The menu was small at first, a few curries, dal, and naan. As summer drew on and Maisum Ali Farid secured the staff he needed at Chapati Beta, the second location of his family’s popular Pakistani spot tucked into a corner of The Garage food hall, the smell of ginger and cumin let hungry visitors know some serious cooking was going on. While the Lafayette Road original staked its claim with fun takes on street-food snacks and Shani’s Secret Chicken (a menu of ultra-crispy thighs and legs added in 2019), at the new downtown counter, it’s all about Mom.
Mom’s recipes that is, lovingly commemorated in Chapati Beta’s Instagram hashtag. For meat lovers, tender, bone-in goat is a must, especially a rich, aromatic version married with shredded beets and a judicious mix of spices. Butter chicken, including an option with extra ginger, is a good bet for less adventurous palates, though familiar buffet favorites, such as chana masala, palak paneer, and veggie biryani, and fragrant basmati rice studded with cinnamon sticks, are a cut above others in town.
Street chaats, samosas, and homemade flatbreads complete the menu, one of the larger and more out-of-the-ordinary lineups in the Bottleworks curated food court. As the first of Lafayette Road’s immigrant eateries to expand downtown, it’s a good sign that Indy’s global restaurant scene is now just a taste of the everyday.