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New Indian restaurant specializes in biryani

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Paradise Indian Cuisine's signature dish, chicken biryani.

With a scalding hot tandoor clay oven churning out fresh naan and tandoori chicken, Paradise Indian Cuisine brings an additional Indian food option to Lansing with daily lunch buffets and dinner specials representing all regions of India.

It will be the third branch of the New Jersey-based Indian chain to open in Michigan after two locations in metro Detroit. It is halal certified.

Manager Shireesha Bottu moved to Lansing eight years ago from her home in South India and always wanted to be in the restaurant business.

“When I first came to Lansing, I didn’t really have any friends. All I did was google and I only found one Indian restaurant here in 2011,” Bottu said. “It didn’t have any of the South Indian dishes. No dosas or idlis. The food was good, but it wasn’t a wide variety of what any Indian would prefer.”

The flagship dish is Paradise Indian Cuisine’s biryani — available with a choice of chicken, goat, egg, paneer, fish, mixed vegetables and shrimp.

“Biryani has a long history. It came from the Afghan culture when Persian people occupied and ruled India,” Bottu said. “People in India later modified the spices according to Indian taste.”

“Cooking the dish is a procedure,” she added.

“First, you marinade the chicken with Indian spices, yogurt and pepper powder. After this, we steam it in layers with meat at the bottom, then rice and fried onions. Then we seal the cooking container with dough so no steam can escape, which is the specialty of the dish.”

For an authentic biryani like Paradise Indian’s, Bottu and her family used to travel all the way to Detroit to eat dinner then come all the way back, she said.

“Now people have the option of a good, authentic biryani in Lansing.”

Renovations to the building, a former McAlister’s Deli, included a complete overhaul of the indoor aesthetic and a new installation of a giant LED bubble wall.

“Because we have that, we didn’t worry too much about the ambience because it takes up 100 percent of the ambience. People have loved to take pictures by it.”

The heart and soul of the restaurant is the cauldron-like tandoor oven. At 300 degrees, it cooks skewered chicken in 15 minutes and naan, which is slapped on the inside wall, in a matter of seconds.

Paradise Indian will offer a Biryani night for Michigan State University students, when they can taste all of Paradise Indian Biryani with an admission ticket.

Delivery is available through Grubhub. There is also a coupon offering $12 off the initial first delivery. For bigger orders, there is a full catering menu.

Paradise Indian is still hiring waitstaff. It is expected to bring 15 new jobs to the area.

“We want to offer good food and service to make sure no one leaves hungry," Bottu said. "We want to satisfy everyone.”

For more information, visit paradisebiryanilansing.com


Paradise Indian Cuisine

11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. lunch buffet

6 to 9 p.m. dinner service

4760 Marsh Rd., Okemos

(517) 483-2280

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