What is it that makes Indian food so craveable? We're not sure whether it's the fragrance of raisin-studded biryani, the tenderness of marinated meats, the complex, exotic seasonings, or the mouthwatering yin-yang of spicy heat and creamy coolness. Whatever it is, it's something that no other cuisine can match — how else to explain our shameless pigging out whenever we set foot in an Indian restaurant? Usually, we head to The Dhaba, where we inevitably soothe our cravings but set ourselves up for even more hunger pangs when we see what our friends are eating. Anything from the tandoor (clay oven) is good here, from outstanding naan (especially the green chile version) to a plethora of meat dishes.
We're huge fans of gosh rogan josh, tender chunks of lamb in a buttery sauce of dried chiles and yogurt that makes us want to lick our platters clean. There's also great nawabi murgh tikka (chicken marinated in yogurt and spices), fresh sole in a golden curry sauce, and quite a few chaat (scrumptious street snacks smothered in chutneys, yogurt sauce, fresh cilantro, and chile powder).
If you want something sweet, there's milky rice pudding, Punjabi ice cream, and a sweet Indian confection nicknamed "carrot fudge." You might find yourself too stuffed for any of it, but if there happens to be a Bollywood-style dance performance during dinner, dessert is a good excuse to hang out and enjoy the show a little longer.