The Authenticity of Indian Food in Utah

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The Authenticity of Indian Food in Utah

Saffron Valley Sugar House

Saffron Valley Sugar House

Justin Prather

Saffron Valley Sugar House

Justin Prather

Justin Prather

Saffron Valley Sugar House

By Palak Jayswal

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The Authenticity of Utah's Indian Cuisine

Indian food easily has some of the most intricate and tantalizing tastes from a wide range of cuisines available to us. It’s rich and has an even richer history. Recipes have been adapted and updated as the cuisine spans across the globe. At the core of all Indian recipes is a sense of authenticity that isn’t always replicable so far away from its home. In Utah, there are few places that serve true Indian food. As someone who is Indian and a lover of authenticity, I’ve found five places that fit the bill.

India Palace

Located in South Jordan and Provo, this is my favorite Indian restaurant in the entire state. As soon as you walk through the door, you’re invited into Indian culture, and it’s not just because of the elaborate decorating. The flavors practically burst from the plate into your mouth. This is the only Indian restaurant that makes naan properly in Utah. It is crisp and fluffy, but not overpowering. The buffet is a hit and the staff is helpful and kind in every respect. My personal favorite from this place is the Chicken Makhani. The portions are a bit small, but that’s the only negative thing I have to say. Although, it does add up when you order a lot. The restaurant is authentic to the bone and they know how to cook. India Palace is good about spice levels, too, for my fellow spicy food lovers.

Saffron Valley

There’s a common misconception that Indian food is only delectable curries made from various spices and cooked for hours. An incredibly important part of Indian cuisine is the street food. Saffron Valley does Indian street food the justice it deserves. It is college-student budget friendly, and its menu offers a wide variety of food from all over India. You’ll have to tear yourself away from the table. Furthermore, you can really tell the staff is invested in the food they serve. My favorite items are Pani Poppers and the chai. There are locations in Salt Lake City, Sugar House and South Jordan — in the same complex where India Palace is located. Saffon Valley also offers Indian cooking classes, so be sure to check out its website.

Himalayan Kitchen

This restaurant serves both Indian and Nepalese food. The place should be known for its wide array of flavors. There are several different cultures of food on this menu and its buffet is insane. It uses a good amount of oil and are good with spice levels. My favorite dish from here is Chili Chicken. There are locations in Salt Lake City and South Jordan.

Tandoor

The food at Tandoor is amazing. I can’t say I’ve ventured too far across the menu, but I do have my personal favorites. Butter Chicken is good, but the Chicken Pakora and other appetizers are amazing as well. The buffet is a must and the staff are some of the kindest and attentive people I have met in the service industry. Pricing is a bit steep depending on what entrees you choose. The menu also has a lot of South Indian specialities you don’t see at other restaurants. Although I don’t go here often, it’s worth checking out. Tandoor is located in South Salt Lake.

Flavors of India

Experienced chef TJ Singh is serving up the flavors of India with his menu. A lot of the dishes on the menu have been passed down for generations but have a unique, modern twist. For example, its Butter Chicken is made with cashews which give the dish a sweet kick. If you ask, Flavors of India will kick up the spice. The menu is moderately priced, but it is cheaper in comparison to the other restaurants listed. Staff is accommodating and happy to answer any questions you might have. This place also serves many of the street foods mentioned earlier.  It’s located in West Jordan.

I have high expectations when it comes to Indian food, and these are the restaurants that have met my expectations. Notably, Bombay House seems to be on everyone else’s list, but with the flavors I have grown up with, these are the best Utah has to offer in Indian cuisine.

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