Swagat Cuisine of India lassos a tapestry of tastes to curb hunger with a menu of low-fat Indian food prepared in 100 percent vegetable oil. Warm up stiff stomach-based food processors with pre-meal stretches of samosa ($2.95) or vegetarian pakora ($3.95), a gaggle of cauliflower, potato, and spinach dredged in chickpea batter, fried golden brown, and painted with tomato chutney. The lamb korma ($10.95) curbs advancing appetites with a bill of lamb meat simmered tender in an elixir of cream, spices, and nuts. Saag paneer ($8.95), a blend of pureed spinach and cubes of paneer with onion, ginger, and spices, appeases vegetarians, and chicken tikka ($9.95) banishes marinated chicken to the depths of a tandoori oven before it gets a finishing drizzle of tomato-fenugreek-saffron sauce. Guests can anchor any meal with a side of aachar ($0.95), a traditional Indian mix of pickled vegetables bestowed upon victors of dal wrestling matches.
The Taj Café’s tandoor cooks many of the dishes on the menu. Chefs marinate chicken and skewer pieces of fish before tossing them into the traditional clay oven with classic Indian-style breads. Sautéed spinach wraps around housemade cheese cubes in the vegetarian-friendly saag paneer, and basmati rice pairs with seasoned lamb in the lamb biryani. Golden-orange walls blanket the café, reminiscent of the curry powder sprinkled into dishes and patrons' mouths.
Chinese-style vegetable fritters soaked in a soy-based gravy. Delicate rice crepes filled with housemade cheese or coconut chutney. At Zaika Indian Cuisine & Bar, the culinary team incorporates a few of these Indo-Chinese and South Indian specialties into a menu that's mostly composed of North Indian classics. Those range from ginger- and garlic-flavored chicken slathered in cashew sauce to fish and potatoes doused in a fiery chili sauce. For vegetarian and gluten-free diners, the cooks sauté okra in traditional spices and toss veggies, dried fruits, and roasted nuts into creamy sauces. More than 10 Indian breads can accompany feasts in the dining room, where the walls are painted a bright yellow color reminiscent of turmeric or a chameleon perched on a coward's shoulder.