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Bawarchi Indian Cuisine – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

Just go until you see the colorful lights on the side of the restaurant.

That’s one way you could explain how to get to Bawarchi Indian Cuisine in Columbus. Located in the plaza just south of Hard Rd. and on the eastern side of Sawmill, Bawarchi Indian Cuisine is dishing out a unique menu with items we’d never even heard of. With a range of heat levels, Bawarchi is well-known for their Biryani and their dosas (a new dish to us as of a few weeks ago). With delivery and takeout options, Bawarchi combines traditional with new tweaks to old recipes and several chef specials per week.

About Bawarchi Indian Cuisine

Until this week we did not realize that Bawarchi is the largest Indian cuisine chain in the United States. Along with an expansive menu (over 250 items), Bawarchi also does a lot of catering for weddings and events and has been doing so for many years. With over 40 locations, Bawarchi Biryanis continues to expand across the United States and is looking to open locations in Cleveland and Dayton in the near future.

In their own words: “Bawarchi Biryanis, a wide range of aromatic spices come together to create a beautiful pot of Biryani. It’s heavenly and one of the most loved delicacies. For all those cravings for authentic Indian spicy food and other delights, we are happy to inform that Bawarchi Biryanis is here to serve you.”

Guntur Chicken on Crust

This was also a new dish to us. Guntur chicken is a house special and is made with Guntur peppers (makes sense). We couldn’t get a good read from research as to how hot Guntur chilis can get, but Wikipedia says 30,000 – 350,000 SHU. Super helpful right? If I said hey, eat this pepper, it’s somewhere between a jalapeno and a habanero you’d think I’d lost my mind.

guntur chicken on crust by bawarchi

Get your eye balls in there.

Anyway, this guntur chicken pizza consists of House special spicy (guntur) sauce, mozarella cheese, malai chicken, onion & green pepper. The chicken is a more dry heat than the chilli idli below, but still packs a pretty good punch. The Lady of the Farm managed to eat a few pieces but kept yelling at no one “why do I keep eating it, it’s so hot,” with deep mouth breaths between bites. Lots of seeds throughout and the pizza base is pretty good, but we’re not super picky on that kind of thing. Surprisingly though, this is not the spicy dish we’re here to feature.

Spiciest Dish Contender: Chilli Idli

chilli idli by bawarchi from fartley farms

Chilli Idliiiiiii

House special dish with deep fried idli covered in special sauce and sauteed with garlic and hot chili. Marked as a chef’s special, we had to try this one. Similar to most of their dishes, the chilli idli comes with four heat options: Mild, Medium, Spicy, Spicy Hot (or Super Spicy depending on ordering system), you know we went with that Super Spicy Chilli Idli.

New to the idli world, I was surprised at these little heat pucks that were slathered in an almost vindaloo-like sauce. Examining the first disc, you can see seeds in the dish, though that could have been from the bell peppers in the dish as well. First fiery frisbee into my mouth I was hit with that Super Spicy heat. A blend of chilis and an immediate tangy heat impact further soaked up by the contents of the idli (typically made up of fermented black lentils and rice).

bawarchi chilli idli by fartley farms

Look, see the seeds?

Hitting all the edges of the mouth, the idli spreads the heat well and has an addictive mix of flavor and heat that pushed me onward. Some light sweat began to form on my cheeks and some sniffles began to creep up as well. The vegetables in the dish help dissipate the heat a bit, but each time left me digging for more of the star of the show, the idli.

Spiciest Dish Verdict

Polishing off the piquant pillow puffs, I postulated that this new type of food (to me), while sausage-slice-looking in appearance was a new spicy favorite, but where would it sit on the list? With a whole-mouth heat and the not-so-subtle sweat that had formed, we’re placing Bawarchi and their Chilli Idli at #32, just before Grandad’s Graveyard Wings and right after Aangan India Bistro’s Level 6 Lamb Vindaloo. It’s a unique heat that spreads and lingers, and I’ll definitely be trying it again.

You can find Bawarchi Indian Cuisine at 7400 Sawmill Road, Columbus, OH 43235.

Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!

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