When I walked up to Bohj, an Indian restaurant in Elmwood Park, I wasn’t expecting much. The restaurant was in a tiny strip mall on a lackluster street. A bright open sign shone in the window of the tiny corner store that houses Bohj. We almost got back in our car to head to more familiar restaurants, but it was 8 and I was hungry, so we decided to check it out.
The minute we stepped through the door, I knew we were in good hands. The air was redolent with the delicious exotic smells of curry and coriander. The tiny restaurant was packed with Indian families crowded around tables overflowing with stews in bright copper dishes. I overheard a table of diners just sitting down to dinner commenting on how long it took them to drive in from Queens. I was certain that we had stumbled upon a gem, a place known by locals and destination diners alike.
We waited for about fifteen minutes in a tight little hallway near the bathroom for our table. Our host was incredibly apologetic but I didn’t mind. I was too busy eyeing the food on everyone’s plates.
Once we sat down, we were quickly served fragrant chutneys with some papadams for dipping. Although many items on the menu intrigued us, we decided to stay very traditional for our first visit. For appetizers, we started with Aloo Tikki with Channa ($6.50), breaded and deep fried mashed potatoes in a rich tomato sauce with chick peas, which had a mild yet exhilarating spicy heat. As I write, my mouth waters, craving another helping. We also tried the Lamb Samosas ($6.95), and were pleasantly surprised to discover that they were crispy, not overly fried, and the lamb was tasty and moist.
We knew we would be pretty full for main courses, and we wanted to leave enough room to try both the Naan ($2.50)and the Poori ($2.50), so we just ordered Chicken Tikka Massala ($15.95). At that point, we had already committed to returning to Bohj soon to place ourselves in our hosts’ hands to find more adventurous dishes, so we didn’t feel too badly about ordering such a touristy dish. Having resolved our guilt, we were able to really enjoy the rich and creamy Chicken Tikka Massala with the incredibly light Naan. The Poori was the only disappointment as it was too greasy.
We were definitely too full for dessert, but our waiter surprised us with a small bowl of cardamom infused rice pudding that proved to be the perfect way to finish this meal which still had my senses dancing the next morning.
430 Market Street
Elmwood Park, NJ 07407
Open seven days a week.
Weekday luncheon buffet $9.95 and special weekend buffet lunch ($11.95).
Mastercard and Visa accepted. Reservations recommended.
Vanessa Druckman aka Chefdruck, is our North Jersey contributor. Chefdruck is not a chef, as her online name suggests, just a huge food aficionado. She loves to cook and to eat out, and then to write about her experiences. Vanessa is a transplant from the big city. She is half-French and spent a big part of her childhood in France, so as a result, there’s no fear of cream and butter for Chefdruck. Read more from Vanessa at: http://www.chefdruck.blogspot.com/http://www.chefdruckwrites.blogspot.com/