By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Aug 31, 2015 at 8:57 AM

This fall will mark 18 years for Maharaja, the popular Indian restaurant located at 1550 N Farwell Ave.

Founded in 1997 by President & CEO Balbir Singh, the independently owned restaurant -- which is not affiliated with any other restaurants in Wisconsin -- continues to be owned and operated by the Singh family.

But, after 18 years, the Singhs are making numerous changes to their offerings, which include traditional Indian cuisine inspired by both northern and southern India.

New dinner items include appetizers like lahsooni gobhi, crispy cauliflower in chile sauce ($9), rasam soup, a spicy tangy South Indian style soup ($5), and main dishes like tandoori lamb chops ($20) and South Indian style Kerala coconut milk curry with red chiles and a choice of chicken, lamb, fish or shrimp for $14-17.  Maharaja will also offer special pricing on full orders of vegetable, paneer, chicken and fish pakoras as part of the Chef’s Sampler ($29), meant to accommodate large groups.  Half price wine night on Tuesdays and $5 premium martinis on Thursdays will also be available.

After many years of offering a lunch buffet, the restaurant has also decided to make changes to their lunch menu, allowing the chefs to focus on providing high quality specialty and seasonal dishes --  including a variety of subzi’s (sauteed dishes with tomatoes, garlic, ginger and garam masala) made with either summer squash, beet root, cabbage or turnips -- effectively closing the gap between restaurant quality Indian dishes and home cooked fare.

Beginning weekdays starting Sept. 8, lunch customers will be able to choose from three options from a special lunch menu -- a three course lunch (including appetizer, entree and dessert) for $14, or two courses (appetizer and entree) for $13. A two course vegetarian option is also available for $12. All lunches will include a choice of basmati rice or naan.

For those who miss the opportunity to indulge in the Indian buffet, Maharaja will also offer a new weekend brunch buffet on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Sept. 12, featuring over 40 items, including freshly made na’an bread, served tableside. Specials like authentic Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani (prepared by layering seasoned rice and chicken) -- a rare dish not found anywhere in Milwaukee -- will be featured as part of the buffet. Both non-alcoholic drinks, including mango lassi and chai tea and premium Bloody Marys and mimosas will be included in the price, which is $18 per person, $8.50 for children.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.