Since visiting a cousin in Miami who married into an Indian family and now cooks completely Indian, I have been enjying the Curry Up grocery in Maple Grove. I can get pani puri (either completely there, or buy the puri shells and the pani and make my fillings at home). I can get iddly, I can get all sort of spicy snacks and sweet treats (I brought some of their sweets to this cousin as it's a traditional host gift, and she said they were delicious- I enjoyed them too but I had no idea if they stood up to a more experienced Indian palate).
CurryUp just opened a restaurant in the back of their store at the end of March, so I went there for lunch on Monday. They have a lunch buffet for 7.99, and I usually eschew buffets because of their heat-lamp dried out crustiness, but after looking at the buffet I couldn't resist.
I cannot remember all the names of the dishes, but they had a lentil soup, chicken tikka masala, chicken curry, an eggplant-tomato-spice dish, and a dish of potato-veg fritters (like korma, but not named that) in a light sauce. Also had naan and papadam, the requisite chutneys and small salad bar, and a dessert which I did not sample. All foods were well spiced and tasted fresh. I enjoyed the chicken tikka masala more than the curry, I think because the texture of the chicken in the curry had the testure of canned chicken, whereas the tikka masala seemed more like true chicken breast meat. One of the cooks offered to wrap up something in foil for me-- I didn't understand him, but nodded-- who was I to turn down an offer of something special?? It might have been a dosa, but I remember dosas being sort of more crispy and filled with potato and spices, and this seemed more like a sourdough-crepe thing with that filling.... that was my favorite part of the lunch! Like the ethiopian injera, I love the sourness.
I would love to go back for dinner or to sample nonbuffet items. It's a good thing for people in the northwest burbs to know about. The other Indian places in the area that I've tried have been much more low quality, high volume, americanized versions. Definitely try out the store as well. They are very helpful in directing you if you ask for their opinion.