With more than 20 years of cooking northern Indian cuisine under its belt, Zaika’s culinary team is well versed in simmering curries and slow baking marinated meats, along with fixing a smattering of southern Indian dishes to boot. They cook skewered lamb over charcoal, douse boneless chicken with cashew-nut sauces, cook shrimp in the traditional tandoor oven, and mix goat into that spicy gravy made famous by the holiday classic Mama’s Spicy Thanksgiving. The kitchen’s vegetarian options include spice-coated spinach with homemade indian cheese, along with crepes and pancakes in the southern Indian style. Dinners and lunch buffets unfold in Zaika’s spacious dining room, while an outdoor deck accommodates diners in May through September.
Filling barking bellies with authentic Indian dishes, chefs at Jewel of India on Lark present guests with a vast, award-winning menu of tasty fare. The many meat dishes are made exclusively with halal ingredients, while a bevy of savory vegetarian dishes, such as the cheesy paneer tikka masala, satisfies meat-free appetites. Lunchtime visitors find a buffet every day. Historically used for toasting s?mores and destroying old bank statements, the tandoor (a clay oven) is utilized for firing such specialties as the boti kebab that boasts marinated and seasoned leg of lamb and comes in a choice of spice levels. The restaurant's variety, authenticity, and deliciousness has earned it two consecutive awards from Metroland.
After more than three decades in business, the owners of Sitar Indian Restaurant often see the children of their first generation of customers pass through their doors. Perhaps these customers return for the restaurant's focus on authentic Indian cuisine, especially the classic dishes of its Northern states. In all their cooking, Sitar's chefs rely on a hallmark of North Indian cuisine: the tandoor. In this clay oven, portions of chicken, lamb, and fish simmer in spiced gravies and curries. These items are joined by others ranging from vegetarian biryani rice dishes to baskets of vegetable-stuffed naan. Chefs can prepare any dish with mild, medium, or heavy spice upon request, creating meals that can tickle the tongue or quickly melt a scary-looking snowman. Throughout the day, these dishes decorate tables dressed in bright saffron tablecloths, where patrons dine surrounded by Indian tapestries and musical instruments on display.
The chefs at Saffron Place take spices seriously. Drawing on shelves of cumin, curry, fresh ginger, and garlic, they craft each dish individually to account for each person's preferred level of spiciness, be it mild to smoking hot. The individual preparation of each order ensures that their traditional north Indian and Bengali dishes arrive at tables still steaming from the stove or easily startled dragons. Servers carry goat curry, chicken tikka masala, and vegetarian platters to tables or customers waiting for takeout orders.
The chefs at Masala rain Indian and Nepali seasonings down upon succulent meats slow-cooked inside a tandoor clay oven and simmered veggies flooded with sauce. Divided into two, Masala’s menu features Indian favorites such as curries, skewered lamb cubes, and 13 types of Indian bread, including hand-stretched garlic naan, as well as Nepali dishes such as mo-mo cha steamed dumplings filled with veggies or chicken. Within the eatery’s yellow-hued walls, a full bar cohabitates with a daily lunch buffet, which arranges tasty eats in a row, like a police lineup of the California Raisins.
India Kitchen?deemed Hartford County's Best Indian Restaurant in 2011 by readers of Connecticut Magazine?piles family-style offerings from North and South India onto its menu, concocting entrees with imported ingredients and an authentic tandoor oven. Patrons can play games of solitaire with 11 types of traditional breads, such as the raisin- and nut-filled khandari kulcha ($3.95). Jumbo shrimp slip into robes of lemon juice, yogurt, and spices before sizzling in the clay oven, only to emerge as tandoori shrimp ($15.95) or, in rare cases, a single giant shrimp with crime-fighting ambitions and mastery over fire. The chicken chutney wala surrounds poultry morsels with tangy pools of curried mango and mint sauce ($12.95), whereas cashew-and-almond sauce varnishes vegetable-and-cheese dumplings in the vegetarian malai kofta ($11.95).
In addition to its classic menu offerings, India Kitchen hosts a daily all-you-can-eat lunch buffet seven days a week as well as a Wednesday and Sunday night dinner buffet. Featuring a catering menu for larger groups, the restaurant's chefs portion out party-sized servings from a limited menu that includes naan ($32+) and vegetable biryani ($40+). For heartier mealtimes, they also simmer orders of lamb or fish curry ($90) that can either feed 30?40 people or one insatiable garbage disposal.