The winner in the daily-specials lottery at this order-at-the-counter Pakistani cafe is the kofta curry, so if you can clear your schedule, plan to dine here on a Wednesday. Studded with hard-cooked eggs, beef meatballs, and tomato, this aromatic, deeply satisfying curry is served over a heap of rice with a round of just-baked naan. There’s plenty of culinary revelry the rest of the week, too. Expert frying turns out pea-and-potato-filled samosas with crisp exteriors. Kebabs—we like the grilled lamb chops—are piled on top of saffron rice. And there’s an impressive lineup of karahis, the fiery sautés laced with ginger, jalapeño, and black pepper. Renditions with tender chunks of lamb and goat are especially good. A mango lassi is a soothing, cooling accompaniment—and can double as dessert.
Where you can get it: 15521 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring; 301-879-0044
Also good: Lahori choley, a chickpea curry; nehari, fork-tender beef shank (weekends only); haleem, shredded chicken with lentils; cow’s-feet curry (weekends only).