Indian dishes are spicy and tasty because they are always liberally seasoned with spices such as mustard seed, cinnamon, pepper, chillies, curry leaves, cumin, turmeric and ginger. India is a huge country so there is a large variety of Indian food from the different regions. To my family, however, Indian food means onion bhajis (onion fritters), biryani (spiced rice with chicken or beef), naans (flatbreads), murtabaks (pancakes with chicken or beef fillings) and curries as that is what we usually order.
Arya Fine Indian Cuisine at North Adelaide is a fine dining Indian restaurant but my family tends to buy their food for takeaway because it's on the way home. In addition to dishes that are normally associated with Indian cuisine, Arya also serves a few lesser known dishes such as chilli chicken, consisting of deep fried pieces of chicken tossed in a spicy sauce.
Across the street from Arya is another fine dining place called Beyond India. Beyond India notably serves a variation of chicken biryani known as dhum biryani referring to the process of sealing the dish with a layer of dough before it is cooked. Service here was excellent, with table water and complimentary pappadums given to you as soon as you are seated.
Farther away from the city in the northern suburbs, Darshana's Indian Cuisine at Mawson Lakes has a nice, quiet ambience. One of the most unique dishes that can be eaten here is the Bombay chicken masala, in which scrambled eggs is mixed into the curry gravy.
If you prefer a more casual dining atmosphere, then Banana Leaf Indian Restaurant at Currie Street in the city is worth a visit. It is within walking distance of Rundle Mall and is popular with the office lunch crowd because of their $10 lunchtime specials. It serves a very delectable chicken murtabak with a serving size generous enough to be shared with a friend. If you are feeling brave, you can also try their fiery beef vindaloo curry though milder curries are also available if you are not ready to try it.
Cafe Chennai at Prospect is definitely good value for money. We found the onion pakora here to be very delicious, its moist interior a welcome change from the pakoras we have eaten at other places, which can sometimes be a bit dry.
Chapati House 2, South Road, Black Forest.
We have never been disappointed. We are happy to travel the 20 minute drive it takes from home to buy from Chatpati House, rather than other local Indian restaurants.
No way. Beyond India? You're joking. Best Indian in Adelaide hands down is Taste of Bollywood in Hindmarsh (Port Rd). Indian Temptations on Main North Rd comes a close second. And funnily enough the one on Hindley St in the CBD (can't remember the name, but it's next to the macca's) is really good too for an incredibly low price.
Undoubtedly Bay of Bengal at Broadway Glenelg. It would be hard to fault this 25 year old restaurant. Right from the start with huge papadams and entrees to die for this superb silver service venue just keeps on getting better. Entrees of note include Ghinga Pakoras (prawn cutlets in batter with tasty spices) or perhaps Bhiajus (onion slices with coriander and chillis deep fried in besan flour batter) Try Lamb Saag main course and spoil yourself. Perhaps accompany it with Khira Pachedi - slices of banana with spiced yoghurt or Khira Raita - yoghurt and cucumber dip. Best to have both! The Lamb Rogan Josh is great too, not to mention Nawabi Murgh (chicken curry cooked with spices, coconut milk, yoghurt and spices. Lots more great Main courses. Décor luxurious with fabulous photos from India adorning the walls that Proprietor Dell LaCota brought back from a recent trip to India. Excellent range of affordable fine wines and ales. Could rave on a lot more but I don't want to make it too popular or the place will become so popular I won't be able get a table booking for days on end.