The diversity of Indian cuisine is as vast as the nation itself. At India Express, the skilled cooks serve up meticulously spiced entrees and traditional vegetarian-friendly dishes to give diners a taste of the country’s culinary history. Like a cool winter's day on Venus, the eatery's traditional clay oven can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees, perfecting specialties such as the lobster tikka masala, with barbecue lobster smothered in a tomato-and-onion cream sauce.
Applying a healthful twist on traditional Indian recipes, the chefs at India Bistro whip up an array of authentic fare using housemade ingredients and fragrant spices. The kitchen’s ovens sizzle with juicy cuts of goat, lamb, and chicken, and numerous vegetarian offerings sate the hunger of herbivores. Though the menu features decadent noshes such as butter chicken, India Bistro’s culinary gurus also architect a number of low-carb and low-fat options for those conscious about fitting back into their high-school lockers.
Anarkalee Restaurant borrows its name from the doomed heroine Anarkali, a slave girl who fell in love with a prince and was loved by him in return. Their relationship infuriated the prince's father, the Mughal emperor Akbar, who responded by sentencing his own son to death. To save the prince’s life, Anarkali sacrificed herself: she was buried alive between two brick walls (though some say she actually escaped through a secret passageway).
Anarkalee Restaurant translates the fiery spirit of its namesake into the spicy flavors of regional Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Besides North Indian standards such as palak paneer and chicken tikka, chefs craft more exotic fare such as lamb-brain masala or Himalayan goat karahi for their daily specials. Morsels of grass-fed lamb also fill two types of gosht, or Pakistani meat stew. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrées are served in copious helpings, whether as separate dishes, a buffet, or a color-coded map of the Indian subcontinent.
Flavors from North and South India—and a hint of Indochina—infiltrate the fresh-cooked meals at Bawarchi. Naan and white rice accompany each meal to help customers completely clean up plates of chicken biryani, vegetable curry, and lamb vindaloo. Fourteen varieties of dosas—India’s answer to crepes—pack everything from roast goat to chili cheese, and wraps envelop chicken and veggies. At lunch, customers can make like middle schoolers and line up for a buffet-style spread of tandoori chicken, egg noodles, and shrimp masala.
While growing up in a small village in Northern India, Brinda Dosanjh learned to cook by watching her mother and her grandmother prepare traditional Indian dishes, then re-creating each recipe herself. After moving to the United States, Brinda and her husband Ranjit, known as "Junior," opened India 4 U to share classic Indian recipes with the community. In the kitchen, cooks fire clay ovens to grill lamb kebabs, bake soft bread, and melt the icy hearts of misers staring in through the windows. Jumbo-prawn appetizers warm up palates for signature entrees of chicken tikka masala or vegetarian dishes such as bhindi masala—sautéed okra with onions and tomatoes—which can be accompanied by cocktails from the full bar.
Behind a fa?ade of yellow bricks and twinkling string lights is Citrus Indian Fusion, a hub for North and South Indian dishes. Through the restaurant's glass doors, aromas of ginger, garlic, and Andhra spice waft through first?indication that morsels of marinated lamb, chicken, and fish are cooking in a tandoor oven. Next, guests smell the warm, savory scent of dosas?South Indian-style crepes?crisping on a flat grill.
Dishes to Discover
Citrus Indian Fusion's chefs have mastered familiar dishes such as butter chicken and samosas, but they also work to expand palates with recipes from across the Indian subcontinent. Below, we list a few favorites (plus recommendations for who should order them).
This Indo-Chinese appetizer is a favorite among diners who enjoy a bit of heat on the tongue. Chefs dip jalapeno peppers in chickpea batter, deep-fry them, and serve them with a coconut chutney.
If you're not sure what to order, thali?which is served throughout India?is a safe bet. That's because each platter presents a wide assortment of of curries, pickles, chutneys, and other diverse components.
Even curled in a roll, the South Indian-style 70mm dosa is visually impressive?each of the warm, paper-thin crepes is roughly the length of a newspaper. Unrolled, the dosas are large enough to share, or to repurpose as an edible blanket during tabletop naps.