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.
Chefs at Aroma Indian Cuisine know that patience pays off—they let their tandoori lamb marinate in bold spices overnight before cooking it in traditional clay ovens. This is one of the many ways Aroma demonstrates a commitment to serving authentic Indian and Pakistani cuisine at three locations throughout the DC area. The chef's feast for two overflows with samplings of saag paneer, tandoori chicken, and lamb kababs, presenting a welcome spread for couples, friends, or Doppelgangers that just met by a twist of fate. Those who don't eat meat can dig into one of the restaurant's many vegetarian dishes, which include vegan-friendly sauteed okra, and ginger-spiced channa masala.
The Taj Mahal is near-universally admired. So are Indian people. And so is their food. Today's Groupon gets you $10 for $25 worth of coconut-milk delights at Taj Mahal Restaurant. A Taj Mahal dinner is an intimate experience, like having a home-cooked Indian meal. Doesn't having access to your very own Indian family whenever you want sound nice? Yes it does.
Nestled inside Petworth, this neighborhood gem houses an atmosphere swirling with pleasantries and pixie dust. Diners say the ambience and cuisine quality are reminiscent of downtown or Chinatown, only with more reasonable pricing and less bustle and dragon attacks. Attentive servers promptly deliver well-portioned plates like devastating rhymes in a rap battle. Menu options lean toward the Indian side of the edible fence with an infusion of American flair in their preparation.
Growing up, Chakra Café’s owner Monisha lived two different lives. At school, she was known by her given name and spent lunch hours twirling spaghetti on a fork. But at home, Monisha’s Bengali parents only referred to her by her nickname, Hashi–or laughter–and mealtimes meant scooping up lamb curry with a piece of luchi. The duality of Monisha’s two worlds–and the food she was exposed to–left a lasting impression and is the driving force behind the Café’s menu.
Inside Chakra Café’s kitchen, chefs marry Indian flavors with culinary traditions from around the world, using recipes adapted from Monisha’s mother, according to a Patch.com article. Traditional Bengali dishes such as begun bhartha–roasted eggplant flavored with green mango–are served solo or stuffed inside quesadillas with smoked fontina cheese, roasted pine nuts, and raitha yogurt sauce. Other Indian staples are also Americanized, from the tandoori chicken that tops flatbread pizzas to spaghetti paired with lamb meatballs and a whisper of ghee. Each item on the menu is clearly marked as halal, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, making it easy to decipher the dishes without meat and the ones that require each bite to be chewed 32 times.