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Here’s your guide to Indian Food in New Orleans

Here in New Orleans, we’re fortunate to live in a city that draws on the culinary traditions of many places. In the last few years, Indian cuisine has begun to take off here. Whether you’re looking for something on the traditional end, more casual, or somewhere in the middle, you’re sure to find the perfect place to get your fix. Here are a few spots to get you started. 

by Marielle Songy
May 17, 2021

Here in New Orleans, we’re fortunate to live in a city that draws on the culinary traditions of many places. In the last few years, Indian cuisine has begun to take off here. Whether you’re looking for something on the traditional end, more casual, or somewhere in the middle, you’re sure to find the perfect place to get your fix. Here are a few spots to get you started. 

Nirvana Indian Cuisine

Nirvana Indian Cuisine has had a home on Magazine Street since 1999. Anila Keswani and the late Har Keswani are credited with bringing Indian cuisine to the greater New Orleans area. Today, their son Anjay continues that tradition at Nirvana. The Keswani’s passion for food and tradition is reflected in the preparation of the food: from the blending of spices and oils to the use of a tandoor, a traditional barrel-shaped pit oven made from clays.

Website: https://insidenirvana.com/
Where is it? 4308 Magazine St.
What are the hours? Sunday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. through 10:30 p.m., closed Monday
Grubhub ordering available
DoorDash ordering available

Menu highlights:

Chicken Tikka- boneless pieces of chicken marinated with spices and herbs and roasted in the tandoor. ($13.95)
Flag of India- Butter Chicken, Malai Kebab, and Saag Paneer to represent the colors of the flag of India ($18.95)
Boti Kebab Masala- Lamb leg roasted in the tandoori oven and then prepared in tomato cream gravy with vegetables ($15.95)

[hearst-location place_id=”ChIJMRFaZk6kIIYRxOn75KaXUwc”]Nirvana Indian Cuisine[/hearst-location]

Plume

Owners Chef Tyler Stuart and his partner Merritt Coscia were inspired to open Plume after their travels through India. Coscia and Stuart, a former chef at Carrollton Market, spent 2 months traveling the country and learning about the food and cuisine. When they returned, they missed the Indian dishes they had enjoyed on their trip. Plume started as a pop up and is now a full service restaurant, located in the couple’s Algiers neighborhood.

Website: https://www.plumealgiers.com/
Where is it? 1113 Teche St.
What are the hours? Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. through 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Menu highlights:

Gobi 65- Fried cauliflower and peanuts tossed in a sauce blend of 6 peppers and 5 spices, jungle plum, grapefruit- ($9)
Banana Chaat- Fried banana, coconut chutney, tamarind, green chili, crunchies, and mint ($10)
Shrimp & Crab Pakora- Fried gulf shrimp and crab claw fritters, buttermilk, curry leaf temper ($17)

[hearst-location place_id=”ChIJr83l1B2nIIYRXSHh4JiOxAg”]Plume Algiers[/hearst-location]

Saffron nola

Saffron was a catering company and popup in Gretna before the move to Magazine Street. Owners Arvinder Vilkhu and Pardeep Vilkhu combine their Indian heritage with New Orleans ingredients. The meeting of both worlds creates a dining experience that the family hopes will be accessible to guests on a modern stage. The restaurant’s cocktail menu and wine list is culinary-focused and meant to be paired with the menu and highlight spices in the dishes. From start to finish, Saffron nola will provide a dining experience that you won’t forget.

Website: https://www.saffronnola.com/
Where is it? 4128 Magazine St.
What are the hours? Tuesday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Menu highlights: 

Curried Seafood Gumbo- crabmeat, shrimp, okra, basmati rice ($13)
Pork Vindaloo- goan style pork shoulder, vinegar, chilies, basmati rice ($24)
Tuna Chaat- seared yellowfin tuna, sesame, mango, cucumber, watermelon radish, puffed rice, kashmiri-rice wine ($16)

[hearst-location place_id=”ChIJ7VAKuU6kIIYRgyO2XPqscTc”]Saffron nola[/hearst-location]

Silk Road Restaurant & Wine Bar

Chef Ganesh Ayyengar and Zak Rahman have transformed this space into a haven for Indian food and wine. The theme here is “East meets West”, and Chef adds a New Orleans twist to traditional Indian food in dishes such as the Catfish Poboy topped with sweet chili aioli. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine and cheese selection, for purchase.

Website: https://www.silkroadnola.com/
Where is it? 2483 Royal St.
What are the hours? Sunday through Saturday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Menu highlights:

Blackened Gulf Puppy Drum with crab muniere sauce over jasmine rice ($18)
Lemongrass Crab Bisque cooked with locally sourced crabs simmered in a Creamy Coconut broth ($8)
Five Spice rubbed Duck Breast with Port plum reduction and garlic mashed potatoes ($20)

[hearst-location place_id=”ChIJtf_ucCOmIIYRhjkUz63_2p8″]Silk Road Restaurant & Wine Bar[/hearst-location]

Tava Indian Street Food

Located at Auction House Market, Tava Indian Street Food is reimagining the Indian dish. With meats that are marinated for at least 24 hours and seasoned with house-made spices, flavor is the name of the game here. Originally a pop up, Tava Indian Street Food, from owner Manish Patel, offers unique foods with an Indian twist, such as the Bombay sandwich made with masala potatoes, cheese, tamarind and mint chutney on a French loaf. Tava is best known for their dosa, a South Indian crepe made with fermented rice and lentils.

Website: https://www.auctionhousemarket.com/tava
Where is it? 801 Magazine St.
What are the hours? Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Menu Highlights:

Kadai Paneer Dosa- a gluten-free fermented rice and lentil crepe made with paneer, onions, peppers, tomato sauce, radish, mint yogurt and cilantro ($12)
Lamb Vindaloo Rice Bowl- lamb, fried garlic and cilantro ($14)
Bhel Puri Chaat- a street style snack made with puffed rice, red onions, tomatoes, peanuts, sev, pomegranates, tamarind/date chutney, mint yogurt, potatoes and cilantro ($8)

[hearst-location place_id=”ChIJ3-yLfSqnIIYRWlOEO6sulVc”]Tava Indian Street Food[/hearst-location]

Marielle was born and raised in New Orleans. She thinks it's hard to grow up there and not let the culture and history of the city become part of you. Whether it be the jazz, food, of fabulous architecture, she thinks most would agree that things are a little spicer down here.

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