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New India Restaurant – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

Curry, the food I didn’t know I was missing out on.

It still blows my mind that I hadn’t had curry until I was in my mid-20s. It was a whole spicy genre of food I was oblivious to and now it’s one of my favorites. So many different ways it’s cooked and spiced and the heat levels are awesome. That in mind, this week we got takeout on a rainy day from a new (to us) spot on Bethel Road, New India Restaurant. What “curry” means is up for debate, with some calling it a reductionist term to simplify foreign food, but regardless of how you look at it, if it’s a tasty paste or spicy liquid, I’m in regardless.

Any new spot we try we typically get some sort of sample of their appetizers and New India Restaurant was no different. I believe we ended up rolling with the House Special Platter which includes Vegetable Samosa, Aloo Tikki, Onion Bhaji, Paneer Pakora, and Vegetable Pakora, along with their bread basket, which is just a smattering of naan types. Solid sauces and samples and could definitely see myself eating multiple samosas (though we split the one pictured above).

The Lady of the Farm selected the Lamb Biryani, the Classic Muglai dish with curried lamb in rice and that thing lasted for 3 meals. So much Biryani packed into the box with a great combo of flavors, meat, and in this case, a Medium spice level. The Medium was enough to keep The Lady of the Farm away from my Extra Hot Curry, a smart move if I’m being honest.

From time to time the wonderful folks in the Columbus sub-Reddit will toss out recommendations for new spots to try for our “spiciest dish” series and New India Restaurant is one of them. Told to snag an Extra Hot Curry, I did so, while The Lady of the Farm consumed (over two days) a hefty meal of Medium spice Lamb Biryani. Behold, the Extra Hot Chicken Curry, a rich, red tapestry of chicken in a thick curry sauce. Taking the customary starting sniff, there wasn’t much indication of heat on smell alone.

Do not be fooled by the lack of spicy smell though, as this curry is no chile chump. First bite to last, it punches with a consistent full-mouth heat that grabs your attention but doesn’t overwhelm. You can see some small seeds settled in, reminding you that a pepper of some sort lost its life in service to your spicy experience. With a habanero-like spiciness, I found my allergy-addled nose running a bit, clearing out the pollen and cicadas that had lodged in there over the changing season. Unlike other dishes on our list, there’s no real rise or fall here, just a dependable, steady heat.

While it’s not going to get you sweating like Fetty’s special Phaal, New India’s Extra Hot Curry is a great starter for those looking to get into the higher realms of the spicy curry world. With that in mind we’ve placed it at #44, just before Noodle Topia’s Szechuan Noodles and right after Wing Snob’s Hot AF Sauce. New India Restaurant spice levels include: mild, medium, hot or extra hot. Many Halal options as well.

You can find New India Restaurant at 5226 Bethel Center Mall Columbus, OH 43220. Online ordering or dine-in are both available options at the time of this writing.

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