The options for Indian food in DC are growing exponentially and I am for one am very impressed by all the new options. The newest addition is Karma Modern Indian, which occupies a bright and expansive new spot in Mount Vernon Square.
The menu features classic Indian fare with a modern twist. For example, appetizers include a green pea and edamame tikki. Traditionally, tikki are small, pan-fried potato patties, served with yogurt and a sweet tamarind chutney. In Karma’s version, the tikki are made with green peas and edamame, which make for a more flavorful, slightly sweet, earthy tikki. Served over lima beans, with a bold red pepper sauce, these are definitely tikki 2.0.
The tandoori cauliflower at Karma Modern Indian is another delectable appetizer. Hunks of cauliflower are marinated in a yogurt and spicy garam masala sauce and then baked so that the cauliflower is soft, but still crispy along the ridges. The dish is spicy and fragrant, not to mention stunning to look at. Each individual floret comes in a puddle of creamy tomato sauce. This dish is designed for sharing but it’s so good you may want it all for yourself!
Entrees at Karma Modern Indian are similarly innovative. We enjoyed a mushroom biryani that was divine; a variety of earthy mushrooms are cooked with rice and seemingly endless number of spices like chili powder, cloves, cardamom, peppercorn, cumin, curry, graham masala, coriander, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Special attention is paid to the presentation: the biryani is adorned with enoki mushrooms and another entree, paneer shashlik, which features cubes of cheese, are served with gorgeous, colorful bell peppers and a peppery green chutney.
Karma Modern Indian has huge, beautiful windows along one wall, a bright and spacious dining room, and a sleek bar. The gold and blue décor is elegant and appealing, and tables aren’t overly close to each other. Service was impeccable, and it was clear that attention is paid to all aspects of the dining experience.
I didn’t have room for dessert or drinks but what I did sample was delicious, and the experience overall was lovely. Next time you are craving Indian food, you know where to go!
Karma Modern Indian, 611 I St NW, Washington, DC, Website