Our History

The first Indian restaurant was reported on In an article that appeared in the pages of the New York Times on April 3, 1921 it is believed the name of the restaurant was Taj Mahal Restaurant located at 243 W. 42nd Street. Fast forward to Wichita, ks. It was the early 1990s A gentleman by the name of Ashok Aurora’s had a daughter who was getting married.Aurora, an accountant and native of Punjab, India, wanted the 300 wedding guests to enjoy a feast of foods from his country. But Wichita did not have a single Indian restaurant, and Aurora had to hire a caterer out of Oklahoma City.

From that inconvenience sprouted a business idea. Aurora found a location in the Plaza West shopping center at Central and West. He found a business partner and chef – trained Indian cook Kuldip Singh, who was working in California at the time. In September 1994, he opened Passage to India, Wichita’s first Indian restaurant. Today Passage to India,. With its original and traditional dishes continues to Delight and Fascinate all those who Grace it’s doorway! We invite you in. Come experience Wichita’s first true Indian cuisine, The one, The only, Passage to India, Like a trip to the Exotic without a passport!

About Indian Cuisine:

Spicy, rich, flavorful and diverse are terms that are frequently used to describe Indian food. All these words are apt in describing Indian cuisine, for it is diverse in variety and taste, and is made up from a wide array of regional cuisines throughout various parts of India. There are a basic 20 to 30 spices that are used in many dishes—cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger, to name a few—and there are an infinite number of ways of using them. Every spice has a reason for being there. They have health benefits, and they make the food more exciting and flavorful.

Contrary to common belief, not all Indian dishes are curries. However, “curry” has become a catch-all name for any spice-based meat or vegetable dish with a sauce. Curries can be watery, dry, red, green, hot, or really, really hot—it’s completely up to the chef in charge.

Due to the differences in climate and soil conditions, the local cuisines in various regions may vary greatly from each other, as each region uses spices, herbs and ingredients that are grown locally. Culture, tradition and religion also play significant roles in influencing the cuisines and diets of the Indians.

Indian cuisine has an added bonus for vegetarians & vegan groups: For them, it’s one of the friendliest cuisines around. Judicious use of spices and sauces breathes new life into the likes of potatoes, cauliflower, peas, and eggplant. And a meal of hearty-but- healthy Chana Masala with a side of naan (a pita-type leavened flat bread) will convert even the biggest meat lovers.

Exploring Tastes of the North

Venture to the north, and you will find that roast meat dishes, cooked in the tandoor oven to be a common item consumed in daily meals. North Indians also consume rice dishes, such as the biryani, and flatbreads, like the chapati and poori. The flatbreads are usually eaten with thick, mild curries.

The cool and dry climate in the north provides a good environment for growing wheat and raising cattle. As such, dairy products are also a popular ingredient often used to flavor and thicken curry dishes. The North Indians like to dry roast their spices before grinding them, which results in the preparation of curries that have a toasty, roasted flavor.

Flavors of the South

Now, make your way down south, and you will discover that the dishes have a tangy and spicy flavor profile. Instead of consuming curries with flatbreads, locals residing in the southern regions of India often have it with rice.

Differences can be discerned in the consistency of the curries prepared in North and South India. The curries prepared in the South are soupier relative to the thicker, richer curries found in the North.
This can be attributed to differences in the ingredients used. Coconut is a dominant ingredient, and coconut oil and coconut milk, rather than dairy products, are often used in the preparation of food dishes in the South.

In addition, unlike the North Indians, the locals in the South do not roast their spices. Instead, they ground their spices into wet masalas, before using them to cook spicy curry dishes

With all its exotic ingredients, unfamiliar dishes, and tongue-tingling flavors, Indian cuisine can be both exciting and intimidating.Indian cuisine uses the whole palette of flavors—spicy, sour, sweet, and hot all at the same time—making it something that wants to jump off the plate

Chutney and raita

Here’s what you’ll dip your samosas or Pakoras in, although these dressings/sauces have a variety of applications. “Chutney” is basically a word for any sauce featuring spice, fruit and/or vegetables. You’ll most frequently find two kinds: red and green. The red is tamarind, which is both sweet and sour. The green is typically either mint or coriander. Think of them as the Indian version of salsas. Raita is a yogurt-based sauce with a blend of spices that can include cilantro, cumin, mint and other herbs.

Naan

Do you like fat, fluffy rounds of bread a million times fluffier than the fluffiest piece of pita bread? Then you’ll like naan. Everyone likes naan. It’s amazing. Dip it into chutneys or some raita or into the sauce for your butter chicken or rogan josh. Do whatever you want with it. It’s versatile and meant to be enjoyed throughout your meal.

Pakora

If you like vegetable tempura or fried okra or any other iteration of fried veggies you can think of, you’ll probably like pakora. Although pakora can have chicken inside, it’s battered vegetables you’ll find most often. Look for eggplant, potato, onion, spinach and cauliflower as standards.