Mirch Masala's dishes of chicken and lamb kabobs, fluffy naan loaves, and creamy paneer honor the ancient flavors of the Indian subcontinent. Savory tomato sauce and dustings of ginger and cumin coat chickpeas, lamb, and poultry, while mango lassi and tamarind chutney add touches of sweetness to meals. Like the series of pneumatic tubes that ran under the Silk Road, the selection of Indo-Chinese dishes unite the produce and customs of India and China, fashioning inventive feasts such as ginger-cooked chili chicken entangled by hearty lo-mein noodles.
Angeethi blends Indian spices and ingredients in order to serve fresh, piquant entrees brimming with flavors straight out of Calcutta. Start by appointing one of Angeethi's appetizers as ambassador to your mouth, with options like deep-fried vegetable samosa ($4, two per order), and barbecued reshmi-kebab chicken ($6). From there, the restaurant's mammoth menu offers a long list of seafood, lamb, tandoori, and vegetarian entrees. The succulent goan white fish ($18) comes sautéed in delectable coconut curry, and the bakri balti ($16) is marinated goat, cooked in an herbed balti sauce with a pinch of wine. Awaken the senses with the murg tandoori¬ ($13), which consists of chicken that's marinated overnight in yogurt, told a rousing bedtime story around 2 a.m., then meticulously barbequed in a clay oven. Vegetarian entrees include palak paneer ($12), homemade cheese cubes and spinach made zesty with herbaceous spices. Wash down any spicy residue with a glass of vino from the beverage menu, offering wine from Washington, California, Italy, New Zealand, and other locales.
Traditional spices and culinary techniques from both the northern and southern regions in India guide chefs as they craft more than 100 dishes. They skewer prawns marinated in an almond cream and sprinkle spices atop roasted eggplant. In the kitchen, a clay oven heartily bakes ginger lamb chops and bread stuffed with dried fruits. The chefs also cook up their own phaal curry dish, described as “excruciatingly hot curry, more pain and sweat than flavor,” on the menu. As a reward for taking on the phaal, they offer a free bottle of beer or fire extinguisher to any diner that finishes it.
A palate-friendly palace in gold and green, Heritage India is the latest outpost of owner Sanjeev Tuli’s globe-spanning career in the hospitality business. Past ornate artwork and an elegant dining room, head chef Dawa Tamang draws on the culinary styles of his birthplace. The influence shows in menus of flavorful fusion cuisine, including calamari sautéed with curry leaves and coconut milk, and hyderabadi murgh haleem, a dish of chicken, barley, lentils, and spices. Smaller plates also abound, and Heritage India’s rendition of golgappas—a popular street food made of puffed wheat, potato, and chickpeas—inspired Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post to dream of a life overseas.