Ajanta Cuisine's chefs have been whipping up North Indian fare for 20 years, but their recipes are centuries old. They pull tandoori shrimp, fish, lamb, beef, and chicken from the flames of a traditional clay oven, and prepare biryani rice with the same secret combination of meat, vegetables, spices, and nuts that Shah Jahan used for the Taj Mahal's mortar. They're ready to accommodate special preferences, too, whether you'd like extra spice or need your naan cut into the shape of Mickey Mouse. Come lunchtime, the servers will line a buffet table with chafing dishes filled with curries, tandoori dishes, and rice pudding.
True to its name, Taste of India combines time-honored Indian recipes with fresh, daily-ground spices to produce authentic dishes filled with complex and delicious flavors. Start with flakey pea-and-spud-stuffed samosa turnovers ($2.50), or lap up a fragrant bowl of mulligatawny soup using a spoon or a bent playing card ($2.50). Slabs of hand-stretched naan bread—stuffed with onions ($2.95), minced lamb ($3.50), and more—plunge into the saffron-scented minced veggie malai kofta ($8.95), where it can freely engage in splash fights with the resident cashews. A clay tandoor oven works its white magic on a host of skewered meats, including king spring chicken ($10.95), jumbo shrimp ($12.95), and the chef’s choice of motley mixed grill ($13.95). Soothe stimulated taste buds with a yogurt lassi ($2.50), blended either with honey and rosewater or salt and crushed cumin seeds, or dip into a traditional kheer rice pudding ($2.50) punctuated with raisins and almonds.