Restaurant Reviews

Chicken Tikka Masala at Karavalli

August 6, 2013

If you’ve never tried Indian Food, I’m going to be brutally honest with you – you are seriously depriving your taste buds of some life changing flavors.

I get it, there’s a lot of hype around this specific ethnic food, with plenty of stories about what it can do to your stomach.

But here’s the kicker – Indian Food doesn’t have to be spicy if you don’t want it to be! Believe me, I’ve gone from XXX spicy to mild multiple times, and there’s a serious difference in how it impacts your taste buds.

On a very busy Friday night in Saratoga, I decided it was time to have my first experience at Karavalli on Caroline Street, after several years of wondering how it stacked up to Little India.

We were sat almost immediately, and with hefty appetites, I knew what I wanted before even looking at the menu.

Chicken Tikka Masala was the very first Indian food experience I ever had, and it was a meal I’ll never forget. Since then, regardless of how much time passes, I still crave the sensation of that first taste of spices and herbs hitting my tongue and exploding on my taste buds.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Let me explain real quick how Chicken Tikka Masala tastes with as much description as possible.

If ordering it hot (it can be mild if requested), when the sauce hits your tongue, you initially get the sweetness from the cinnamon in the sauce. Several seconds later, your taste buds are bombarded with rich and powerful spices that will give you a sensation you’ve never felt before.

It’s important to mention that it’s so much more than just the spice that makes this dish, but it’s more about the blend of spices and herbs that are used in Indian cooking that really take flavors to a greater level.


I like my masala hot, but again – it doesn’t have to be that way. I just feel as though the spicy level really allows for a more developed flavor in the dish, and ultimately makes the meal more memorable.

Garlic Naan

This dish was right on par with what I’ve had elsewhere, and the powerful punch it held kept me wanting more several hours after the meal ended. Oh right, and the garlic naan shown above? That was killer. Chunks of garlic, fresh herbs and a toasted, thin naan – amazing.

If you’re afraid to get out there and try Indian food, I beg of you not to dismiss it without giving it a shot. You might have to test out the waters at first to see what flavors your taste buds like and dislike, but the overall Indian cuisine is something that could not only change your outlook on ethnic food but could actually change your life.

Are you an Indian food lover? What are some of your favorite dishes?

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  • Reply llcwine August 8, 2013 at 6:21 am

    I know you write about Saratoga restaurants…but the Karavalli in Latham, is even better than the Saratoga outpost….

    • Reply Ashley August 11, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      If the Latham restaurant is better, then I MUST try it!

  • Reply Denise August 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I was hoping that you’d mention Saratoga’s Karavalli Restaurant when I saw that you were writing about Indian food. Literally, my husband and I go there EVERY weekend. We LOVE the food and the owner and staff are very friendly and accomodating to food allergies, etc. Although they have plenty of meat and fish dishes, it is the best place to eat in Saratoga for vegetarians and vegans.

    If people are unsure of what they might like, I highly recommend trying the lunch buffets. They have a $9.95 buffet during the work week and a $12.95 buffet on the weekends (it is larger and gives you both naan and dosa).

    Besides Chianti Restaurant (which is more upscale), Karavalli is the best restaurant in Saratoga Springs. My husband and I are really into cooking and eating good food and are picky about where we eat. Karavalli is at the top of our list. 🙂

    • Reply Ashley August 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      I love the idea you gave for people to try it by going to the lunch buffet. I must agree – if I had never tried Indian food, I would have been a little hesitant to visit this place for dinner. But it’s a shame how many people refuse to try this type of ethnic food just because of things they may have heard about it! Thanks for your response!

      • Reply Denise August 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        You are welcome! I started out trying Indian food by going to buffets. Karavalli’s buffets are so reasonable that it’s a very affordable way to sample a variety of dishes. They have signs that tell the name of the dish and the ingredients in each dish. They are also very willing to answer questions.

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