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Authentic Indian and Nepali cuisine for newbies

By Sara Lugardo from Chicago Asian Community Examiner

Finding an exciting alternative to the same old mundane restaurant scene in Chicago can be a daunting task.  Sushi houses can be hit or miss, Chinese takeout can be all too familiar and game day food like chicken wings and pizza is not the epitome of excitement.

A great alternative, that for some people is an undiscovered treasure, is authentic Indian cuisine.  Get the thought of smelly curry and foreign food out of your head, and open your mind and taste buds to a brand new experience.

The Himalayan Restaurant & Bar is a great family friendly casual dining establishment that is perfect for the newcomer to Indian food, as well as the Indian cuisine connoisseur.

After opening its doors 8 years ago, the restaurant has continued to expand and recently added a third location.  The menu is a diverse assortment of authentic cuisine with recipes that owners, Kiran Byanjankar and Vivek Kunwar, brought with them from their Indian and Nepali background.

Staying precise to the authentic recipes, chefs for all three locations remain consistent to the true flavors of the cuisine Vivek and Kiran have tried to bring forth to their customers.  Items on the menu are a combination of Northern and Southern Indian dishes, as well as traditional Nepali cuisine which has influences from Chinese and Tibetan cooking.

The menu at The Himalayan has a great variety of vegetarian, vegan, chicken, goat and lamb dishes.  The menu is easy to follow and even has a made-to-order spice meter to allow patrons to customize the food to their liking.

Those new to Indian food should definitely stop by for the lunch buffet to get acquainted with some of the main dishes offered at The Himalayan.  The lunch buffet is reasonably priced, kid friendly and always filled with an energetic crowd of people from all different nationalities.

Popular dishes ordered:

  • Farsi Bhaji – green beans with coconut sauce
  • Chicken Vindaloo – chicken cooked in Goan style tangy-hot curry sauce
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Lamb curry
  • Tandoori Chicken – bbq whole chicken marinated with ginger, garlic, and herbs
  • Vegetable Biryani – basmati rice with vegetables in special biryani masala
  • Gulab Jamu – powdered milk dessert, golden fried and soaked in sweet saffron syrup
  • Gajar Ka Halwa – carrot pudding cooked in sweet milk and served as a dessert
  • Naan – Indian style leavened soft bread baked on the wall lining of clay oven

Examiner’s favorites:

  • Naan
  • Pineapple Lassi – coconut and pineapple juice with a yogurt base
  • Chicken momo – Nepali style dumplings similar to a Chinese style pot sticker
  • Vegetable Biryani – medium heat eaten as a meal
  • Chicken Makhani (Butter chicken) – shredded chicken in a creamy tomato sauce
  • Vegetable samosas – crispy pastry stuffed with potatoes and green peas
  • Vegetable pakora – deep fried vegetable fritters – comparable to a hush puppy
  • Vegetable spring rolls – flaky crusted rolls stuffed with cabbage masala

Specialty Indian beverages:

  • King Fisher – light beer comparable to Ikirin
  • Taj Mahal – light beer geared towards an older age group
  • Hayward 5000 – stronger beer with smooth taste – goes well with spicy food
  • Indian merlot and cabernet
  • Lassi – non alcoholic drink with a variety of different juices to choose from

Don’t let this be another restaurant you read about without checking it out for yourself.  The Himalayan can be a great new addition to your list of favorite restaurants in Chicago.  After the first try you will find yourself craving Indian food.  Check out one of their three locations today.

The Himalayan Restaurant & Bar

  • 8265 Golf Rd
  • Niles, IL
  • 847-324-4150
  • 398 W. Army Trail Rd.
  • Bloomingdale, IL
  • 630-523-5100
  • 3747 Grand Ave.
  • Gurnee, IL
  • 224-637-3000

Have The Himalayan cater your next special event or take advantage of their carry out and delivery.  Check out their website for restaurant coupons and promotional offers.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Authentic Indian and Nepali cuisine for newbies – Chicago Asian Community | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/asian-community-in-chicago/authentic-indian-and-nepali-cuisine-for-newbies#ixzz1CwOjKl6J

Niles

Lunch Buffet Hours

Mon – Fri: 11.30am – 2.30pm
Sat – Sun: 12.00am – 3.00pm

Dinner Hours

Mon – Sat: 5.00pm – 10.00pm
Sun: 5.00pm – 9:30pm

South Loop

Lunch Hours

Mon – Fri: 11.00am – 3.00pm
Sat – Sun: 12.00am – 3.00pm

Dinner Hours

Sun – Sat: 5.00pm – 10.00pm
Fri – Sat: 5.00am – 12.00pm (midnight)