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A cast iron serving dish with saffron rice and s oft boiled egg.
Biriyani from Saffron.
Saffron NOLA

Here’s Where to Eat Indian Food in New Orleans

From traditional to inventive

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Biriyani from Saffron.
| Saffron NOLA

Indian cuisine can be habit-forming. Once exposed to the diverse dishes of the Indian table, heady with savory spice and creamy with nut milks and clarified butter, a person simply needs more. New Orleans doesn’t have a large number of Indian restaurants, but there are a handful of excellent places to get a fix of curry, biriyani, and marinated chicken roasted in the tandoor oven, ranging from takeout-friendly to fine dining.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

NOLA Desi Kitchen

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This Pakistani eatery on what as known as Kenner’s global restaurant row on Williams Boulevard, Desi Kitchen serves fragrant Indian fare, outstanding flaky naan, and fresh biriyani rice dishes studded with chicken, veggies, or goat. The chicken korma is especially rich and creamy. Ask about the thali menu, a combination meal that includes apps, veg, a small portion of an entree, rice, naan, salad, and dessert. Prices are rock bottom.

Wah Kitchen

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Yet another hole-in-the-wall Pakistani eatery in Kenner, Wah Kitchen is named for the owner’s hometown in Pakistan. The food is fresh, well-spiced, and prepared to order. The naan is highly recommended, baked with garlic, cilantro, or ginger. The owners have quite the pedigree — Ghazala Khan worked as a chef at a Marriott hotel in Pakistan and her husband, Masroor Khan, was one of the opening partners at Shyan’s Kitchen in Metairie. There’s no doubt that this place is a hidden gem.

Shyan's Kitchen

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Metairie’s Shyan’s Kitchen is a Pakistani-Indian restaurant owned by Irfan Khan, who immigrated from his native Pakistan to New Orleans in 2007. There is beef on the menu, which isn’t served in India; goat is simmered and sauteed six different ways, and a smoked chicken masala is a specialty of the house. Pakistan is primarily Muslim, which is why all the meats here are Halal.

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine

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Another restaurant founded by the Keswani family, this Metairie location is run by son Anjay. The menu touches down all around the Indian table, from curries to tandoor roasted meats along with a slew of vegetarian options. Expect authentic flavors, reasonable prices, and a setting that is warm and inviting.

Nirvana Indian Cuisine

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Popular for its busy lunch buffet, Nirvana offers traditional Indian faves along with some intriguing dishes. Spice lovers should check out the “sixty-five”, protein of choice or veg marinated with ginger, garlic, red chilies, and vinegar. Lamb Goa is a coconut-forward curry from the party town on India’s tropical western coast. Owners Har and Anila Keswani have served Indian food to New Orleanians since the early ‘80s.

Saffron

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This James Beard-nominated restaurant and Eater New Orleans 2017 Restaurant of the Year deserves all those accolades. Against a stylish backdrop, diners can sample a complex cocktail program, informed by Indian spices and herbs, some of the best char-grilled oysters in town (maybe it’s the curry leaf?), and feast on sophisticated dishes that marry Indian gastronomy with local ingredients. Be sure to try the Saffron old-fashioned to see what it’s all about — it’s the top-selling menu item at the restaurant.

Saffron NOLA's oysters with naan
Saffron NOLA's oysters with naan
Josh Brasted

Aroma Indian Cuisine

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Chef Kalaimani Antony, who helped open Turmeric on New Orleans’s West Bank in 2019, brings a wide-ranging menu of Indian specialties to Claiborne Avenue with Aroma. Everything is delicious, including excellent malai tikka, vindaloo, and curries, as well as two kinds of fried cauliflower appetizers, and a refreshing number of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options. While there are tables inside, this is a takeout and delivery joint — Aroma is on most of the third-party delivery apps.

Tava Indian Street Food

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It started as a pop-up, but it now boasts a bright, gorgeous CBD space by Rouse’s. Chef and owner, Manish Patel, who comes from a family of chefs, re-imagines the dosa, a fermented rice flour pancake (think: Indian crepe) with all kinds of fillings and flavors. His crisp, savory creations are stuffed with yummy combos including garbanzo beans and tamarind chutney, lamb with mango relish, and mint yogurt sauce or shrimp with coconut cilantro sauce.

Turmeric Indian Cuisine

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Turmeric is delicious, a casual, family-friendly restaurant that opened in 2019 in the former longtime home of Red Palace Chinese on the West Bank. Open for lunch and dinner and offering the tried-and-true lunch buffet, the vast menu covers a full range of Indian specialties, from kebabs to biriyani to galub jamun (a fried dessert) to mango lassi. It’s affordable as well; great for a weekday dinner out.

Plume Algiers

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After a year of restaurant pop-ups, Tyler Stuart and Merritt Coscia opened their now-popular West Bank restaurant, Plume Algiers, in 2020. An incredible ever-evolving menu and frequent specials might include Kozhi, a spicy fried chicken stew with coconut dumplings, Recheado shrimp salad, chow mein, and aloo chaat.

NOLA Desi Kitchen

This Pakistani eatery on what as known as Kenner’s global restaurant row on Williams Boulevard, Desi Kitchen serves fragrant Indian fare, outstanding flaky naan, and fresh biriyani rice dishes studded with chicken, veggies, or goat. The chicken korma is especially rich and creamy. Ask about the thali menu, a combination meal that includes apps, veg, a small portion of an entree, rice, naan, salad, and dessert. Prices are rock bottom.

Wah Kitchen

Yet another hole-in-the-wall Pakistani eatery in Kenner, Wah Kitchen is named for the owner’s hometown in Pakistan. The food is fresh, well-spiced, and prepared to order. The naan is highly recommended, baked with garlic, cilantro, or ginger. The owners have quite the pedigree — Ghazala Khan worked as a chef at a Marriott hotel in Pakistan and her husband, Masroor Khan, was one of the opening partners at Shyan’s Kitchen in Metairie. There’s no doubt that this place is a hidden gem.

Shyan's Kitchen

Metairie’s Shyan’s Kitchen is a Pakistani-Indian restaurant owned by Irfan Khan, who immigrated from his native Pakistan to New Orleans in 2007. There is beef on the menu, which isn’t served in India; goat is simmered and sauteed six different ways, and a smoked chicken masala is a specialty of the house. Pakistan is primarily Muslim, which is why all the meats here are Halal.

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine

Another restaurant founded by the Keswani family, this Metairie location is run by son Anjay. The menu touches down all around the Indian table, from curries to tandoor roasted meats along with a slew of vegetarian options. Expect authentic flavors, reasonable prices, and a setting that is warm and inviting.

Nirvana Indian Cuisine

Popular for its busy lunch buffet, Nirvana offers traditional Indian faves along with some intriguing dishes. Spice lovers should check out the “sixty-five”, protein of choice or veg marinated with ginger, garlic, red chilies, and vinegar. Lamb Goa is a coconut-forward curry from the party town on India’s tropical western coast. Owners Har and Anila Keswani have served Indian food to New Orleanians since the early ‘80s.

Saffron

Saffron NOLA's oysters with naan
Saffron NOLA's oysters with naan
Josh Brasted

This James Beard-nominated restaurant and Eater New Orleans 2017 Restaurant of the Year deserves all those accolades. Against a stylish backdrop, diners can sample a complex cocktail program, informed by Indian spices and herbs, some of the best char-grilled oysters in town (maybe it’s the curry leaf?), and feast on sophisticated dishes that marry Indian gastronomy with local ingredients. Be sure to try the Saffron old-fashioned to see what it’s all about — it’s the top-selling menu item at the restaurant.

Saffron NOLA's oysters with naan
Saffron NOLA's oysters with naan
Josh Brasted

Aroma Indian Cuisine

Chef Kalaimani Antony, who helped open Turmeric on New Orleans’s West Bank in 2019, brings a wide-ranging menu of Indian specialties to Claiborne Avenue with Aroma. Everything is delicious, including excellent malai tikka, vindaloo, and curries, as well as two kinds of fried cauliflower appetizers, and a refreshing number of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options. While there are tables inside, this is a takeout and delivery joint — Aroma is on most of the third-party delivery apps.

Tava Indian Street Food

It started as a pop-up, but it now boasts a bright, gorgeous CBD space by Rouse’s. Chef and owner, Manish Patel, who comes from a family of chefs, re-imagines the dosa, a fermented rice flour pancake (think: Indian crepe) with all kinds of fillings and flavors. His crisp, savory creations are stuffed with yummy combos including garbanzo beans and tamarind chutney, lamb with mango relish, and mint yogurt sauce or shrimp with coconut cilantro sauce.

Turmeric Indian Cuisine

Turmeric is delicious, a casual, family-friendly restaurant that opened in 2019 in the former longtime home of Red Palace Chinese on the West Bank. Open for lunch and dinner and offering the tried-and-true lunch buffet, the vast menu covers a full range of Indian specialties, from kebabs to biriyani to galub jamun (a fried dessert) to mango lassi. It’s affordable as well; great for a weekday dinner out.

Plume Algiers

After a year of restaurant pop-ups, Tyler Stuart and Merritt Coscia opened their now-popular West Bank restaurant, Plume Algiers, in 2020. An incredible ever-evolving menu and frequent specials might include Kozhi, a spicy fried chicken stew with coconut dumplings, Recheado shrimp salad, chow mein, and aloo chaat.

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