100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 16 Ananda

Ananda owners, and brothers, Binda and Keir Singh. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Nobody is opening restaurants like this anymore.

To step into this palatial space in Howard County is to be spirited away to another continent, another time. The veranda is like the owner’s box at a cricket match, complete with matching fireplaces. The library, with its floor-to-ceiling bookcases, is sumptuously handsome. Either room is where you’ll want to be for your next special occasion.

Of course, even an ordinary dinner at Ananda feels special, because the cooking is so assured. The brother owners, Keir and Binda Singh, operate their own farm, and they’ve brought a contemporary approach to the Indian kitchen, cutting back on the yogurt and butter that weigh down so much Indian cooking.

The simple stuff, like dal and raita, is without peer, while some of the more elaborate preparations, such as a plate of almond-crusted lamb chops, are so good you might think about returning even before you’ve left.

Don’t miss:

  • Watermelon salad
  • Squash soup
  • Reshmi chicken kebab
  • Eggplant with tomatoes, yogurt, and mint
  • Lamb saag
  • Jingha karari (a shrimp curry)
  • Shrimp bhuna (a shrimp stir-fry)
  • Creamy spinach with paneer
  • Chana (chickpea-and-onion stew)
  • Seasonal-fruit crumble

Try Ananda’s Chef Recipes

Ananda’s Okra with Onions & Spices

Ananda’s Watermelon-and-Feta Salad

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.