Exotic, affordable Indian eats in Pembroke Pines
The easiest way to find Indian Chillies, tucked away in a small Pembroke Pines strip shopping center, is to look for the Dunkin' Donuts. It's worth the search. Once inside, you'll be treated to an exotic dining experience. The cheerful restaurant, done in the bright lime and orange of the Indian flag, is filled with the heady aromas of simmering sauces, seductive spices and house-baked breads.
Owner Jasmine Talwar, originally of Delhi, took over the restaurant in November and updated the menu with authentic dishes that stand out for fresh, vibrant flavors as enticing as the Bollywood movie playing on the flat-screen TV. We saw many Indian customers dining, always a good sign. And you get a lot of food at modest prices: the most expensive entree is a $13.99 platter. All meat is halal in accordance with Islamic dietary guidelines. The best way to sample the extensive menu is to dine family style. If you have a big group, check out combos with five main dishes plus rice and salad for $49.99 to $54.99. If you need help, Talwar's daughter, Anjali, and other welcoming young servers make ordering easier for novices.
- House specialty chaats, Indian street snacks (share a bunch as you would tapas)
- Dahi batara puri - 10 crisp, mini shells filled with boiled potatoes, chickpeas and onions plus tamarind, mint and cilantro chutneys then topped with yogurt and sev (thin, crisp noodles) and seasoned with Talwar's own spice mix.
- Sizeable samosa chaat - two deep-fried, potato-stuffed triangles in a tantalizing tomato sauce with chickpeas, onions, chunks of boiled potatoes, mint-cilantro and tamarind chutneys and channa (chickpea) masala
- Delicious Indian breads - plain or garlic naan, kulcha stuffed with red onions or whole-wheat paratha stuffed with potatoes, paneer cheese or cauliflower
- Crisp, Indian-style Chinese spring rolls (more like a fat egg roll) seasoned with a dose of heat from crushed red pepper
- Shahi paneer - pieces of mild white cheese, house-made with cow's milk, bathed in a creamy tomato-based sauce spiked with turmeric.
- Malai kofta - fried vegetable-cheese balls in a lush tomato sauce flavored with onions, turmeric, peppers and cashews
- Flavorful “mutton'' korma - goat in a tomato-yogurt sauce
- Dessert of gulab jamuns - milk and cheese balls in syrup
- Lassi (yogurt shakes) - creamy mango smoothies
- House-made burfi - milky cubes spiked with almonds and pistachios
Lunch special at Indian Chillies in Hollywood, non vegetarian Thalli with Butter Chicken Basnati Rice and Gulab Jamun Naan.