Named one of Detroit CityVoters’ top five finalists for Best Indian Restaurant in 2012, Priya Indian Cuisine serves a vast menu of dishes crafted from beloved recipes from across India. Skilled chefs prepare each signature regional dish according to centuries-long traditions, showcasing the smoky, tandoor-cooked meats and unleavened breads of Northern Indian tradition as well as Southern India’s distinctive blends of spices and flavorful sauces. The culinary crew can also be found fueling the kebab-filled clay tandoor oven with charcoal and wood or whipping up rice-based pulaos and biryanis native to the southern city of Hyderabad. To complement the meat-focused dishes, the chefs forge a variety of meatless dishes featuring fresh, housemade paneer to sate the appetites of vegetarians. Eaters can chow down amid the regal dining room’s rich-purple linens, palm trees, and Indian statues or break bread.
Though there are dozens of authentic Indian dishes on the menu at New Delhi Indian Cuisine, the most important food is arguably the naan. With this buttery bread, diners scoop up fiery lamb curries and mop up lingering drops of creamy fish korma sauce. As guests rip off strips of naan in the dining room, chefs whip up second batches in the kitchen, turning their attention to other dishes once breads are safely baking in the special oven. The team simmers seafood, chicken, and lamb in homemade sauces, flavorful herbs, and exotic spices such as saffron imported from the East or garlic harvested on the rings of Saturn. They also stir pots of bubbling biryani rice, and stuff samosas with spiced potatoes and green peas. Come lunchtime, the chefs build a sumptuous lunch buffet with an assortment of freshly made soups, breads, and entrees.
Chef Das gladly carries on the tradition of crafting fine food and sharing trade secrets with an accessible teaching-style. Students of her classes gain a greater understanding of the culinary traditions that infuse the Indian subcontinent, from making paneer masala with freshly-pressed cheeses to comprehending the difference between currying favor and favoring curry.
Manu and Ila Patel decided to share their recipes with others inside Krishna Catering & Restaurant. They stuff dosas (thin crepes) with cheese and vegetables and toss onions and jalapeños into uttapam (thick pancake) mix, creating dishes that helped the eatery earn the Best Vegetarian Restaurant award on the 2012 Detroit A List. Ila also blends Indian and Chinese flavors, dousing cheese cubes in Chinese sauce and sprinkling chili and soy sauces over veggies. Manu and Ila also cart their myriad dishes off site, catering weddings and celebrations held after passing court-mandated polygraph tests.
The chefs at Mirchi Indian Cuisine pull sizzling meats from their tandoor clay oven, ladle up simmered servings of flavorful curries, and fold veggies into doses with South Indian spices. They serve up platters of rice biryani in the Hyderabad style and dragon boats full of noodles in the Indo-Chinese style. Domestic and Indian beers wash down mild and spicy bites and authentic Indian desserts seal the meal.
Thin slices of shawarma fall from the twirling rotisserie spit as the chef fills pita bread for one of Sizzling Kabobs' hearty sandwiches. Chicken shawarma is just one of the options on a menu filled with Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The kitchen team marinates chicken before grilling it in kebabs or baking it tandoori-style to a rose-pink. They also make hashwi by blending ground beef, rice, chicken, and almonds—a nutritious meal that makes it unnecessary to spike coffee with Flintstones vitamins.