Riverside, CA

Combo Dinners Offer Endless Variety at Punjab Palace

J.M. Lesinski

The lunch special combination from Punjab Palace in Riverside, California.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

For those expanding their pallets and those looking for the most variety in a meal alike, combination plates are often pricy, but an excellent way to try multiple menu items at once. At Punjab Palace in Riverside, California, the combination plates are plentiful, and loaded with some must-try flavor for any in the Inland Empire.

The Mix Tandoori Grill is the variety plate to try at Punjab Palace, featuring several of the establishment’s finest items, including tandoori chicken, a seekh kebab, chicken tikka, lamb tikka, and tandoori fish on a sizzling platter of onions with naan and rice on the side and a bonus dessert of gulab jamun to top it all off.

The Punjab Special is a bit more affordable of an option compared to the Mix Tandoori Grill, and features some of the same, staple menu items. The Punjab Special comes with pappadam, chicken tandoon, chicken tikka, lamb curry, sag paneer, raita, rice, naan, and gulab jamun, making it another excellent sampler style plate.

Likewise, the Non-Vegetarian offers up a poultry-centric combination offering, featuring pappadam, tandoori chicken, chicken curry, dal, raita, rice, roti, naan, and gulab jamun. Of course, the Vegetarian Thali offers up a vegetarian option that includes bengan bharatha, korma dal makhni, rice, tandoori roti naan, raita, and gulab jamun.

Aside from the combinations, the tandoori specialties are another iconic offering at Punjab Palace. The chicken tandoori comes on a bed of onions and lemon mint chutney for a meat-lovers dream dish, while the chicken tikka comes with the same bed and similar rose red chicken to die for. Any of the seekh kebabs from the tandoori are excellent options too.

The chicken tikka masala is a creamy, delectable treat from Punjab Palace, a stand-out hit on the chicken menu hands down. A similar dish to tikka not known by many is the karahi chicken, which is even denoted as “a recipe from the mountain,” on the restaurant menu. Featuring chicken cooked in the juice of ginger, garlic, and tomatoes, the succulent chicken is another melt in one’s mouth must-try.

Fans of lamb will find a number of unique and amazing offerings ranging from lamb curry with ginger and garlic to lamb malai with coconut and cream sauce. The lamb korma is an exceptional interpretation of the classic dish, featuring diced boneless lamb with yogurt, cream, raisins, and nuts over rice, while the keema aloo comes ground with sauteed potatoes and rice for just a pinch of heat in another must-try dish. Another hard to master dish that is exceptionally well done at Punjab Palace is the goat curry. For those who have sought out this hard to find, and even harder to perfect dish, look no further.

There are a number of incredible appetizers at Punjab Palace to try, but the samosas and pakoras are personal favorites. The vegetable samosa is a deep fried golden, fluffy patty stuffed with green peas and a spicy potato mixture, ideal as a side for any meal. The cheese, chicken, fish, and vegetable pakoras are all spiced and seasoned perfectly the same, and always come out crispy and delicious.

Fans of onion rings know the similarities between the famous American side dish and the traditional onion bhaji appetizer common in Indian cuisine, and Punjab Palace does one incredible onion bhaji. Crispy and light, the onion bhaji practically melts in one’s mouth. In line with the combination meal offerings, one additional starter to try too is the assorted appetizers, featuring a seekh kebab, vegetable pakora, vegetable samosa, chicken pakora, and onion bhaji, to really get a feel of some of the best Indian cuisine in the IE.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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