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 epicurean alchemists at India House, winner of Chicago magazine's Best Indian Buffet designation, draw inspiration from many places: the cuisine of Bombay and Delhi, Indian street fare, and homestyle tandoori cooking. The menu's more than 250 items please vegetarian and meat-eating palates alike with curries and kebabs that use the flavors of fresh cilantro, chilies, and coconut. A reviewer for the Chicago Tribune praises the restaurant?s ?incredibly tender tandoori chicken,? and Chicago magazine says the fiery "Hyderabadi-style mahi-mahi ? is a must." Midday lunchers can dig into a buffet whose myriad options make it difficult to decide which delicious curries should be ladled over naan and rice.
Pita & Kabobz draws primarily from the rich flavors of Indian, Pakistani, and Afghani cuisines to create scrumptious skewer-style fare and more. Send taste buds sojourning through the Eastern hemisphere without enrolling them in the Merchant Marines with first courses such as grape leaves ($2.99) or creamy hummus ($2–$4.50), sided with fresh-baked naan bread.
Taking its name from a style of Indian dance, Thumka Indian Bar and Grill strives to capture the vibrant spirit and flavors of the South Asian subcontinent. The intermingling aromas of saffron, cumin, mint chutney, ginger, fenugreek, coriander, and green chilies fill the dining room, providing a brief overview of a menu that manages to highlight the regional culinary traditions of virtually every corner of the country.
The chefs embrace the northern tradition of roasting skewered chicken, lamb chops, and vegetables inside a geothermally-heated tandoor oven; they also create crepe-like dosas, which traditionally hail from India's southern regions. A selection of fried rice entrees and Szechuan-inspired dishes even demonstrates the chefs' versatility in creating Indo-Chinese cuisine. A la carte dining is also available.
With its simple wooden tables, tiled floors, and burgundy-hued booths, Thumka Indian Bar and Grill's dining room embraces a cozy, homespun spirit. Ornate lamps hang from the ceiling, casting their light across mustard-yellow walls, which are adorned with bronze sculptures and colonial-style windows. The warm ambiance makes the dining space an ideal place for birthday celebrations or hosting catered events.