Do you want to make Indian food like a pro? According to Skillet, all it takes is a few key spices. Before you pop open your recipe book, it's important to buy Indian spices in small quantities, store them in sealed containers and stock them for about a month. In addition to mustard seeds, black peppercorn, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon, Skillet suggests racking up on cloves, cardamom and turmeric. They say that green cardamom works well in sweet, baked dishes. Turmeric is also key. Skillet explains that "In the Indian kitchen it is added to almost everything—from gravies to curries to sauces."


Ankeny is home to a wide range of global cuisines, such as Lola's Fine Kitchen (Filipino-Pakistani), Pho 85 (Vietnamese) and Yanni's Grill & Vineyard (Greek-Italian). 

But two new restaurants have opened in Ankeny that are bringing more global flavors to this fast-growing suburb of Des Moines — The Indian Chef and El Molcajete Mexican Restaurant and Cantina.

And both restaurants are located near each other. El Molcajete Mexican Restaurant and Cantina is located at 301 E. 1st St. and The Indian Chef is located at 711 S. Ankeny Blvd.

More: The ultimate list of Ankeny restaurants

The Indian Chef

This new Indian restaurant opened June 30. The menu features both vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetizers and entrees for lunch and dinner — with plenty of naan and roti varieties cooked with a clay oven to go alongside. Try some potato and green pea samosas and then go for some palak paneer, butter chicken or mutton masala. A lunch buffet is featured daily.

Location: 711 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny

Hours: Sunday-Monday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.; closed Tuesdays; Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.

Contact: (515) 520-5813; (515) 630-0182; Facebook

Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.

El Molcajete Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

This new Mexican restaurant opened July 8 and offers both authentic dishes, Tex-Mex favorites, a full line of burgers and margaritas. Enjoy fajitas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas and appetizers like queso dip, shrimp ceviche and nachos. Or go for a combination plate for variety. Vegetarian options are also available, along with kids' meals. Be sure to save room for flan or churros.

Location: 301 E. 1st St., Ankeny

Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 964-3322; Facebook

Don't miss an opening or closing. Sign up now and we'll email you with big news.

Read or Share this story: