I immigrated to the U.S. seven years ago from India when I was 18 years old. At the time, I couldn’t wait to get away from my mother’s cooking. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a natural talent, but eating the same daal chawal — lentils and rice — every day started to get to me.

Of course, this itch to get away from the mundane didn’t last long and I began hunting for the perfect restaurant to help cope, but places in San Francisco only disappointed me — somehow, home felt missing, and the food, a watered-down version of what I grew up on.

During my travels over the years, I stumbled on to the “Little India” of Los Angeles, located in Artesia, and of New York, resting in Jackson Heights, and finally ate at places known only to the locals.

I was apprehensive about what I would find when I moved to Utah, but, in my brief time here, I’ve explored local restaurants that are absolutely worth trying out. Here are five top-notch Indian cuisine options in Salt Lake City.

Mumbai House

What to know: Serving daal Makhani and butter chicken the classic way, this restaurant aces the basics of comfortable Indian food. Reddit threads related to Indian food spots in Salt Lake City are littered with users who recommend the family-owned spot. It has another location — Bombay House — in Provo and West Jordan. Expect the chicken and shrimp grilled over the charcoal and flatbread baked and toasted in-house. The Bollywood Chicken plate is worth trying, as is the Keer, a rice pudding dessert.

Address: 2731 E. Parleys Way, Salt Lake City.

Saffron Valley

What to know: With five locations across Utah, founder Lavanya Mahate set out with the goal to bring Indian food to Americans — whether it was refreshing South Indian recipes or rich North Indian flavors. The restaurant also offers cooking classes, if you’re interested in recreating a dish. The Tandoori Salmon, dripping with mustard oil and chili sauce, is worth trying, as are the Hakka noodles, identical to the exciting street food flavors found in India.

Address: There are three locations in the greater SLC area.

  • 479 E 2100 South Unit C, Salt Lake City.
  • 1098 S. Jordan Parkway Unit 102, South Jordan.
  • 26 E Street, Salt Lake City.

Bhutan House

What to know: Another family business owned by immigrants who’ve lived in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Their menu brings together the cuisine of the three countries but it is their momos, a dish similar to dim sims, that are a huge hit. Meanwhile, the biryani is also worth trying out.

Address: 1241 E 8600 South, Sandy.

The Kathmandu

What to know: This wallet-friendly restaurant serves delicious vegetable korma and chana masala. Best to go during lunchtime, Deseret News reporter Hanna Seariac recommended. The food is served beautifully and the menu is endless. Expect quick and delightful service.

Address: There are two locations in the greater Salt Lake City area.

  • 212 S. 700 East #D, Salt Lake City.
  • 3142 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City.

Curry Fried Chicken

What to know: If you’re a fan of curry flavors and fried chicken, this fusion spot is the place to go. With over 470 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Yelp, the menu offers the flavorful Curry Fried Chicken that pairs well with the Hot Curry Fries — if you can handle the heat. The fast-casual restaurant, located close to The Grand America hotel, also offers wraps and salads that come with hummus and pita bread. Although it isn’t exactly Indian food, the spices are reminiscent of South Asian cuisine.

Address: 660 S. State St, Salt Lake City.