For me, a New Year heralds Try January. I’m full of good intentions and sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t.
Last Saturday afternoon, as usual, I had food on my mind.
The little devil of No Willpower was saying “takeaway, takeaway!” The good fairy of Try January was tapping me saying “don’t give in, don’t give in!” I gave in.
As surely, I told the good fairy, I can still do some justice to Try January?
The answer was yes; thanks to The Indian Place, which sits at the top of Chapel Street in Chorley.
This is a new vegetarian and vegan restaurant (a no-meat Saturday in my Try January) and I’d discovered them via social media. The business began on Chorley’s Farmers’ Market, but the restaurant has only been open a few weeks.
It’s a lovely cosy place, with little wooden tables dotted with candles, chilled lighting and laid-back decor.
The Indian Place Facebook page is full of temptation, and the menu - approved by the Vegetarian Society - is no exception.
I’m reading the menu now as I write, and I’m keen to go back (the good fairy will be pleased) for some of their street food, or maybe a speciality curry such as Ringna No Oro (£6.50) with flame roasted aubergines, Gujarati spices and garlic.
But back to my takeaway (which is, after all, why we’re here).
Hara-bhara kebab (£2.50) are round pakora-sized deep-fried patties, with spinach, peas and potato.
I nibbled them as soon as I got home with a cheese chilli paratha (£2). The four patties were crispy on the outside and the sweetness of the peas shone through.
I loved the paratha, it was like a guilty secret, the cheese oozing over a thin base. Oh my, it was filling! I could have eaten another though.
I kept my main choice quite simple, and opted for Vegetable Toofani (£5) mainly because I’d not heard of it.
I found a chunky mix of vegetables and baby potatoes. The crisp, crunchy, vegetables were pert, and individual flavours shone through. The onions were a delight. The spicy sauce was interesting as it was a dry heat which tingled in the mid palate, and wasn’t at all overpowering.
Pulao Rice (£3.50) jewelled with peas, carrots and sweetcorn, added a freshening balance, and a very good Butter Naan (£1.20) was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.
I hope more people discover this new Indian delight.