If Indian cuisine is something that you hold dear to your heart or you’d love to dive into a brand new food love, today I’m sharing all about one of my favorite, ever so delicious Nashville restaurants: Chauhan Ale & Masala House!
Last month, I spent a week in Nashville taking care of my best friend who just had a newborn baby – I cooked, cleaned, and organized, all while introducing her to the magic of a little TV show called “Scandal” (she’s hooked!). Since she also has two toddlers in addition to the newborn, going out to dinner nightly was impossible, so we had to narrow down our options and have ONE great dinner.
That’s where Chauhan Ale & Masala House comes into play. I knew one of my culinary school colleagues was the executive sous chef there and when their PR company contacted me to check them out, we were sold! Wanting to connect with an old colleague and have a fantastically delicious Indian-inspired inner – that was the plan!
The cocktail menu is Indian-inspired, with some gorgeous house made sodas. The cocktails this fall season are made with dark spirits, so you’ll find a lot of rums, whiskey, and bourbon all shine bright on this menu. I can’t remember what this drink below is, but it was so bright and floral – loved it!
Next, Chef Vasisht Ramasubramanian had us taste almost all the appetizers on the menu – or so it seemed. The appetizer menu at Chauhan Ale & Masala House is out of this world, starting with the Gol Guppa Shots. Delicate semolina puffs are filled with black garbanzo and potato and serve (as you can see below) with a mint cilantro water. To eat, you drizzle a little of the water into the puff and eat it all in one bite! Such a fun interactive dish – best of all, the flavors were INCREDIBLE! The use of capital letters is needed because I just can’t describe how delicious it was: the crisp puff, the smooth filling, and the intensely flavored water made it such a tasty experience.
As Chef V explained, the restaurant is Indian-inspired and plays with the local community flavors as well. So up next, the Hot Chicken Pakoras, a take on the classic Nashville Hot Chicken. Seasoned with a house blend spice mix, this crispy chicken is served along a ghost pepper sauce. We loved the twist on a classic local dish everyone loves – the chicken was fried in a light, airy batter and not heavy at all.
Up next, Kale Pakora Chaat, where the trendy kale chip gets an Indian makeover with spicy garbanzo, tamarind, mint, and yogurt sauce on the bottom. They were SO incredibly light and not greasy at all and the flavors of the sauce cooled it down perfectly.
An off the menu treat, Chef V brought out Delicata Squash Pakora and let me just tell you, I’ve never tasted a sweetener, creamier squash than this one. Rounds of squash with peel and all are drenched in a special batter and deep fried. They come served topped with a snowfall of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the salty pairs so well with the sweet squash. If anything, I’ve dreamt about this squash and wish I could go back for more soon.
Seafood was also a part of our meal with Mussels Tikka Masala cooked in a spiced tomato and fenugreek sauce and served with artisan sourdough bread. Juicy, plump mussels are drown in a spiced tikka masala sauce that’s best sopped up with one of their homemade breads like their naan or chili cheese kulcha. Fresh from the oven, these house made breads have a section on the menu all to themselves, they are that good!
For our entrees, we start with Guava Glazed BBQ Ribs and holy heck, where they tender! Served with fire roast corn, charred poblano, and blistered tomatoes, these ribs are in my top three best ribs ever. The guava lends to a sweet and tart flavor, and the meaty slab just slides away from the bone once you touch it with your knife.
Believe it or not, if you’re still reading, we are still eating! Part of their menu is “desi fare” where you create your on dish, described as “untamed, authentic, regional”. We choose the lamb korma, meaning the lamb is cooked in a saffron cashew curry and as a curry lover, this is a must have! Luscious sauce served with perfectly cooked lamb – over rice and a side of parmesan naan, what more could you ask for?!
If you’re ever in Nashville, TN promise me you’ll dine at Chauhan Ale & Masala House. Indian inspired, deliciously authentic yet with a twist of modern and local essence, this restaurant feeds the soul.
Chauhan Ale & Masala House can be found at 123 12th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37203 and reservations can be made by calling 615.CHAUHAN (615.242.8426) We were guests of the restaurant and greatly appreciate the opportunity to share our experience with you, my readers!