India produces around 75% of the world’s spices and was the first country in the world to refine and consume sugar. So even if you have never eaten Indian food, odds are that you have tasted Indian seasoning.
Though Northern Kentucky and India are separated by more than 8,000 miles and two oceans, Northern Kentuckians can taste authentic Indian food at any of NKY’s four Indian restaurants. All four offer Tandoori dishes and food cooked in charcoal-fired clay ovens.
Amol India Restaurant
Address: 527 York Street, Newport; 859-261-2317
Do not be fooled by Amol India Carry Out Restaurant’s name. Though most of their business is takeout, customers can also eat at the restaurant.
Amol India offers chicken, lamb, shrimp, fish, rice, and vegetarian specialties. They also serve appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, and a variety of bread, including naan and bhatura.
Two desserts are on the menu: gulab jamun, which are Indian doughnuts, and kheer, or rice pudding. Their beverage offerings include mango lassi (mangos blended with yogurt), sweet rose lassi (chilled yogurt blended with rose water), salty lassi, mango juice, and chai (Indian tea). Chicken curry is one of their most popular dishes. Amol’s hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and they are closed on Monday.
Guru India Restaurant
Address: 2303 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs; 859-341-5858
Guru India is located in a strip mall in Crescent Springs, and serves Northern Indian cuisine. Jessie Singh, who is from Punjab, India, owns the restaurant.
Guru’s menu offers chicken, lamb, shrimp, fish, rice, and vegetarian specialties, and they even have a children’s menu. They also offer appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, and varieties of Indian bread. Their most popular dishes are chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and lamb curry.
The restaurant has a full-service bar with three Indian beers: Taj Mahal, Flying Horse, and King Fisher. Guru offers non-alcoholic Indian beverages, too: mango lassi, mango milkshakes, chai, sweet or salt lassi, and aam ras (mango juice). The dessert offerings are gulab jamun, kheer, mango ice cream, custard, and kulfi (Indian-style ice cream).
Before the pandemic, Guru offered a lunch buffet. They now offer a lunch combo silver tray, which is like a mini-buffet, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Guru also has an in-house, small Indian grocery store. Their hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Jot India Restaurant
Address: 1709 Monmouth Street, Suite C, Newport; 859-415-2000
Jot is located in the Newport Shopping Center, close to Newport Racing and Gaming. They serve Northern Indian/Punjabi cuisine. Their menu offers chicken, lamb, fish, shrimp, rice, and vegetarian specialties.
Special chicken tikka masala, saag paneer (a vegetarian cheese dish), chicken shahi korma, and paneer makhani are Jot’s most popular dishes. Appetizers, salads, side dishes, soups, and a variety of Indian bread are also available. Their beverage options include mango lassi and chai. The dessert offerings are gulab jamun, kheer, and ras malai (cheese patty served cold in sweet, creamy milk).
Their hours of operation are Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. They are closed on Monday.
Taj Mahal Bar & Grill
Address: 726 Madison Avenue, Covington; 859-655-9111
Taj Mahal is located on a Covington city street that requires metered parking, so you may want to bring change with you. The Singh family, who are from India, own the restaurant.
Taj Mahal serves Northern Indian cuisine, and their menu offers chicken, lamb, fish, shrimp, rice, and vegetarian specialties. Chicken tikka masala, saag paneer (a vegetarian cheese dish), chicken curry, and ginger lamb are their most popular dishes.
Appetizers, soups, salads, accompaniments, and a variety of Indian bread are available, too. The restaurant has a full-service bar and offers four brands of Indian beers, including Kingfisher, Taj Mahal, Flying Horse, and Maharaja. They also have a Sula, an Indian red wine. Their non-alcoholic beverage options include mango lassi.
They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.