South Florida’s ethnic palate is growing more adventurous with the arrival of new Indian restaurants. India is a massive country, and each region has its own cuisine from ingredients to spice quotient. At Fort Lauderdale’s Moksha Indian Brasserie, Michelin-starred chef Christopher Corda homes in on small plates from his native Mumbai. He cooked at Tamarind in New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood before relocating to Florida to found Saffron and Tanjore restaurants in Pinecrest and Boca Raton, respectively. Rather than the dated buffets at traditional Indian eateries, he opts for made-to-order dishes with fresh produce and spices. Seasoned with 25 spices, lamb chops are served with yogurt and cashews. Scallops replace typical mussels in the seafood dish moilee, a classic, creamy sauce heated with red chiles, turmeric and tamarind. As another twist, there’s a large cocktail program with matching lounge decor. Miami Midtown newcomer Maska is also helmed by a Michelin-starred chef. Hemant Mathur is the first Indian chef to receive the honor in the U.S., and the same goes for his former New York restaurant, Devi. He excels in tandoor cooking, which uses a clay oven for everything from prawns to king oyster mushrooms. His huge, mouthwatering menu could take all summer to sample. The same group expanded next door with Cho:Tu for Indian street food representing six regions around India. Savor snacks like lentil doughnuts and curry with coconut chutney or lamb and pea-stuffed samosas. Cool off with a whipped mango lassi.
2823 East Oakland Park Boulevard; 954.314.7349. mokshaftl.com
3252 NE First Avenue; 786.971.9100; maskamiami.com. 786.628.2517; chotu.com