[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you are sat teary-eyed watching The Hundred-Foot Journey or just crave a curry in the city, we’ll let you in on some Bogotá places and their favourite dishes.
When Colombia turned to yoga and transcendental meditation, the Indian community began to open their homes to friends wanting to experience a taste of their own Little India in the Andes.
One of the pioneers of home cooked Indian food in Bogotá is Arun Pal. After turning up on these shores with his bicycle, he married a Colombian and opened one of the first indy and Indian restaurants near the Javeriana University.
Today, Arun and family run India Gourmet, and on weekends it’s a full house with fresh baked naan and a moderately hot mutton tamarind curry — one of the best in Bogotá.
Between Bollywood songs and lasi made from freshly squeezed lemons and blended yerbabuena, India Gourmet is a consistently enjoyable place to go to with friends. The dishes are generous, and a meal for two with refreshments costs an average of $60,000 pesos.
Carrera 19-B No. 92-52
If you are running errands near the Parque Nacional, then Dhaba lives up to its name as a very typical neighbourhood eatery, specializing in both vegetarian an non-vegetarian dishes all served up in stainless steel bowls.
Dhaba’s kitchen is authentic Indian with starters such as samosas at under $6,000 pesos for two, spiced pakoras and papadam. The chicken curry with onions ($19,900) is a delight and a must have dish.
Chicken is also served up as a Muglai with yoghurt and almonds, and as Korma. All mains include chapatti and a portion of Jeera rice.
Calle 33-A No. 19-17
Finding a tandoori oven in Bogotá, until recently, was a challenge and few Indian restaurateurs could afford to bring one over from half-way around the world.
The specialty dishes of Taj Mahal are tandoor cooked, with Peshawari naan and rohi best recommended to accompany a paneer tikka and onion bhaji.
Taj Mahal is central Indian dining with dishes close to the culinary tradition of Delhi. Agra, where the magnificent shrine of Taj Mahal is located, is in fact, just a few hours drive from the capital and dishes in this part of the world tend to be very marinated in spices. My recommendation: the lamb Rogan Josh.
Trip Advisor awarded Taj Mahal this year with an ‘Excellence’ qualification. The restaurant is also launching a new location in Barranquilla this month.
Prices are reasonable with starters such as Chicken Tikka at $18,500 pesos and main dishes near $30,000.
Calle 119-B No. 6A-34
Even though The Hundred-Foot Journey to the best Indian in Bogotá may require planning your day around lunch or dinner, several restaurant chains such as WOK, offer curry on the menu.
When WOK introduces a dish it is because they have done their homework, and their Green Thai in coconut sauce is neither too hot nor too soupy. The restaurant’s menu also features a Cambodian Khmer with peanuts and a Red Thai with Putumayo palm stalks. Wok’s four curries are priced under $20,000 pesos.
Crepes and Waffles
Making a crepe a meal in itself is what launched Crepes and Waffles three decades ago in the city. Since their first venue on the Carrera 11 with Calle 86, this venue has expanded beyond Colombia by consistently offering clients a nutritionally balanced menu of crepes, salads and you guessed it, waffles.
One of the loyal dishes of this socially and ecologically conscious venue is the red curry and chicken crepe. It’s a house special and a well-known city classic.
Even though there are many places in which to enjoy Southeast Asian cooking in the capital, from Tepanyaki to maki cones on the go, we try to stay the course with our curries and a meal, which should never be eaten in a hurry.For more restaurant ideas, click to check out our Dining Guide