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.
As a restaurateur with existing eateries in St. Paul to Minnetonka, Bombay Palace owner and chef Pal Cheema wasted no time putting his personal stamp on what was once a modest Himalayan restaurant in Fridley. Pal adds a health-conscious angle to Bombay Palace's menu of northern and southern Indian fare, constructing dishes with no MSG and a lighter use of oils and butter. And though his chefs create a multitude of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, from vegetable rice biryani to cheesy grilled paneer, they don't neglect their meats. Tender kebabs of yogurt-marinated chicken, lamb, and fish swelter in the heat of a clay-oven tandoor, and a fully stocked lunch buffet offers a weightlifter's shopping list of proteins from goat and lamb to fresh seafood.
After finishing their meal in one of the burgundy booths, diners can peruse the walls' framed artworks, each of which bears a placard with the name of the picture or instructions on where to locate Waldo.
At Dancing Ganesha, a comfortable, modern atmosphere and breeze patio complement a varied menu of traditional Indian cuisine, including tandoori chicken and paper-thin dosa crêpes. Exotically spiced plates, such as lamb vindaloo and saag paneer, arrive at polished wooden tables, which are illuminated by the restaurant's elegant built-in ceiling lights and elephants holding candles with their trunks. Dancing Ganesha also holds its “karma” happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, during which diners can order $5 appetizers, $2 tap drinks, and half off anything else at the bar.
Taj Indian Grill’s menu is brimming with classic Indian dishes, but it leaves room for Pan-Asian favorites such as Thai green curry ($8 with chicken) and sweet-and-sour chicken ($7). Start with an appetizer such as samosa, triangles of crust stuffed with spiced veggies or chicken (two pieces, $4), before selecting a main mouthful such as tender lamb rogan josh ($11). For a romantic or gigantic meal, there’s the tandoori platter for two ($27), a plate piled high with chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, lamb tikka, steak tikka, shrimp, rice, and cilantro naan bread. Complement your plate with a potable pairing of beer, wine, or Indian tea or coffee.