Can anyone who has eaten at the various and sundry Indian restaurants in SE Michigan perhaps offer a suggestion to a common problem that my wife and I have had while dining out?
Over the years, we've decided that there's a level of spiciness we like that we call "medium", since it's not tongue-blisteringly hot and doesn't melt the wax in our ears, but has a good bite to it, frees up the sinuses, and leaves a gentle tingle on the tongue. It's what we get when we order dishes "medium" at Raja Rani in AA, and at House of India on Orchard Lake in Farmington Hills. This is more like what we've had on Devon Street in Chicago.
Naturally, this is pretty subjective- what one kitchen staff thinks is hot and what another one does varies quite a bit. Our experience is that many other places in SE Mich tend to think that "medium" means "take the base recipe, show it the label from a can of curry powder, then dump in salt." A couple of restaurants we used to like started out well, then went that route (Vaatika at Haggerty & Grand River comes to mind).
Has anyone found a technique that works for getting the specific degree of spiciness they like, other than trial and error? The obvious strategy is to find a place that cooks the way we like it and just keep going there, but that doesn't necessarily mesh with our desire to try out new places with different menus.