerly.

The most important or frequently used spices in Indian cuisine are chilli pepper, black mustard seed (rai), cumin (jeera), turmeric (haldi, manjal), fenugreek (methi), asafoetida (hing, perungayam), ginger (adrak, inji), coriander (dhania), and garlic (lehsun, poondu). Popular spice mixes are garam masala, a powder that typically includes five or more dried spices, especially cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. Each region, and sometimes each individual chef, has a distinctive blend of garam masala. Goda masala is a similar sweet spice mix, popular in Maharashtra. Some leaves are commonly used, including tejpat (cinnamon leaf), coriander leaf, fenugreek leaf, and mint leaf. The common use of curry leaves and curry roots is typical of all South Indian cuisine. Sweet dishes are seasoned with cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and rose petal essences.

So welcome to our kitchen! If you can't visit us, we'd be happy if you'd like us to bring a meal to you with our take-away delivery service.

When it came to coming up with a name for the city's first Indian restaurant in years, Peter Safri and his wife Ranjit knew there was only one way to go.

The Taj Grill & Bar officially opened its doors Monday.

"That's where we got the name from," said Peter in reference to the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site in northern India. "Everybody knows Taj means India." The restaurant is the main tenant in the new single-storey commercial complex on the southeast corner of 100 Street and 97 Avenue Originally slated to open several months ago, the restaurant was delayed while Safri worked on establishing the Pizza Plus franchise that is the building's secondary tenant.

"I have the pizza shop next door, and that's why there were some problems. We were trying to make it busy before we started the next one. That's why it was slow," he explained.

The 3,000 square-foot restaurant seats between 80 and 90 and will feature a lunch and dinner buffet as a way to introduce Indian cuisine to the market.

Indian favourites such as butter chicken, tandoori chicken, samosas, and naan bread will be featured on the menu.

"That's why we'll have the lunch and dinner buffet; some people don't know (the food)," Ranjit said. "They can try what they like."

A grand opening for invited guests Saturday went much better than the couple anticipated.

"That's my dream, to bring East Indian food to Grande Prairie…everybody loved it, we've had a good response," Peter said. Currently employing 10 people, the Safris said plan to expand to at least 15 as time goes on.

Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Peter Safri says one thing the restaurant has going for it that previous Indian restaurants did not have its location.

"Because it's in the centre of the city…it's the best location (for a restaurant)," he said.

By Remo Zaccagna

Shah Jahan and Mumtaj
  780 532 4500