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.”