Indian Palace ignites exotically flavored belly fires with its piquant menu of homemade northern Indian cuisine. Crumple to the floor in awe at the godlike power of the mighty tandoor, a clay oven that fires up savory dishes like tandoori chicken tikka (boneless chicken marinated and char-grilled, $11.50) and fills metaphorical breadbaskets with the literal bread of fresh baked palak naan (stuffed with spinach, ginger, and herbs, $2.99).
While Columbus's Indian culinary scene often emphasizes South Indian vegetarian dishes, according to the Columbus Dispatch, Amul India has turned its gaze toward the fragrant meats of North Indian traditions. The eatery's menu pairs traditional vegetable entrees with curry-slathered meats and savory tandoori dishes forged in the sweltering heat of a clay oven. Amul's crisp, white tablecloths swim in the buttery light of chandeliers amid blush pink walls equipped with a wormhole to New Delhi as guests complement their eclectic spices with a bottle from the wine list, which Jon Christensen of the Columbus Dispatch calls "unusually elaborate."
Chefs at Taj Palace spice up curry sauces, bake marinated chicken in fiery ovens, and coat pastries with cardamom and honey syrup to fill their menu with recipes from Northern and Southern India. Red chili peppers add a blazing touch to the spicy vindaloo curry, and the kitchen's clay tandoor oven blows smoky kisses across the dining room in the form of marinated barbecued-chicken kebabs. The daily lunch, Monday-night dinner, and Tuesday-night vegetarian buffets brim with a cornucopia of more than 25 different items, including soups, curried meats, and soft naan.
Utilizing ancient Persian cooking methods with Indian flair, tandoori cooking prepares your meal to order, ensuring that it is delivered hot and fresh, like a shrink-wrapped DVD of virtual flames. Chef Lal, Chef Ghimire, and Chef Lama have teamed up in a virtual Justice League of cookery, bringing decades of experience straight into your mouth. Stimulate that very mouth’s taste magnet with the exotic flavors found on Cafe Tandoor’s menu. Appetizers include several platters and pakoras, which are battered and delicately seasoned in chickpea flour before being deep-fried. Try the shrimp pakora ($8.50) or the paneer pakora (mild cheese, $6.50). Sop up everything on your plate like a hungry loofa, with tandoori breads such as the garlic naan ($3.50) or aloo paratha (stuffed with spiced potatoes, $3.50). Quell the emptiness within with specialties such as boti kebab (boneless lamb, onions, and bell peppers, $14.50), tandoori salmon (marinated salmon with onions, asparagus, bell peppers, and naan, $19.50), or chicken tikka (boneless pieces marinated in yogurt and spices with onions and bell peppers, $13.50). Also, like most Indian restaurants, there are dozens of vegetarian options; but unlike those other restaurants, those options aren’t multiple-choice trick questions.
Owner Revathi Chillapalli combined 20 years in the food business with a love for introducing Ohioans to the health benefits and exotic flavors of Indian food to establish Deepam India, an emporium for Indian groceries and meals available for takeout or dine-in. The shop’s restaurateurs prepare food fresh daily, treating shoppers to a selection of 12–14 entrees that, like a merry-go-round with Earth wedged into it, rotates daily. Diners can clasp fingers around flaky filled samosas ($1.25 each) or savor dosas, fermented crêpes made with rice batter and lentils ($5.50–$6.50). Individuals and restaurant owners alike peruse the grocery section to stock up on Indian breads ($2.99), frozen vegetables ($1.99), and lentils ($2.99–$5.99) and to admire the wall-mounted oil paintings created by the shop’s owner. The enthusiastic staff welcomes questions about particular dishes, the health benefits of Indian food, and the health risks of eating Indian silverware.
The epicurean alchemists at Swades mingle cumin, tomatoes, and coconut milk to create vegetarian Indo-fusion curries and dals that combine into healthy meals easily picked up at the restaurant’s drive-thru. The menu, which changes daily, beckons tongues with dry curries studded with green beans and okra, gravy curries simmering with tofu and kidney beans, and dal dishes that send lentils on speed dates with mango, spinach, or cucumbers. An overwhelming majority of Swades’ dishes are vegan, and one chef draws on a background in raw-food preparation, entertaining taste buds with nuts and spices that have never known the malicious tickle of a nefarious stovetop flame.