Goat meat sizzling in pickle sauce. Vindaloo sauce lending zest to cottage cheese and potatoes. Low-fat salmon marinating in spices before it's grilled in a tandoor oven. At Aangan Classic Indian & Nepalese Cuisine, these traditional Indian flavors share a menu that also draws on Nepalese cooking styles. Coriander and ginger season momo, a Nepalese steamed chicken dumpling, while Nepalese spices enrich tender cuts of lamb. Though Aangan's menu is just shy of 125 dishes, that number doesn't account for the drink and dessert options. Mango milk shakes and South Indian coffee complement feasts, which can end on sweet notes with deep-fried milk puffs served in rosewater syrup.
Bombay Junction's tandoori technicians create an eclectic menu of lip-smacking dishes derived from fusioned recipes of northern and southern India. Relish the tikka masala, whose blend of spices, garlic, and creamy sauce extinguishes hunger flames ($12.99) or channel the oceanic appreciation of Jacques Cousteau by noshing on shrimp curry ($16.99). The mango-lamb curry—deftly blended with a variety of exotic spices and mango pulp—utilizes hearty meat and fruity flavors to quell stomach rumblings and sate sweet cravings like a fresh grilled piñata ($14.99). Vegetarians and part-time vegetarians revel in an assortment of meatless selections such as the vegetable jalfrezi, a smorgasbord of mixed vegetables cooked with bell peppers and onion ($10.99).
The chefs at India Palace embrace traditional Indian recipes and cooking techniques, customizing the spice of each entree to meet diners’ preferences. In the kitchen, an imported tandoor uses smoldering mesquite charcoal to raise temperatures within its clay walls up to 550 degrees, roasting marinated servings of chicken, lamb, or shrimp as thoroughly as a deep-fryer full of magma. For their vegetarian options, the chefs can toss vegetables with house-made cottage cheese or aromatic basmati rice.
According to Patch, India Palace also features a small market next door to the restaurant, which emphasizes fresh produce, assorted varieties of rice, and traditional spices from India and South Asia.
At Sizzling Bombay, the vibrant orange walls and glimmering chandeliers are nearly as bold as the spices that infuse each of the dishes leaving the kitchen and leave their stamp on diners’ tongues. Kebabs skewer pieces of chicken, shrimp, and lamb as curry clings to bite-sized morsels with the grip of a great-aunt’s cheek pinch. An Indo-Chinese menu section parades around with pad thai selections, and desserts end meals on sugary notes, filling plates with rice pudding or milk balls soaked in rose-flavored sugar syrup—instead of a heap of sugar cubes begging to be turned into a fort.
There is more to chef Mohammad Rahman’s menu than the staples that diners have come to expect from an Indian restaurant, although crowd favorites do have reserved places. Rahman and his wife, Salma Khanam—who is the restaurant’s maitre d’—incorporate flavors from their homeland of Bangladesh, including fish fry combos and shak bhaji (made with custom-spiced spinach). Halal meats such as fish, lamb, goat, and chicken star in rich curry dishes, nicely accompanied by warm naan fresh from the tandoor oven. The eatery's lunch buffet pits stomachs against a bounty of dishes, piled high with delectables to reward diners who wore their nicest stilettos. Kitchen of India’s environment is warm and romantic, with white tablecloths serving as elegant yet neutral complements to colorful paintings and carved sculptures.
In India's capital of New Delhi, there sits a small chunk of space called Delhi 6, where the region's food lovers congregate for the abundance of authentic Indian cuisine. So, when Seema Sharma and her husband, Ajay Kasana, made good on their dream and opened a restaurant in Frederick County, naming it Delhi6 was a no-brainer. "I grew up all my childhood eating that food," Sharma once told the Town Courier, "it's engrained in my mind."
Inside Delhi6, amber-colored walls mix with dark hardwood floors to create a warm, rich contrast. Through glass windows, visitors can peer into the kitchen, where chefs are busy grinding the restaurant's spices and cooking up daily-baked Indian breads. On the walls, Sharma made sure to feature decorative reminders of Delhi6's roots, including more than 8,000 Indian bangle bracelets, which hang as a nod to the vendors who line New Delhi streets doling out artisan goods.