Neehee’s may never grab the opportunity to expand into the under-served* Indian food scene of Troy (*relative to the large Indian population). At least Punjab Farmington Hills has now taken the initiative to branch out. Sure, Punjab Sweets & Indian Cuisine might not stand out amongst the thick competition around its home base on Orchard Lake, but it is a very welcome new, take-out oriented, place for Troy. Located on the southwest corner of Long Lake at Livernois. Same general intersection as Thai Taste. Given that Neehee’s prices increased after it relocated to a more upscale location and its popularity further rose, Punjab’s prices now comparatively seem like a deal--- about $8 per entree.
Being a not remarkably charismatic, white guy, I did find the person/people working the phone and the counter to be a bit challenging, though I do think I will find them to be fine folks once we get to know one another (the young, handsome busboy certainly already was going out of his way to check on and ensure everyone was happy). In any event, the website and the mailer coupon led to numerous confusions, regarding at which of the two locations certain menu options are available and when, at each, the doors or buffet are open. Also, the mailer said Punjab is located on Long Lake at ROCHESETER Rd, which is a mile away from the real location, west of LIVERNOIS.
Getting on to the food…The family was very pleased when I got it home. The Masala Dosa was served with respectable chutneys and excellent sambhar dipping soup. Yum. I will reserve evaluation of the ample dosa, itself, in compliance with Sir Boagman’s decree regarding fresh-from-the-fire doughs/batters: “If not immediately consumed, then not shall one pass judgement (especially in the case of thin crust pizza).”
I also brought home chicken biryani. The meat was juicy. The rice seemed optimally cooked. I liked the flavor. Toasted onion was prominent, rightly or wrongly. Will get again. Maybe goat next time, and then returning to chicken.
The Bagara Baigan (eggplant in tamarind-coconut-sesame gravy) was very tasty, but it was too hot for me, and I go very hot. Wow…killer. Punjab doesn’t ask customers for heat preferences. You get it how it comes. I respect that. But, ouch. The vegetable masala over rice was quite good. Rich, but not overly oily; maybe a bit heavy on the cubed onion, but the fresh, tender okra was a big reward. I might try the vegetable korma (Navaratan) next time, but surely will have that sweet masala again.
OMG, I also saw someone eating large banana peppers stuffed with spiced potatoes, then battered and deep fried (mirchi pakoda), with chutney dipping sauces. These looked fantastic, but I already was well on the way to blowing out the diet allowances of me and wife. If you live or work (talkin’ to you CyE) in Troy, this joint is well worth a stop, every now and then!