1. Paneer-anjeer kofta
A lush, mildly spiced sauce blankets delicious cone-shaped cheese dumplings filled with figs. 4931 Cordell Ave., Bethesda; 301-656-3373.
2. Dhaniawala korma
Cilantro and coriander lovers should flock to this Kashmiri dish of chicken smothered in thick, spring-green gravy. 645 Elden St., Herndon; 703-796-1527.
3. Lamb nilgiri
Vegetarian dishes are the focus of many southern Indian cafes. Malgudi does those well but also turns out a vibrant, mint-flecked lamb curry. 2400 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-3120.
4. Goat masala
Tender pieces of bone-in goat meet a complex and aromatic gravy in this traditional Punjabi-style curry. 3955 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax; 703-273-0031.
5. Lamb korma
It’s one of the richer curries out there, but hunks of lamb pair well with the mellow almond-and-cashew sauce. 405 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; 703-938-0100.