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Supporting local is our eating motto lately. Charminar Indian Restaurant perfectly fits the theme because they're in our neighborhood AND are giving back to the needy! Charminar opened mid-March when CoVid-19 precautions began affecting the restaurant industry. The restaurant's serving style was immediately changed from buffet to a la carte at the start of business!

For my first visit, I ordered 4 different entrees and some garlic naan. It was almost closing time and the employee offered complimentary biyarni made fresh that day! Takeout (and our kitchen lighting) isn't as glamorous for photos but that's how life has been these days!

Garlic Naan ($2.99) - Garlic and herb-infused, teardrop-shaped leavened bread baked in a tandoor oven.

We can't eat indian food without some naan, especially if an option is GARLIC NAAN! I was fortunate to see how homemade naan was made while visiting their sister restaurant Tikka Lounge. There's a special oven used and the workers use a stick to press dough onto walls to get that beautiful brown roast!

Butter Chicken ($11.99) - Roasted boneless chicken cooked in a spice-infused onion and tomato sauce, finished with fenugreek cream. Gluten free.

That carby deliciousness was dipped into the butter chicken sauce, which was sweeter and rich in flavor. Chicken was cut into tender chunks and we lapped up every last drop. 

Basil Chicken Seekh Kebab ($7.99) - Marinated chicken (minced in-house), infused with herbs, shah zeera and Indian spices.

This item was new for us and I believe it had an interesting spice mixed in. I forgot to take notes on it so will reorder in the future to re-assess!

Aloo Gobi ($10.99) - Potatoes and cauliflower florets cooked in a savory onion and ginger-garlic sauce. Vegan. Gluten free.

The healthy part of our meal was from the aloo gobi! The vegetables were well proportioned in this dish and the flavor was simple.

Malai Kofta ($10.99) - Vegetable dumplings made with potatoes and cottages cheese, cooked in sauce of roasted spices, onions, tomatoes and cream.

I had asked the employee for a recommendation and this was that dish. We weren't sure what to expect while digging out several "balls" from the nutty sauce. I found myself eagarly eating those veggie stuffed doughballs though! I'm not sure how they packed it so tasty!

Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani (12.99) - Aromatic, mouth-watering succulent chicken in layers of fluffy rice, fragrant spices and caramelized onions

The rice had great flavor and spice and was an easy compliment to the rest of our meal. Underneath were stewed bone-in chicken pieces.

My first order totaled almost $50 and the employee handed me a sticky note. He explained it provided a meal for someone in need and I was welcome to leave a message if desired! I was touched by their kind outreach efforts all while growing a brand new customer base, less foot traffic due to CoVid fears, and other issues that a new business faces.

By the time I revisited, Charminar was partnered with Muslim Leadership Council to provide meals for those in need. Just that day, they had packed over 200 meals that would go to seniors and more.

Classic Naan ($1.99) - Teardrop-shaped, leavened bread baked in a tandoor oven.

I thought I had ordered garlic naan like last time but classic still did its job for saucing it up. I'd still prefer the other version because it adds extra goodness.

Butter Chicken ($11.99) - Roasted boneless chicken cooked in a spice-infused onion and tomato sauce, finished with fenugreek cream. Gluten free.

Yep, I felt like eating more. We decided to plate it "fancy" this time around... That's what happens when you've been doing take-out for too long!

Chicken Curry ($11.99) - Simple Indian-spiced chicken curry cooked with tomatoes and onions.

I was craving roasted chicken but since they were out, decided to give the curry chicken a go. It was an earthier seasoned tomato sauce paired with chopped up chicken pieces. I'm a little lazy to eat around bones so will probably pick a boneless entree next time.

Lasuni Gobi ($6.99) - Cauliflower florets stir-fried with an Indo-Chinese garlic and cilantro sauce. Vegan.

I wanted to try a different version cauliflower other than Inchan's Bamboo! The lightly fried cauliflower was coated with a spicilicious chili sauce that packed the most heat of all our dishes. Even though my mouth felt a little fire, I couldn't stop eating them! Tikka Lounge has these spicy potatoes that are just as good but have the same effect for my weak mouth haha!

Charminar is a businesses that I'm happy to support. The above banner shows some offerings from last month during this time of crisis. The food so far has been tasty and I'm looking forward to trying other dishes. They also provide some dishes of a unique cuisine known as Hyderabadi, which I learned is the native cooking style of the Hyderabadi Muslims. Their sister restaurant Tikka Lounge provides Zabihah-Halal food which I believe is the same for this location. Hopefully Charminar survives the CoVid-19 pandemic and continues as a food staple in our happy little community!

Charminar Indian Restaurant
6755 Mira Mesa Blvd #113
San Diego CA 92121
(858) 263-7878

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