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She Said: Marigold Maison is solid gold goodness

Located in a strip center near Cactus Road and Tatum Boulevard, I was anxious but looked forward to my visit to Marigold Maison.

I admit I am far from an expert in Indian cuisine but was at ease as soon as I sat down. Not only were my dining companions extremely helpful with the menu, but the friendly waiter suggested some of his personal favorites as well.

The quaint restaurant is filled with warm colors and has hints of Indian décor. The subtle touches help turn this space into a more intimate experience.

The organized layout perfectly accommodated both my party of three and the large party of eight behind us.

The kitchen sits right off the dining area and your mouth starts to water as you smell all the wonderful aromas flooding into the room.

We started with the chickpea ceviche. The chickpeas are obviously the star of this dish, with finely diced onion, potato and tomato giving it a bean salad feel. Mint and tamarind have soaked into the earthy chickpeas seasoning the dish to perfection.

Two pieces of papadum (large thin crackers) accompany the ceviche and are perfect for loading with ceviche, but I loved this hearty appetizer so much I went in with a spoon!

We got a variety of naan for the table. Baked in a tandoor oven, this pita-like bread is delicious in its original form but the garlic naan and spice naan were outstanding and I was in carb heaven.

The next chaat (snack) on our table was bhel puri. Lentils, puffed rice, vegetables, yogurt and mint mixed together with a tangy tamarind sauce. The blended spices are loaded with flavor but the texture was the highlight.

The crispy and crunchy consistency was a treat. You can eat this alone, or like me, grab some naan to pair with it.

We ordered a trio of entrees: Goan vindaloo, saag paneer with chicken and the chicken tikka masala.

The chicken tikka masala is rich spices with a tomato base sauce. The marinated chicken soaks in all the flavors of this creamy savory sauce, giving it a kick with each bite. You can eat it alone or scoop over rice and let the entire flavors seep through.

Goan vindaloo is a curry-based dish popular in the Goa region of India. This dish was the spiciest and the most fragrant of the trio but not overwhelming.

This intriguing dish would be perfect on a chilly night as it delivers that warming sensation from your belly to your face.

The saag paneer was my favorite of the entrees. The mustard leaf and spinach are responsible for the green coloring and are combined with fresh cheese, giving this dish a milder flavor.

Traces of ginger and garlic finish this dish off making it irresistible. (I am already craving this dish.)

I soaked up the leftover sauces on my plate with what was left of the naan. I didn’t want anything to go to waste and sopped up everything in sight. I know I’m not an expert on Indian cuisine, but I know good food when I eat it and this meal was an exotic delight!