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Gambit's 2012 Winter Restaurant Guide: Indian/Pakistani 

JULIE'S LITTLE INDIA KITCHEN AT SCHIRO'S CAFE & BAR 2483 Royal St., 944-6666; Indian and New Orleans cuisine share the menu at this casual cafe. Saag paneer is sauteed spinach with paneer cheese and vindaloo sauce and comes with naan, basmati rice and papadam chips. Salmon Benedict features poached eggs on a biscuit with cream cheese, lox and hollandaise. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., breakfast Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $

NIRVANA INDIAN CUISINE 4308 Magazine St., 894-9797; Flag of India is a trio of saag paneer, butter chicken and a lamb kebab in sweet sauce. Mushroom masala is sauteed mushrooms with onions, tomatoes and a blend of spices, and a vegan version also is available. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

SAFFRON NOLA 505 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, 363-2174; Saffron offers innovative Indian cooking but is open only one night a week. Barbecue shrimp with a tamarind tang are served over crab cakes made with lentil batter. Traditional Indian dishes include chicken tikka, curries and goat marinated in yogurt. Reservations recommended. Dinner Fri. Credit cards. $$

TAJ MAHAL 923 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-6859 Taj Mahal is one of New Orleans' longtime favorites for Indian cuisine. There are many vegetarian dishes and curried options like the mutton curry. "Italian dosa" are thin rice crepes filled with pasta, fresh vegetables and cheese and topped with marinara. A buffet is offered for lunch. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

TANDOORI CHICKEN RESTAURANT 2916 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 889-7880; Vegetable samosas are served with sweet and spicy chutney. Lamb comes in a spicy curry sauce with onions. Both dishes are available a la carte and are on the dinner buffet on Friday and Saturday. Reservations accepted. Lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TARKA 3207 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 471-6141 Goat biryani is served with curry-spiced basmati rice. The special mixed grill is a combination of meats including chicken drumsticks and kebabs. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$


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