Meet meatless merrymaking with today's Groupon: $35 worth of vegetarian and vegan Indian cuisine for $15 at Nalapak Indian Restaurant in Columbia Heights. Nalapak used to be Udupi, the consistently delicious chutney and curry favorite. It reopened in 2006 under new management, and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine says Nalapak's authentic Indian fare is on par with Udupi's, that is, "as good as these traditional [foods] get."
Authentic aromas of Nepal, Tibet, and India waft up winsomely from the Minneapolis and Fridley kitchens. Chamena (appetizers), such as pyaazi—deep-fried onions and jalapeños ($4.50–$4.95)—tease taste buds and unleash appetite avalanches. Himalayan’s machaa-masu tarkari mixes fish or meat into saucy and curried dishes—try the lamb saag, which is lamb cooked with spinach ($13.95), or the fish curry ($13.95). Vegetarian and vegan entrees abound, including aloo cauli-stir-fried potatoes and cauliflower ($9.95)—and ram-toria aloo, consisting of fried okra with potatoes and spices ($9.95). Potable chow-chasers, such as Himalayan coffee served with milk and spices, and the mango lassi ($2.50 each), sate liquid hunger and awaken hibernating yetis.
Jalsa Indian Fast Food transports diners on an aromatic journey through many regions of India with an authentic menu of traditional street fare. Diners collect several snack-sized dishes, or chaat, to construct an eclectic meal. Use your teeth or a matchbox-sized oil rig to drill into the warm potato core beneath an aloo vada morsel's chickpea-batter crust ($1.35), or free lentils and spicy scents from the interior of a deep-fried kachori ($1.35). Eaters can also opt for a single large entree such as classic chicken tikka masala ($7.99), a creamy curry with rice escorted to tables by brooding paratha bread or a corsage-bearing piece of roti.