Established in March 2013, Underground Indian Cuisine, as the name suggests, is actually located in the basement of a building in Irving, Dallas. It is the brainchild of Amit Paul, who is both the owner and chef at Underground.
Amit has over 18 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has worked under the best chefs in the Welcome group of luxury hotels in India. He trained under the founder of ‘Dum Pukht’ style cooking – Mohammad Imtiaz Qureshi, the oldest pillar of Indian Royal cooking, who began his epicurean journey with the traditional Awadhi cuisine and went on to master his culinary skills under the mentorship of noted chefs, who were in charge of the kitchens of the Royal Indian kings.
Having learnt from the best, Amitis very passionate about the food he cooks and loves to delight his customers with traditional offerings from ‘Peshawari’ and ‘Dum Pukht’ cuisine. DUM means to breathe in and PUKHT to cook. Dum Pukht cooking uses a round, heavy- bottomed pot, a Handi, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. There are two main aspects to this style of cooking, Bhunao and Dum, or roasting and maturing, of a prepared dish. In this style of cuisine, herbs and spices play an extremely critical role. The food retains all its natural aromas and becomes imbued with the richness of flavors that distinguishes the cuisine.
Underground’s enticing non-vegetarian menu includes ‘Oudhi Qurma’, made of boneless lamb pieces cooked in cream and cashew gravy; a dish much favored by the Nawabs of Oudh. The chef special, Dum Pukht biryani is also a must have. It consists of delicately flavored saffron rice with special biryani spices & succulent mutton pieces, sealed, and cooked in the traditional DumPukht style.
From the vegetarian side of the menu, a couple of options are the tasty shallow-fried Hariyale kabab, which is anappetizing mix of spinach and green peas, stuffed with cottage cheese and herbs, and the uniquely-flavored Dum Bhindi Masalewali, which hasokra, marinated with yogurt, ginger and garlic, topped with ghee, and garnished with onion and tomato slices.
Amit is also well versed in other kinds of cuisine. Herecently included a new cuisine in his restaurant’s menu – Indo Chinese. For the uninitiated, Indo Chinese is basically Chinese cuisine with an Indian twist to give it that added zing, resulting in a unique, spicy flavor.
Using vegetables and/or meat as a base, he adds soy sauce, cornstarch (for coating and thickening), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and generous amounts of ginger, garlic and chili to transform the Chinese dish to suit the Indian palate.
The Indo-Chinese cuisine is available only at dinnertime. A sumptuous lunch buffet is offered, 5 days a week, both at the Irving location and at the new Downtown location. Underground also caters for all kinds of events. They don’t serve alcohol, but have a BYOB policy.
Amit has created his own unique niche in a cozy corner of Irving and is proud to serve the taste of a five star restaurant for the price of a 2 star restaurant. He firmly believes that not only taste and flavor, but ambiance also draws people in.Underground Indian Cuisine has a 4 star rating on Yelp.