There is a new clay oven in the kitchen at Emperor of India, now open in Prairie Dogs’ former spot at 610 W. Lake St.
Owners Keya Corraya and Farhana Rajib said they’re excited to make dreams come true for themselves as well as chef Shahab Uddin, who has worked in Indian restaurants for 30 years in London, New York and Minneapolis. His local restaurant resume includes Passage To India, Great India and India House.
Uddin uses scratch spices and fresh ingredients, and favorites on his menu include chicken makhani (tandoori chicken cooked in fresh korma sauce with a touch of light cream and imported seasonings), as well as beef vuna (lean beef prepared with fresh tomatoes, sliced onions, green pepper and ginger in mild curry sauce). The owners also recommend the mango lassi and homemade chai.
Corraya and Rajib both worked in restaurants on the side while studying IT management and computer information systems. They met each other through their husbands, who were roommates years ago.
“Now we are like family,” said Corraya’s husband Michael.
The owners plan to expand the menu to include dishes from the Indian subcontinent, featuring different kinds of kababs from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Pakistan. They said Indian cuisine is much broader than many realize, and they want to introduce entrees that are never served.
“For now it’s the chef special,” said Rajib’s husband Abu.
A daily lunch buffet runs from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.