Desi Spice and Basmati Rice

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Hey foodies!

Yes, the holiday szn is over, but it’s a new year and as always you should try NEW FOODS! Looking for the perfect new place for you and your friends to gather up? Something spicy and savory? How about some Desi spice and basmati rice at Zyka?

Zyka is a popular Halal Indian-Pakistani restaurant in Decatur, Georgia. Serving up a variety of mouthwatering tasty curries, spicy biryani, and grilled tandoori style meats, this place is always a crowd-pleaser.

I usually come to Zyka for family gatherings where my siblings and I tend to go HARD. I mean, we have a stack of at least 15 naans on the table and several different dishes to complement one another. Since I have a large family, we tend to cater an endless supply of food so everyone can have a bite of what Zyka has to offer.

Pictured below are some of my favorite grilled menu options. Bihari kebab is a juicy grilled beef brisket that is marinated in various Desi spices. Chicken 65 is a southern Indo-Paki staple. It’s basically fried chicken in a marinate composed of what is said to be “65 different spices,” The Chicken Boti is grilled chicken with a variety of spices that bring out an orange color in every savory bite. The Chicken Seekh Kebabs are full of heat, but are also light on the stomach. Beef kebabs tend to leave me feeling full fast, whereas chicken provides my stomach with extra eating room.

All of Zyka’s grilled options are paired with a sweet chutney as well as their INFAMOUS white chutney. This chutney is exclusively available at Zyka. Unlike the usual green chutney that is served on the side of entrees at your typical Indian-Pakistani restaurant, Zyka has their own take on chutney that is white and full of spicy flavor. This chutney is not composed of jalapeños, mint, and cilantro, but instead a combination of traditional Desi spices and plain yogurt.

Moving forward some saucier dishes, Chicken Tikka Masala is a famous desi curry dish. However, Zyka’s Chicken Tikka Masala has a particular color and flavor that distinguishes others. Zyka’s has a mustard color rather than the traditional red color. Instead of having a strong sweet tomato presence in the curry, there is spicy and slightly nutty, creamy flavor which brings out the flavor of the masala in the chicken. My family prefers to switch up their carb load by ordering at least one rice dish. Since there was so much meat, we decided to order Zyka’s Vegetable Biryani. The vegetable biryani was delicious and had tons of flavor. The vegetables were steamed and not seared so it was not too oily and you could taste the flavor of the biryani masala and vegetables.

Raita and Naan are always a Desi dining out staple. Zyka’s raita is the perfect cooler for all the spice. The tart yogurt combined with the mild flavors of onion, sweet tomatoes, and crunchy cucumbers, makes it the perfect complement for each dish. Sometimes after I devour my serving, I eat a little bit of raita by itself just for the refreshing taste. I also find myself frequently just nibbling on naan after a meal too. Zyka’s naan are super fluffy and airy with a slight crunch, not doughy like most Desi restaurants’ naan.

For dessert, I always order their pistachio kulfi. Their mango kulfi and lassi are great tasty options as well, but I am huge pistachio ice cream fan! Zyka’s pistachio kulfi isn’t too sweet which makes it the perfect balance after a savory Desi meal.

Zyka has a relaxed and casual dining environment. They do not serve food in fancy plates, just styrofoam. The food is always made fresh to order and quick. If your order gets messed up, then they immediately fix it. Their prices are also very reasonable. Entrees range from $6 and up. Even though I think it is absurd that Zyka recently started to charge extra for onions and limes on the side, their food is so good that it is worth the extra cents.

I have been going to this restaurant for years and I can truly say that no other Desi restaurant in Atlanta tops it. The colorful ambiance, diverse customers, and delicious food always keeps me coming back. Even though I like to switch it up and go to try other styles of Desi cuisines, Zyka is still my favorite. If you have not tried Zyka yet, then I HIGHLY recommend going! It is absolutely worth the trip and is the perfect place to gather with friends.

Until next time,

Asmaa 🙂

 

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