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Photo by Zachary Fagenson

Ghee Indian Kitchen

Ghee is what Indians call clarified butter, and across the subcontinent, it is far more than an ingredient. Candles are fueled by it, and when the dead are taken to the banks of the Ganges River in the ancient, holy city of Varanasi, relatives coat the shrouds with ghee before setting the corpses ablaze. At this Western Indian spot in Dadeland, chef Niven Patel and his crew have opened Miami's eyes to a cuisine that consists of so much more than tandoori chicken and lamb rogan josh. Here you'll find the simple street snack of puffed rice called bhel, juiced up with sweet Florida avocado and meaty hunks of raw tuna. And though the restaurant offers chicken tikka masala for patrons who insist on the classic, be sure not to miss the sizable vegetable section, much of which is culled from Patel's own backyard garden. Insider tip: Instead of an à la carte lunch menu, Ghee serves a tiffin meal of rotating daily offerings that change according to the harvest from Patel's farm. Four stacked aluminum boxes are filled with individual portions of bread, rice, a vegetable, and a vegetarian ($16) or meat ($18) entrée.

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