Did you know there are more than 35 different regional cuisines from India? Indian cuisine changes depending on where in India the dish originated due to different types of soil, climate, culture, ethnic group and occupations. All of these factors make up what kinds of agriculture and spices are available to use when making a dish. Add to that all of the influence history, such as trade relations and colonialism, has had on the country and India becomes one of the most culinary diverse countries on the planet.
But, you don’t have to hop on the next plane to India to get a taste of its delicious food. Metro Detroit has plenty of restaurants serving Indian cuisine and here are just a few.
Previously known as Indo-Pak Restaurant, Phulkari Punjabi Kitchen in Madison Heights has been around for more than 20 years. The name change came from a desire to have a name that better reflected the heritage and cooking style of the family owners. One item that stands out on Phulkari Punjabi Kitchen’s menu is thali: “a traditional Indian meal that consists of various dishes, rice, bread, and dessert.”
Located in Berkley, Mazza, which means “enjoyable” or “tasty,” has quite the menu of Indian fare. Serving lunch six days a week and dinner seven days a week, Mazza carries a menu chock full of Indian food items from appetizers to entrees to desserts. Under “Indian Classics” you will find entrees broken up into sections according to the type of protein you’d like (chicken, beef, lamb, shrimp, vegetarian). If you’re out with a friend or on a date and looking for a bit of everything, try one of the regional “Mazza Food Tours for Two.”
Serving dishes that the restaurant describes as “primarily Portuguese recipes with Indian flavors thrown in,” Indo Fusion is one of three Goan restaurants in the United States. Due to Portuguese rule for more than 400 years, Goa, a state within India, developed cuisine that was both Portuguese and Indian in nature. That cuisine still exists today and Indo Fusion is one of the few restaurants in the country where you can find it. Did we mention there’s a bar?
Located in Canton, Neehee’s Indian Vegetarian Street Food combines Indian fare with a fast food restaurant design. The “fast food” moniker should not detract from the breadth of offerings at Neehee’s. With flavorful chaat dishes, South Indian dosa, Mumbai sandwiches, Indo Chinese fusion and chloe bhature from Delhi, there’s bound to be something on the menu for you.
Madras Masala in Ann Arbor is a source for Indian cuisine that uses locally-grown products in its dishes. The restaurant was opened in 2003 by two brothers-in-law who felt that Ann Arbor lacked a South Indian cuisine presence. Thus, Madras Masala was born. The menu is quite extensive but easy to navigate with most dishes broken up by protein options like chicken, beef and lamb. Additionally, Madras Masala has a lunch buffet that is open every day.