Enjoy upscale butter chicken and more at the first-of-its-kind Indian restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake, meet Aura on a kadhai board in the lake: a refreshing spicy vegetarian dish made with Indian cheese and paprika, cooked in a tomato-onion sauce with kadhai masala.

Fans of Indian cuisine in Niagara-on-the-Lake, your luck has finally changed: After years of driving to Niagara Falls or St. Catherine for curried lamb and naan, a new Indian restaurant opened downtown this summer, with its high take on staples. One of the most powerful country in South Asia.

Ora on the Lake is now open for dining and dining at 233 King Street in Old Town. Husband and wife duo Nittin and Anjna Sharma, of Vaughan, hosted a minor opening of their first restaurant on July 1.

Chef Nitin, who is originally from Delhi, is excited to embark on this journey, but said he expects to compete with the dozens of Indian restaurants located in nearby cities will be a challenge.

“It is a challenge not only to sit in the middle and give food that we have loved since childhood, but also to exceed the expectations that people have,” he said.

Nitin takes pride in not doing things the easy way: Almost all of the spices he uses are made from scratch, ground in the kitchen, and every broth dish is made with fresh ingredients, cooked over a long period of time to extract the oils from the oil. Spices and get the right mixture of ingredients and flavors.

“Everything is as fresh as I would like to consume it,” he said.

Starting with the appetizers, one of the highlights includes papri chaat, a popular Indian street food snack: the biscuits are individually covered with mint cream and yogurt, chopped white onions, chickpea flour, coriander, and pomegranate seeds. The result is a cold start, light, crisp and delicious, with a kick of heat.

For main dishes, there are a number of vegetarian dishes that use paneer, or Indian cheese, which is a soft, insoluble cheese, similar to halloumi but with a higher acidity. It is used to make paneer makhani, which is cooked in tomato broth, paneer malai methi, stewed in fenugreek-flavored broth, and paneer kadai, made with paprika and cooked in tomato broth and spicy cream. .

For meat eaters, dishes include butter chicken (a popular and well-liked dish even for those who don’t interact much with Indian food), Malai Methi chicken and Kadai chicken.

Nitin said he allows some of the broth to simmer over 24 hours, allowing the seasoning to marinate, then reheat and serve to get a full taste.

To end the spicy meal with something sweet, Nitin makes gulab jamun, a mushy fried dough, and sits in rabri, a custard made from softened milk flavored with cardamom and rose water.

Diners can also help themselves to a tall glass of mango lassi, a cold mango-yogurt drink that beats the heat on the hottest days of the year.

Nittin is a trained chef who spent several years as an executive chef at York University and serves hotel catering in Ontario, but Aura on the Lake marks his return to the world of fine dining after 15 years of rest.

He hopes to not only provide the city with its fix of Indian food, but also to create a new standard for what the overall Indian dining experience should be – from entering a restaurant to the hours after paying a check.

“We want to set the standard,” he said.

Halo on the lake

Address: 233 King Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Contact: 905-468-7222, auraonthelake.ca

Hours: Monday: Closed; From Tuesday to Sunday: from noon to 9 pm

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