Indian food is known for its warm spice and robust flavors. This international cuisine is a favorite of many Kansas Citians. And if you aren’t in the mood to try your hand at a home-cooked Indian meal, there are several Indian restaurants in Kansas City to choose from.
Even though the Indian population in Kansas City is relatively small, Indian immigrants still make up nearly one-third of Kansas City’s immigrant population. Their cultural impact on the dining scene is noticeable. Indian food in Kansas City is truly unique. It stands alone with its bold aromas and flavors, and each restaurant puts its own spin on traditional dishes.
There is so much Indian food in Kansas City to enjoy. This guide will point you in the right direction.
Indian Food in Kansas City
It’s a little difficult to define Indian food. India is a nation of more than 1.3 billion people with a vast and complex history. It is thousands of communities woven together over thousands of years, with overlapping cultural traditions and culinary tactics. India’s cuisine formed over all these years amongst all these people, making the food as diverse as its home country.
There are some elements, especially in America, that tend to define Indian cuisine in Kansas City. You know it when you see it. This is perhaps most true of curry sauce, a staple of Indian dining that is poured over meats, rice and veggies at many Kansas City Indian restaurants. The sauce is spicy and robust, with a nutty sweetness and tanginess that set it apart from any other flavors. Curry also has a gravy-like texture that distinguishes it from other sauces.
You’ll also find several spices that are common across all Indian dishes. Cumin, turmeric and coriander are used in heavy rotation in many different types of Kansas City Indian food. Each of these spices delivers a kick to your taste buds, contributing to Indian food’s distinct flavor. Diners will also find pungent spices such as black mustard seed, chili pepper, ginger, garlic, cardamom and nutmeg at Indian restaurants in Kansas City, Mo.
Curry sauce and these spices make up the foundation of Indian cooking, but what each chef builds on this foundation is totally unique. If someone tried to group “American food” under one category, they could probably come up with a few signature American dishes. But they’d be neglecting regional differences between southern home cooking and northeastern lobster rolls; between Kansas City barbecue and Tex-Mex. It’s the same with Indian food in Kansas City. Sure, you could put it all under one category. But you’d be missing the differences between north, south, east and west Indian cuisine.
Find Indian Restaurants in Kansas City
Kansas City Indian restaurants offer a little bit of everything. You can find the staples from each regional Indian cuisine somewhere in Kansas City. There’s no Indian district of neighborhood in Kansas City with a hub of restaurants. They are spread out all over the city and larger metro area.
Here is a nearly exhaustive list of Indian restaurants in Kansas City:
- Seva Indian Cuisine
- Moti Mahal
- Tikka House
- Taj Palace
- Kurry Leaves
- Touch of Asia
- Ruchi Indian Cuisine
- Spice N Rice
- Korma Sutra
- Taj Mahal
- Bawarchi Biryanis
- Rajmahal Indian Restaurant
- Kabesh Grill
Good luck getting to all of this Kansas City Indian food. There are so many options. You can pick based on the reviews, the menus or the location. Wherever you go, there are a few dishes you should try for the most authentic experience.
Famous Dishes to Try at Indian Restaurants in KC
As we said, Indian food is diverse, and each region is known for its own specialty. Here are few of those specialties, listed by region, for you to try at an Indian restaurant in Kansas City:
North Indian Food
- Tandoori Chicken
- Paneer Makhani
South Indian Food
- Sambar Stews
- Idlis and Vadas
East Indian Food
West Indian Food
- Chicken Xacuti
- Fish Curry
You can find these dishes, or a variation of them, on many of the menus at Kansas City Indian restaurants. Take your pick — it’s sure to be delicious.