Photo: Kole Smith/STAFF
Photo: Kole Smith/STAFF

‘Hidden gem’ Indian restaurant damaged in weekend fire

***UPDATE (Jan. 7, 2019)***

A fire badly damaged Aahar Indian restaurant in Yellow Springs Saturday.

The restaurant was profiled three days earlier by this news outlet as a “hidden gem” restaurant. 

>> Fire badly damages Indian restaurant in Yellow Springs

Emergency crews responded to the restaurant, located at 101 S. Walnut St., around 7:30 p.m., according to Yellow Springs police dispatch.

Photo: Kole Smith/STAFF

The ice cream store located next to Aahar Indian, Corner Cone, did not appear to be damaged.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. It’s not known if anyone was injured. We will update this story with any new information.

*** ORIGINAL STORY (Jan. 4, 2019)***

On a crisp New Year’s Day after 6 p.m., my hunger hit me hard while I moseyed back to my car in Yellow Springs after I spent the first day of 2019 hiking. I was sure any food stop would be closed and my energy drain would last until I was back home to my refrigerator.

Taking a shortcut to my car, I cut through a parking lot when a buzzing light shined brightly, cutting through the otherwise silent and dark street. The sign read ‘Indian Food’ and it drew me in like the desperate hungry person I was. 

Aahar India is one of Yellow Springs' best kept foodie secrets.
Photo: Josh Fries

Twenty minutes later, I was sitting at a picnic table eating a piping hot dinner of Chicken Tikka Masala that made me forget about the freezing temperature around me. 

Aahar India is not quite a food truck and not quite brick and mortar, but it’s one of Yellow Springs’ best-kept secrets. It’s nestled right beside the Corner Cone ice cream shop and actually once served its food from the shop’s store during the winter months when Corner Cone was closed for the season. 

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Today, Aahar India operates every day of the year from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., including New Year’s Day.

“Aahar means Nourishing food. Aahar India specializes in serving authentic Indian food freshly prepared. We feel proud to give our customers more insight about Indian food in terms of nutrition, taste and freshness. Our dishes are wide variety of traditional Indian food from North India and few from South India. ... We serve regional dishes like Punjabi Kadhi and Daal Bati, as well as punchmail khichdi and Hummus curry. We serve Pakoras ranging from Vegetable pakora, Mushroom Pakora, Cauliflower pakora, Onion Pakora and Paneer Pakora — to name few,” according to Aahar’s website

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Aahar India is one of Yellow Springs' best kept secrets.
Photo: Sarah Franks

My order was less impressive sounding than Paneer Pakora, but the Chicken Tikka Masala’s spicy and rich flavors are still on my mind. I added a side of garlic naan that was a perfect way to soak up any remains of that delicious sauce my spoon couldn’t get. 

The sidekick of rice was the kind that was cooked so wonderfully, you know it was the chef’s millionth time making the dish. It’s not easy to make white rice so memorable, but Aahar India did it for me. By the end, I was dreaming of having the little food trailer parked right outside my own apartment, savoring the smells through my windows. 

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I’m a spicy gal, but I ordered my spice level at a “medium” to be safe and it was still quite hot. Consider yourself warned. If you’re up for the running nose and sniffles while you eat, the burn is worth the flavor in my opinion. 

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Aahar India

WHERE: 101 S. Walnut St., Yellow Springs

INFO: Website

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