Mayuri Indian Restaurant's servers dole out traditional Indian fare?including numerous vegetarian entrees?in a casual dining area with two flat-screen TVs. The menu includes regional specialties such as northern Indian paratha, or flatbread, and southern Indian dosa, or black-lentil crepes, as well as a smattering of Chinese fried-rice dishes. For large groups, chefs can tote sprawling catering spreads to on-location events or host up to 100 people at an onsite banquet hall.
Standing as high as the chefs' shoulders, a 1,000-pound clay oven heats classic Indian meals inside a pot-like chamber that reaches temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The massive tandoor oven adds signature smokiness to a variety of comestibles, from soft naan bread to the customer favorite butter chicken, whose boneless slivers of meat come drenched in a creamy tomato sauce.
Curriez Indian Cuisine's pair of chefs, each with nearly two decades' worth of culinary experience, uses only halal meat when compiling hearty dishes. They can also leave meat out of the equation for vegetarian fare prepared on a separate, meat-free platform. Guests may enjoy their authentic Indian meals seated at a table or booth or inside the private dining room, which can seat up to 30 people with no more than three legs apiece.
The chefs at Deeya Indian Cuisine go to great lengths to bring the traditional flavors of India's northern Punjab region to Clearwater. In addition to embracing traditional cooking techniques?such as roasting breads and skewered meats within a clay tandoor oven. They also import a number of rare herbs and spices directly from India via giant slingshot. The distinctive combinations of turmeric, ginger, garlic, curry powder, coriander, bay leaves, and garam masala lend even more South Asian flair to the menu items. In addition to tandoor-baked chicken in a creamy tomato-based gravy, these menu items also include fiery lamb vindaloo and yellow lentils flavored with cumin and cilantro. Some of these dishes may be served with an incendiary level of spice, although the servers happily recommend dishes to suit virtually any palate.
Champions of adhering to traditional recipes and culinary practices, a father-and-son team serves as both the owners and head chefs of New Passage to India. Their kitchen staff whips up dishes native to a variety of Indian regions, granting diners a taste of the subcontinent without the paper cuts that come from eating maps. They handcraft ingredients such as house-made paneer cheese, garden-fresh mushrooms, and fresh lamb with pinches of hand-ground spices. Sensitive to varied tolerances of piquancy, the chefs customize the heat levels of many of their creations to individual preferences. Affable servers wend from table to table within the dining room’s deep-green walls and wooden columns.
The aromas of South Asian spices lure passersby into Abhiruchi India Cuisine, where they typically pause for a moment to savor the décor and read the descriptions of more than 100 Indian specialties. Halal and vegetarian options are both well represented on the lengthy menu, which features spicy curries and tandoori-baked entrees based on chicken, seafood, and lamb or goat. When they aren’t scooping tikka masala into trays for the lunch buffet or pilfering Marco Polo’s travelogues for new recipes, the restaurant’s chefs accommodate partygoers with catering services.
For the last 26 years, Executive Chef Dominic Sarkar has traveled from Dubai to California preparing the meals he learned to cook back in India. At Raga, he prepares exquisite dishes from a vast menu of softly spiced curries and kebabs, each of which arrives at tables elegantly plated. The dining room matches the stylish arrangements of food, surrounding guests with exposed brick walls, cut glass chandeliers overhead, and stylish felt seating. At the back of the room, the kitchen's fourth wall is removed, so diners can watch Chef Sarkar's cooking techniques as well as observe his sous chefs Greco-Roman wrestling for the chance to help on a dish.