Food Mondays: India House Founder On Bringing His Hometown Food To Chicago

This May 15, 2016 photo shows South Indian potatoes in London. They are a distant, more tropical cousin of the classic potato salad but embellished with coastal Indian ingredients: crispy shallots, a few spices, crunchy golden cashews and a little coconut milk.
This May 15, 2016 photo shows South Indian potatoes in London. They are a distant, more tropical cousin of the classic potato salad but embellished with coastal Indian ingredients: crispy shallots, a few spices, crunchy golden cashews and a little coconut milk. AP Photo/Meera Sodha
This May 15, 2016 photo shows South Indian potatoes in London. They are a distant, more tropical cousin of the classic potato salad but embellished with coastal Indian ingredients: crispy shallots, a few spices, crunchy golden cashews and a little coconut milk.
This May 15, 2016 photo shows South Indian potatoes in London. They are a distant, more tropical cousin of the classic potato salad but embellished with coastal Indian ingredients: crispy shallots, a few spices, crunchy golden cashews and a little coconut milk. AP Photo/Meera Sodha

Food Mondays: India House Founder On Bringing His Hometown Food To Chicago

Worldview is bringing back its “Food Mondays” series! Chicago Restaurant Week started this past weekend and ends on Feb. 8. We’ll speak to Jagmohan Jayara, founder of one of Chicago’s beloved restaurants: India House.

Born in New Delhi, Jayara immigrated to the United States as a teenager. He started India House a few years later in 1993. After purchasing a 1,500-square-foot property in Schaumburg, Jayara had $200 to his name and a tenuous business plan: open an authentic Indian restaurant in the Chicago suburbs.

However, 30 years later, India House has two more locations and a large community of dedicated customers. There were a few Indian restaurants in Chicago in 1993, but Jayara says they had limited offerings, often serving only a few dishes and only catering to the Indian community. Jayara’s plan was far different: he wanted to serve the dozens of dishes he grew up loving as a child.

Because his restaurant was located in Schaumburg, he created a large menu with dozens of options, some intended to gently introduce Chicagoans to Indian cuisine. His menu hasn’t changed at all since 1993. Jayara still serves dishes to remind Indian immigrants of their food back home.