In the heart of Devon Avenue’s Little India, the chefs at Masala Grill offer a different take on the subcontinent’s cuisine by tackling the rich flavors of the northern regions that border Pakistan. Guests can indulge in a cross section of the regional recipes via the buffet, which the staff constantly refreshes with just-made portions of mutton biryani, chicken tikka, palak paneer, and crispy samosas stuffed with veggies. For a more intimate setting, diners can savor table service with such options as the Masala Grill platter, which combines two chicken entrees with two types of kebabs for a better overview of the menu than the chef's pile of self-authored Cliff's Notes. Crown meals with something sweet, such as honey-drizzled gulab jamun or the creamy beverage known as falooda.
The chefs at Anmol Barbecue Restaurant slice, dice, and spice vegetables and 100% halal meats to concoct their biryanis, kebabs, and myriad curry dishes. The traditional Pakistani plates gather juicy, delicately spiced cuts of mutton, beef, and organic Amish chicken.
Voted Best of Chicago 2008 by the Chicago Reader and lauded by Time Out Chicago, Uru-Swati earns praise for the carefully crafted vegetarian Indian fare served at its Devon Avenue storefront. Blue walls and painted cityscapes look down on dishes brimming with rich sauces, while nearby clocks slink down from walls to steal bites when patrons look away. South Indian cuisine in the form of masala dosa and uttapam meets classic dishes such as chana masala and dal makhani, and garlic naan and desserts round out an extensive menu.
Mood-setting muted lighting illuminates Urban Indian Restaurant's cozy dining room as waiters ferry piquant platters of Indian cuisine to tables and leather booths. The chefs bake spicy helpings of tandoori chicken harnessing the heating power of a clay oven—a more tasty method than warming them with a hair dryer—and help diners to achieve meatless munching with sundry vegetarian dishes. Complementing the spicy cuisine, the restaurant's warm, low-lit interior embraces guests in smoldering burnt-orange walls and rich wood floors.
The expansive menu at Bombay Kabab House contains dishes to suit naan neophytes and tandoor gurus alike. Slam-dunk two samosas ($3.50) stuffed with the traditional potato and green-pea mash, or land a lamb lay-up with the keema samosa ($4.95), containing spiced minced lamb. Popular pabulums that regularly win prom-queen votes from Bombay Kabab House customers include the chicken malai kabab ($12.95), marinated in cheese cream, red vinegar, and numerous spices; and the chef's special chicken tikka masala ($12.95), roasted in a clay oven and tenderly enveloped in a cream sauce. Herbivoyeurs and veggilantes can espy on eats such as the nawartan korma ($8.95), a creamy dish with potatoes, green peas, cauliflower, green beans, cottage cheese, raisins, nuts, and carrots, also known as "celery's cooler brother."
Bustling chefs and a 600-degree tandoor oven fill Indian Garden's kitchen, shaping meat-laden and vegetarian entrees made from traditional Indian recipes. Chicken marinated in spiced yogurt, minced lamb, and king-size shrimp make their way into a tandoor oven for a roasting, and more than a dozen breads help sop up entrees’ zesty juices. Lobster, crab, and veggies arrive at tables blanketed in curry, as diners converse or take in views of the expansive murals that depict scenes of Arcadian villages or the first-ever game of Marco Polo.
Authentic tandoors cook tender chicken tandoori and absorbent servings of naan in the Zagat-rated kitchens of Tiffin, named after an Indian term for "luncheon." The restaurant’s recessed lighting casts a warm glow over diners digging into the aromatic lunch buffet or ordering from the menu. Tables teem with plates of authentic Indian fare, such as steamy bowls of mulligatawny, crisp samosas, and mango lassis that coat spice-addled palates in coolness as effectively as college-radio-flavored popsicles. Basmati rice accompanies tender shrimp, spiced lamb, and chicken, while mixed-vegetable curry and paneer tikka satisfy herbivores’ hunger pangs. Tiffin’s full bar flaunts thirst-pummeling libations ranging from frosty brews and sparkling wines to top-shelf spirits.