Built on family recipes, Taj Mahal Restaurant features an array of North Indian specialties. Chefs start with a few basic spices, such as onions, garlic, and ginger, to create their aromatic sauces for dishes such as vegetable korma, chicken tikka masala, and saag gosht—cubes of lamb over a spicy spinach purée. Both lunch and dinner feature buffets lined with a spread of vegetarian and seafood entrees, rice biryanis, and tandoori specialties. Proving that one does not have to bite into something to find it delicious, the dessert menu features housemade mango ice cream, Indian-style rice pudding, and raw gossip.
The Indian Harvest adorns white tablecloths with north Indian curries, pilafs, and kebabs distinguished by myriad spices such as pods of cardamom, cloves, cumin, and mustard seeds, and bowls of mint, tamarind, and mango chutney. Over 20 vegetarian dishes showcase the versatility of eggplant, cauliflower, and peas, as well as their ability to harmonize with lentils and avoid getting redfaced when infused with whole chiles. A clay oven known as a tandoor sizzles lamb, chicken, and shrimp at a high temperature to seal in marinade and keep cholesterol down, and provides the bellows to puff up rounds of seasoned, leavened naan bread. Wood panels cut with floral designs screen sections of tables and booths in the dining room, whereas views of lake open up the banquet hall and the patio.
Flavors from India and Pakistan meet on Sara's Grill & Eastern Cuisine's menu, which incorporates halal meats and fragrant spices into its extensive selection of dishes. Decadent curries send savory and spicy aromas wafting past diners' tables to tempt taste buds with lingering scents of cilantro and ginger. In the kitchen, a clay tandoor oven bakes orders of naan and roasts skewers of marinated chicken or goat. Cylindrical pendant lamps and sconces illuminate damask-stenciled walls to create an intricately artistic vibe, much like a tattoo of a Rube Goldberg–device.
Dakshin Indian Cuisine's creative chefs blend southern-Indian spices with Chinese flavors, crafting a menu of artful eats with elegant tastes. Dakshin means "south" in Sanskrit, and the southern starters shine, with the traditional Rasam soup ($2.99,) chock-full of tamarind, lentil, and piquant spices, great for warming up stomachs and filling pockets with a snack for later. Thin, lentil crêpes, or dosas, hail from the south and come smothered with cooked minced meat in the keema dosa ($9.99) or potato and onion in the masala dosa ($6.99). Chinese influences seep through the sauce of the szechwan chicken hakka noodles ($9.99), covered in julienned vegetables and sprinkled with secret messages in Mandarin.
Persis Indian Grill’s cooks prepare heaping platters of authentic, flavorful Indian cuisine, specializing on biryani entrees. To start meals, they marinate and deep-fry more than 20 appetizers, such as cheese cubes, juicy chicken, and cauliflower in a corn-flour batter before tossing them in spices. For the main event, cooks infuse veggies and halal meats with piquant spices and creamy, buttery sauces. Entrees include Indian classics such as fish curry, butter chicken, lamb rogan josh, and diwani handi—an assortment of mixed veggies simmered in a spice-layered cream sauce.
According to one NapervilleSun writer, Green Chilli is an eatery where "the essence of Indian food can be experienced". Diners can dig into quintessential Indian dishes such as tikka masala, fish curry sweetened with tamarind, and lamb or goat biryani. The restaurant's chefs also fuse Indian and Chinese flavors in dishes like battered, fried paneer cheese tossed with soy sauce, onions, green peppers, and chilies. Attached to Green Chilli, Kwality Ice Cream scoops frosty desserts after dinner.