Tips For Selecting An Authentic Indian Restaurant

New York City is the restaurant capital of the world, and this of course includes a multitude of Indian dining options.

So it’s no doubt the newcomer to this delicious cuisine may be a bit overwhelmed in making the proper selection in order to enjoy an authentic Indian meal at an authentic Indian restaurant.

“We strive to provide our customers with a true Indian experience when they visit, which isn’t available in many so-called Indian restaurants in the city,” said Ajay Jaggi, co-owner along with his wife Kalpana of Papadam, an authentic Indian fine dining experience located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  “It’s important to prepare the food in true Indian tradition, using true Indian methods and spices.”

Since Indian cuisines are known for their variety of taste and aroma, the first suggestion is to obviously talk with friends for their opinions of Big Apple locations that serve authentic Indian food.  This is often a good starting point.

But you can also take to the Internet these days, as a variety of reputable food sites and blogs exist to give you an unbiased look at the best locations.  If you’re considering a certain restaurant, of course Google it and see what reviews come up.  This has become second nature for most Americans when wanting to know more about something, and restaurant assessments are no different.

When making your selection, make sure the food is cooked in authentic Indian methods. Then only you can enjoy the traditional food and its aroma.  The restaurant should be using the authentic ingredients and spices.  Any greater experimentation with the food can damage its original taste.

Papadam, for example, cooks its meals over a slow fire in a clay oven or tandoor, which is a true Indian custom not found in many Indian restaurants.  “This maintains the authenticity and originality of the flavors,” notes Jaggi.

Cooking methods should be traditional ones like this in order to secure aroma and taste of the cuisines.  The restaurant should also be known for its educated use of spices so that any unwanted and excessive use of spices will not harm the spirit of the food for the customer.  This is very important, as many Indian restaurants in New York City also typically over-season their dishes.

And of course call the restaurant and ask any questions you may have.  An authentic Indian restaurant will be happy to answers all your question in the true hospitable fashion of the culture.

And finally, enjoy!  An Indian meal at an authentic Indian restaurant is not to be missed, so relax and take in the complete Indian experience – not just the food, but the sights, the music, the smells, the genuine Indian hospitality.

As Jaggi likes to say, “when someone walks into our restaurant, it’s our goal for them to forget they’re in New York City while they’re enjoying our beautiful Indian culture.”

Papadam Celebrates One Year Anniversary

New York City’s Premiere Destination For Traditional Indian Cuisine

NEW YORK (January , 2013) — After many years of enjoying successful careers in other industries, the husband and wife team of Ajay and Kalpana Jaggi decided to pay homage to their Indian heritage by opening an authentic Indian restaurant on the Upper East Side, providing customers with the true tastes, sights and sounds of their native country.

Now just a year later, Papadam is proud to celebrate its one year anniversary.

Opened in late 2011, New York City’s premiere destination for Traditional Indian Cuisine is located at 1448 First Avenue (between 75th and 76th Streets).

Papadam proudly boasts of “True Indian Hospitality In The Heart Of New York City.”  Featuring a bevy of ultimate, authentic tastes of India, carefully prepared with traditional Indian herbs and spices and cooked over slow fire in a clay oven or tandoor, Papadam has quickly been well received by diners and reviewers alike.

Jaggi and his wife have worked to truly make Papadam the finest and most authentic taste of India in the heart of New York City, and pride themselves on offering the ultimate Indian dining experience – from the décor, the overall ambiance, the unmatched service, and of course the full menu of mouth-watering traditional Indian selections for both dinner and lunch, along with an expansive list of wines, beers and other choices from the bar.

“We’re so grateful to the wonderful customers who keep coming back because they are thrilled with the Papadam experience,” said Ajay Jaggi.  “We knew when we opened that we were providing an experience like no other in New York, and we’re proud that word of mouth has gotten out that we are a must-try restaurant.”

Open seven days a week from 12 noon to 10 p.m., Papadam is also available to host private events, while online reservations and online delivery orders can also be place on Papadam’s new website at

A popular Papadam item is the 14-course lunch buffet, available 7 days a week and just $10.95.  Each day features delicious new items to try, as well as the most popular menu items

“Our goal is to keep improving,” added Jaggi.  “We’re constantly adding new items to the menu, and we think our customers are going to be thrilled with the results.  We look forward to many more years of seeing nothing but happy faces leaving our restaurant after enjoying a wonderful experience.”

What Is A Papadam?

A Papadam is a thin, crisp Indian preparation sometimes described as a cracker or wafer, and is typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India.  It’s also eaten as an appetizer or a snack, and can be enjoyed with various toppings such as chopped onions, chutney or other dips and condiments.


Papadam is New York City’s premiere destination for Traditional Indian Cuisine, where diners can also enjoy the sights and sounds of India.  Opened in late 2011 on the Upper East Side, Papadam is “True Indian Hospitality In The Heart of New York City.”  Featuring the ultimate, authentic tastes of India, Papadam offers a mouth-watering menu from Traditional Indian Cuisine, best suited for all moods and palettes.  All food is carefully prepared with traditional Indian herbs and spices, and cooked over slow fire in a clay oven or tandoor, in order to maintain the authenticity and originality of the flavors.  For more information, or to make reservation or place a delivery order, visit, or call (212) 879-6000.

3 Very Important Health Benefits Of Indian Food

Dining out at an Indian restaurant is always guaranteed to be a unique culinary experience.

But did you also know of the many health benefits associated with Indian food?

“Diners who visit us obviously love our food, and are always pleasantly surprised to hear how healthy it is, too,” said Ajay Jaggi, co-owner along with his wife Kalpana of Papadam, an authentic Indian fine dining experience located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  “Studies are continuing to show the positive effects of Indian food on arthritis, cancer, weight control and other pressing issues facing Americans today.”

In fact, Jaggi offers these three health benefits of Indian food, for starters:

1 – Fiber (And Protein) Rich

Indian recipes frequently call for chickpeas and lentils, both of which are high in fiber and resistant starch while the lentils are also high in protein.  And as an added bonus of sorts, lentils also are extremely high in protein.  The fiber found in legumes also helps to lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health.  “The majority of Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diet, and Indian food is a delicious way to increase this,” notes Jaggi.  And because of their fiber and resistant starch, legumes are one of the more filling and satisfying foods.

2 – Good With Weight Control

Of course not all Indian food is low in calories.  However, the spices used to prepare such dishes helps to promote a sense of satiety, so fewer calories are consumed overall.  The key to healthy dining at an Indian restaurant like Papadam is to avoid dishes cooked in ghee, a type of clarified butter which is high calories and fat.  When prepared correctly, Indian dishes can be low in both calories and fat.  If unsure, simply ask the chef not to use ghee or added oils when preparing your dinner.  You’ll get the health benefits without all of the added fat and calories.

3 – Studies Have Shown It May Help Arthritis (Eat More Turmeric!)

Many Indian dishes are seasoned with curry, a mixture of healthful spices.  And one spice prominent in curry blends is Turmeric, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

A study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that this orange spice reduced joint swelling in arthritic rats.  As well, some patients have reported significant improvement in their arthritic symptoms after adding curry based foods to their diet.  Turmeric is also being investigated as a possible treatment for brain aging and cancer.