Flavours of India is all about choices. Not only does the restaurant offer a daily lunch buffet and a huge menu, it also introduces diners to reinvented Indian dishes served alongside ages-old classics. Tandoori oven-cooked entrees, South Indian specialties such as rice crepes stuffed with potatoes, and creamy curry dishes with chicken, lamb, shrimp, or vegetables satisfy taste buds with flavor-bursting offerings. Diners can end their meals on a sweet note with a traditional mango lassi drink or desserts such as Indian-style pistachio ice cream and carrots cooked in milk.
At Aman's Indian Cuisine, traditional spices, herbs, and vegetables transport tongues to the other side of the globe with Indian classic vegetarian and omnivorous menus. Saag paneer's glaciers of house-made cheese bob through creamed-spinach waters rippling with mild spices ($10.95), and ginger and garlic greet taste buds making contact with tadka dal's yellow lentils ($9.95). After it's puréed, baingan bharta's grilled eggplant mixes with a spice-adorned combination of tomatoes, onions, and peas ($10.95) as skillfully as two mischievous children in one white suit mix in with a crowd of departing astronauts.
At Chinnar Indian Cuisine, spices are so intrinsic to the food that the menu has a glossary explaining the flavors and functions of each one. Ginger and garlic, for example, lend a sharp taste and aroma to kadai with lamb and green peppers, while black pepper gives you the ability to roar cartoon flames. The same attention to detail goes into tandoori entrees baked in a clay oven, from chicken tikka to lobster tail.
Executive chef and owner Bharat Luthra named his restaurant Khajuraho after a town in Madhya Pradesh, India—a town famous for a series of Hindu and Jain temples filled with erotic monuments. Like those iconic statues, the sights, smells, and tastes of Luthra’s Indian cuisine create a vivid statement in support of sensuality and the enjoyment of life. His restaurant's elegant white-clothed tables, great enough in number to seat up to 120, stage feasts fit for mild to spicy palates and carnivorous to vegetarian appetites. Luthra bakes succulent marinated chicken inside a tandoori clay oven, spikes fresh seafood with garlic and ginger, and keeps vegetable balls from rolling off the plate with a smooth cream sauce and repurposed bowling-alley bumpers.
Tiffin infuses drab dishes with a plethora of Indian spices imported straight from the subcontinent itself by peripatetic purveyors. Shrimp and chicken absorb flavors of orange and chile de arbol after a bathing in the mango-chile marinade ($10), and curry finds its savory soul mate in the complementing haldi turmeric powder ($5.59). Elaichi whole green cardamom ($6.59), a staple of Indian desserts, leaves its native India, bidding a tearful farewell to its ginger family in search of a starring role in pungent dishes. Customers can pick up dish dustings or have them delivered ($25 minimum) to their home, office, or underground solarium for no additional delivery charge.
Voted top five in the Best Indian category of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 CityVoter awards, Laxmi's Indian Grille serves a range of dishes—from spicy meats to subtle vegetable stews—designed to please all palates. A perfume of fresh ginger, rose water, and house-made cottage cheese drifts from the bustling kitchen out into the dining room of the Main Street location, where vibrant paintings provide an elegant contrast to walls of rustic exposed stone. At both Main Street and the newly minted Tilden Street eatery, a clay tandoor oven is kept aflame throughout the day, enabling chefs to bake breads, meats, and underripe bananas to a golden patina.