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Indian Food Virgin----Where to go and What to try in Dallas

Hi all! I'm new to the board, and while me and the hubs like to think ourselves pretty eclectic eaters, we realized we have never really given Indian food a go. So I'm depending on you guys to direct me to a pretty reasonably priced and awesome food experience for us first timers. We eat pretty much everything, and I love spicy while hubs likes more tamer fare. Can you guys tell me what we should order and where?

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  1. Most Indian food novices get their start by going to one of the lunch buffets where all of the suspense is taken out of the ordering and you can sample several dishes without the chance of epic fail.

    Here are two places:
    Pasand Indian Cuisine
    1377 West Campbell Road
    Richardson
    972-644-4447

    Kebab-N-Kurry
    401 North Central Expressway Suite 300
    Richardson
    972-231-5556

    1. Roti Grill on McKinney Ave serves a more americanized version of all the classic indian dishes. It's easy on the pocketbook and you dont have to wonder where the meat came from.

      1. For a different experience, go to Taj Mahal imports, the Indian grocer on Belt Line in Richardson (west of 75). Head to the back to the metal counter on the corner of the take out area where there's a lady standing in front of a bowl of little puffed pieces of bread (puri). Ask for pani puri, either a large and split or two mediums. She'll fill up the puri with a little potato/rice filling (iirc) and then dip it in a sweet & maybe slightly spicy sauce, put it in a bowl and hand it to you. Pop it in your mouth & had it back to get another one, I think 6 to a medium and 8 or 10 for a large. You can also order other Indian street food, sandwiches, chaat, etc, although I haven't tried it. The sugar cane drink is also really popular.

        1 Reply
        1. re: luniz

          I believe the liquid mixture usually is a chili and tamarind water mixture (better to try this stateside as the water is questionable in India).

          I would say go to Kebab N Kurry. It has been a longtime favorite in the Dallas area and the folks I have spoken to from London say it is the closest thing to English curry houses.

          Go with something simple like a Chiken Tikka Masala and fresh naan (bread), Butter Chicken, Chicken Korma, and I persoanlly like chickpeas so Channa Masala. That should be a good first meal.

        2. I like Chaat Cafe. http://www.chaatcafes.com/ I think they have a couple locations. I would recommend just looking at what the specials are and choosing one from there.

          If this is your first time experiencing Indian food, I would recommend going the buffet route.

          http://www.ourplaceusa.net/ has a buffet and the owner is super excited about bringing Indian food to the mainstream. He catered our Diwali celebration at work and the food was pretty good!

          Good luck!

          1. I concur re: Kebab N Kurry. Damn good food and fairly representative of Indian food available in the US.

            1. We just came back from Ahaar, a new Indian restaurant in Richardson (in the same shopping center as Tajmahal Imports). Their $9 lunch buffet was excellent. Their chicken curry is the best in town (which I thought was a korma, very creamy with lots of yogurt). Almost everything (butter chicken, kebab chicken, aloo gobi, other vegetarian dishes) was good. They serve dosa and papadum besides naan. And their deserts (rice pudding and mango pudding) weren't overly sweet unlike most places. We highly recommend this restaurant. Now we don't have to drive to Mayuri (Irving) or Flavors (Addison) for Indian food :-)

              2 Replies
              1. re: kuidaore

                I tried out that buffet last friday and I agree that it's a good value. I really like their coco chicken - is this the same chicken curry you'd mentioned? However Mayuri still reigns supreme for dosas. The ones I had at Aahar had the consistency of a crepe, and it was mushy to the point of being kinda gross.

                1. re: air

                  I don't think Coco Chicken is the same as Chicken Curry. They said their curry changes every day. The dosa I had at Ahaar wasn't mushy at all. I like dosa at Madras Pavillion and Taj Chaat House in Irving better, though. Ahaar's good enough for a buffet.

              2. Thanks for all the suggestions. Hubs and I are going to try out a couple of these places this weekend. So far the only place remotely Indian we've tried is Ali Baba, and while it's probably not remotely Indian, I hated it---I couldn't tell what was what and the food didn't taste all that great for the price.

                Trying to get in touch with my roots (I'm Pakistani) and it's a shame I haven't tried curries! They get a bad rap for the smell and all, so I'm interested in trying some soon!

                1 Reply
                1. re: pandabanda

                  Ali Baba isn't Indian at all. It's Middle Eastern (Arabic). I love their hummus...
                  There's an authentic Pakistani place (with goat legs, brains, etc) in Carrollton, but it's for "the advanced"--probably too spicy for your husband.
                  http://www.bbqtonite.com/

                2. This week brings us two new ventures with flavors of India. One is in Addison, owned by long time Indian Dallasites - India West. Run by the same good people that have been operating Kebab n Kurry for over 25 years.

                  The other is Samar that opens today. Indian and other small plates that might be an excellent place to cut your curry teeth. I will be at both this weekend, and will report back in.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DallasDude

                    Amazing... like we need more Indian restaurants in DFW...

                    1. re: DallasDude

                      I actually saw an ad for India West and it looked interesting. I'll wait back for you to tell me if it's good or not!

                    2. Another option is Kalachandji's, a vegetarian Indian buffet that's part of a Hare Krishna temple in East Dallas on Gurley (by Grand and I-30). Very popular, inexpensive, good food, interesting crowd, and one of the best outdoor dining patios in Dallas. It's been around a long time.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: oakcliffbuff

                        Not sure I would call that Indian, more like Vedic, which I suppose might be ancient Indian. Ganesha would thank you. Him and his cute little elephant head.

                        Still, a good place to dine. And interesting. I did acid there as a kid in the late 80's

                        1. re: DallasDude

                          LMAO---was it interesting because of the acid or the food?:)

                          1. re: pandabanda

                            Are you looking for Indian food prepared by a Pakistani? We recently discovered a great small eatery (I was keeping it for myself) here in Lewisville. The Grill Corner is the name located on valley Ridge and Old Orchard in North Lewisville. The owner/chef Ayesha is from Pakistan but spent her years since immigrating working at an Indian restaurant. One day she got tired of waiting tables and decided to get back in the kitchen and learn the dishes. I will say her naan both fried and tandoori are both exceptional. Her dishes come with a certain brightness that only freshly prpared and made from scrath dishes have. Just about everything on the menu has been good or better than all the places I have been to in Irving or Richardson. Lewisville gets a bad wrap for not having much so hopefully we can keep her in business. She also has a few Pakistani dishes on her menu (haleem and nihari).

                            http://www.thegrillcorner.com/

                            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                              If your looking for INdian food prepared by an Indian with a star chef in the kitchen look no farther than SAMAR by Stephen Pyles. They have so much more than just Indian but the Indian tapas are to die for. Try the quail with nine jewels rice and the best butter chicken this side of Bombay. It is about as expensive as India Palace but much, much nicer and cleaner.

                      2. Some weeks ago I was referred to a unnamed cafe near my favorite dim sum restaurant, Kirin Court, in Richardson off Polk. I found it last week and revisited today and thought I should share since I asked everyone where and what it was.

                        Indo Pak Cafe is nestled on Polk in a largely Asian district just past Greenville on Polk in Richardson. Surrounding the tiny cafe, that is part of a small Bangali grocer, are a few other Indian influenced cafes (a smattering of small biriani houses) and across from a very tiny mediterranean influenced restaurant. Interestingly enough, the shopping center is labeled China Plaza.

                        Inside the very small cafe you will see the hustle of neatly dressed Bengalis conducting business. One such group was planning a festival, another was closing a real estate deal. Then we had a few housewives and children running under foot happily grasping samosas.

                        On my first visit, and being the only anglo, I was quick and decisive in my order. A play I made to let the person ordering know I was initiated in all things Desi. To my detriment, I think I could have ordered better had I taken my time to study the menu and the wall that contained other specials.

                        The first visit didn't go as well as I would have liked. I spotted goat, and quickly ordered the goat korma. I basically knew what I was in for. I also got a side of parantha. The korma was smooth and just spicy enough, although I know I could handle it much hotter. This is the way it came, there were no options. The goat was as could be expected, with bones and plopped into a disposable soup bowl. I found whole cardamon seeds in the rich brothy sauce. And an even better suprise in the whole goat kidney. It was satifying, but it did not come with rice, that had to be ordered seperate. Some of the goat pieces were too fatty for my taste. But the meat was tender and succulent. As for my paratha, I would have passed had I known it was previously frozen. And not a good quality version (the best frozen parathas are the Pillsbury brand). This was simply inedible. Too greasy.

                        So my first experience was weak at best. And I nearly ruined a shirt in dealing with plasticware and the splattering of korma. I slurped up the last of my sauce and bolted.

                        I visited again today. this time I felt much more comfortable, and even joked with the cashier. I leisurely perused the menu board, and honed in on a wall flyer that listed butter chicken and butter shrimp as a daily special. And it came with rice, naan and that bad paratha. All for 5.99! Much better, and I ordered. As i waited for my dish I knoticed the large amount of the men ordering the chicken biriani. And why not, it is always on special and at a mere cost of 2.99. For the price of a Big Mac, the Desis were enjoying a huge plate (still styrofoam mind you) of tasty rice and chicken. The rice looked wonderfully seasoned and you could tell this was no slap job of premade sauces and choose your own meat deal. Somewhere in the back had to be a cauldron of chicken briani.

                        I enjoyed my deliciously crafted and seasoned butter chicken. And let there be no doubt, the naan was killer. One of the better versions I have had in Dallas.

                        For my vegetarian friends, there are plenty of vegetation choices. Indo pak cafe also has a tandoori oven, and offers up sides of chicken. Also, several lassees to choose from.

                        This is not a white table cloth, take mom and pop to dinner kind of place. This is a very tasty lunch, and quick dinner on the way home kind of place. I would even do a large take out and knosh for days on this stuff. It is real, and it is cheap. Enjoy.

                        Indo Pak Cafe
                        323 East Polk
                        Richardson, TX
                        972.644.2200

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DallasDude

                          I've only been to Indo pak Cafe once, and tend to much prefer Chameli Biryani House's Chicken Biryani (also on Polk, but across the street). I believe it's $3.99 for a gigantic plate of rice and chicken. They even serve it with the traditional boiled egg on top. I usually get it to go, so can't comment on their utensils and all. I will say, I have tried to order other things at Chameli (veggies, fish, etc.) and have not been happy with them at all. Just stick to their biryani...that's what they have mastered.