As a culinary palindrome, naan tastes the same backward as it does forward, like the bananab or a Toyota. Take a bite in every direction with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Indian and Pakistani cuisine at Lal Qila Restaurant in Palatine.
Named after one of India's most famous fortresses, Lal Qila Restaurant shimmers beneath suffusive track lighting and inlaid arches as a menu of traditional dishes sends exotic spices wafting through the space. Meals begin boldly with the shami kebab, a flaky pastry bundle filled with spiced and sautéed ground beef ($4.50). The chicken boti marinates tender morsels of chicken in cumin-infused yogurt and lemon alongside onions and peppers ($11.99), and karahi gosht sautés fresh goat with tomatoes and spices allowing jalapeño, ginger, and lemon to add the zesty punch of an after-school sombrero fight ($12.99). The meatless tarka daal seasons succulent lentils with onions, cumin, and garlic ($9.99), until exotic taste treks come to a sweet finish with the gulab jamun, consisting of warm, lightly fried cheese soaked in sugar syrup and adorned with saffron ($6.50). Guests chatter happily around cut flowers and white linens, which cover tables and bureaus in witness protection programs.
The chefs at Lal Qila Restaurant, named for the ornate 17th-century Indian monument, serve up a lengthy menu of tandoori- and clay–oven-baked Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Doling out large portions, they sizzle up spice-driven dishes loaded with goat, lamb, seafood, or chicken. Vegetarian options include cheese- and lentil-based dishes that fill the restaurant with exotic scents more effectively than tossing around a boomerang slathered in curry.