“South Indian curries would be spicier,” Ajay Khanna tells me of the differences patrons can expect from familiar dishes at the new Ashiana North Indian Cuisine. Khanna, who describes his role at the restaurant as somewhere between an officer and a general manager, continues: “North Indian curry has more masala in it. And it has a base of onion, garlic and ginger that is stronger.” That’s something to consider when ordering anything from fiery vindaloo to mild mango curry at Ashiana, on Eastern Avenue just north of the entrance to near Anthem.
The ownership group is mostly from the Punjab province, and the focus on traditional, homestyle dishes from their native region has already developed a loyal following. Tandoori chicken, one of the best-known Indian dishes to Americans, is a specialty of Northern India, and Khanna recommends it for newcomers to the cuisine. The chicken packs a wallop of flavor thanks to the yogurt and spice marinade and the unique clay oven cooking technique.
Khanna says that while the restaurant might someday expand to offer dishes from Southern India, right now it wants to focus on what it knows best. That also includes plates from the Kashmir region such as karahi, a curry featuring bell peppers, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
Most preparations can be had with a variety of proteins including chicken, lamb, goat, shrimp, fish and vegetarian options. Don’t miss bengan bharta, eggplant skewers roasted in the tandoor (clay oven), and aloo gobhi, a filling cauliflower and potato entree that eats like a stew over rice to further your North Indian adventure.
ASHIANA NORTH INDIAN CUISINE 10960 S. Eastern Ave. #107, 702-724-1474. Daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (buffet); 5-10 p.m. (dinner).