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5 Restaurants Reinventing Indian Cuisine


Chefs from New Delhi to San Francisco are reimagining the culinary mainstays of the Subcontinent, experimenting with cross-cultural mash-ups, and making Indian cuisine the latest darling of the global dining scene. By PRIYA KRISHNA and VERONICA INVEEN.

Published on Aug 23, 2017

 

1. BANGKOK
Charcoal

Kebabs take center stage, with melt-inyour-mouth meats, veggies and paneer served in a bright, modern setting. Eat all you can at their smart Sunday brunch, or come at night to try their India-inspired cocktails, crafted to complement the flavors of the tandoor.

MUST-TRY DISH
The sikandar ki raan, a whole leg of mutton, braised with malt vinegar, cinnamon and chili paste.
charcoalbkk.com; mains Bt290–1,050.

Murgh angaar
Murgh angaar, or tandoor-cooked chili chicken, at Charcoal in Bangkok. Courtesy of Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology.

 

2. SINGAPORE
Maziga

This stylish restaurant in Clarke Quay takes an innovative, playful approach to regional cooking, with dishes like wok-fried paneer tacos and bhatti murgh tikkas served in Mexican style quesadillas.

MUST-TRY DISH
The galouti kebab burger, a juicy lamb patty tenderized in green papaya pulp and served in a fluffy maska pav bun, with fries and garlic chutney.
maziga.com.sg; mains S$17–25.

 

3. SAN FRANCISCO
Babu Ji

At his newest spot, Punjabi native Jessi Singh serves up many of the dishes that made the N.Y.C. original a hit. His cheeky riffs on street food—such as "unauthentic" butter chicken and crispy Colonel Tso's cauliflower—are as visually striking as they are delicious.

MUST-TRY DISH
Kulfi, India's version of ice cream, in the signature chai-biscuit flavor.
babujisf.com; mains US$14–26.

 

4. NEW DELHI
Indian Accent

Chef Manish Mehrotra turns Indian comfort food into haute cuisine. His menu is often fusion-y (fluffy kulcha breads come stuffed with bacon or Camembert) but in a way that's creative, not gimmicky.

MUST-TRY DISH
The meetha aachar spare ribs, braised in coconut milk until tender, then fried and slathered in an addictive, sticky-sweet mango-pickle sauce.
indianaccent.com; mains Rs668–1,402.

 

5. CAIRO
Moghul Room

Just a stone's throw from the Pyramids in Giza's legendary Mena House Hotel, Moghul Room offers rich, aromatic stews from northern India that don't hold back on the heat. Cool your palate with the buttery, pillow-soft garlic naan—it's a scene-stealer.

MUST-TRY DISH
The laal maas, a garlicky Rajasthani curry with red chiles and tender hunks of lamb.
menahousehotel.com; mains US$12–18.

 

 

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Murgh angaar, or tandoor-cooked chili chicken, at Charcoal in Bangkok. Courtesy of Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology.
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