Amid colorful Indian art and handicrafts, the dining room at India House Restaurant fills with the aromas of more than 250 eclectic dishes. Chefs draw on regional cuisines from Delhi to Bombay, fusing flavors with techniques borrowed from street fare and homestyle tandoori cooking. Besides dousing chicken, lamb, and seafood in flavorful sauces, they also craft healthful vegetarian dishes so that those eschewing meat don’t have to size up nearby houseplants for their palatability.
Brothers Devinder Singh and Sital Singh opened Taste of India to share the flavors of the Indian subcontinent with eaters. In the kitchen, chefs use halal meats to prepare chicken, lamb, and beef curries such as chicken tikka masala and beef shahikorma cooked in cream with a spice-and-nut blend. An in-house clay tandoori oven produces specials such as chickan kabobs and paneer tikka—cheese cubes marinated in yogurt sauce and roasted with spices.
Jagadish "Jack" Bhandari, owner of Taste of Himalayas, takes taste buds on culinary expeditions through India and Nepal with the help of his epicurean family and an arsenal of natural ingredients. Beneath exposed-brick walls, a menu pushes 15?20 favorite options forward onto a white-tablecloth-draped buffet. In the powerful heat of the tandoori clay oven, Jagadish's nephew preps dishes such as chicken tikka, tandoori shrimp, and freshly baked naan bread. Chef Krishna, Jagadish's cousin, relies on years' worth of experience as a kitchen maestro on a Carnival cruise ship to prepare elaborate dishes and predict sand castle property values.
The chefs at Lal Qila Restaurant, named for the ornate 17th-century Indian monument, serve up a lengthy menu of tandoori- and clay–oven-baked Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Doling out large portions, they sizzle up spice-driven dishes loaded with goat, lamb, seafood, or chicken. Vegetarian options include cheese- and lentil-based dishes that fill the restaurant with exotic scents more effectively than tossing around a boomerang slathered in curry.
Miki Trikha and his wife, Nidhi, hope to expose Americans to the popular street foods of Mumbai, where businesspeople on their lunch breaks crowd together, the scents of buttery naan billowing around them on the warm breath of ovens. The couple, who also operate an Indian grocery store, glide across a dining room that the Daily Herald calls “cute and contemporary.” Vibrant portraits span the length of the walls beside colorful, leaf-painted tables. Above a treat-filled glass case, a large menu board guides diners, explaining the flavors and lore behind Mumbai-style chaat. The popular street food combines a piece of fried bread with toppings including pomegranate, chickpeas, and tomato sauce alongside golden samosas and dumplings stuffed with zabiha halal meat or soaked in creamy yogurt.
The metallic symphony of a busy kitchen drifts into the room as chefs forge veggie crepes and crown tandoor chicken and lamb with fresh mint chutney. While downing imported Indian sodas, guests admire the eatery's high ceilings and exposed rafters, which shake with laughter and leave space for exaggerated gestures during fishing stories.
Inside a sizzling tandoor oven, 15 styles of naan, paratha, and roti soak in the heat until they start to take on a slight char. Peacock's chefs then pull them out of the oven, serving them hot as an accompaniment authentic tandoori meats and curries. Dining here is an experience for all the senses, from the soft cheese stuffed inside paneer naan to the spicy murg vindaloo. Almonds and pistachios inside the nuts naan give a tender crunch and make it easy to sop up sauces such as the creamy murg kurma or one of many shrimp or lamb dishes. Vegetarian options also abound for people eschewing meat or hoping a vegetable a day will keep a full range of medical professionals away.