There’s only one way to prepare a proper samosa: fry it. “Believe me, we tried to bake 14 batches,” says Anu Nagpal. “It just didn’t work. They’re the only thing we serve that isn’t healthy, and it’s not so bad.” Nagpal, with her husband, Sandeep, own Zaikka Indian Grill, newly opened on Market Street in Wilmington’s LOMA district. Zaikka is the kind of thing you’d expect from a California taco stand—go to the counter, then choose your meat, your wrapper and your fixin’s—but applied to Indian cuisine. Think of it as a Baja Fresh or Mesa Fresh, but with curry instead of mole, not to mention plenty of grilled chicken. It’s fast, delicious and, because the Nagpals prepare only small batches and remove all grease (except from lamb), super fresh and healthy. Expect more vegetarian dishes and more Indian beers soon. (543-4958 or zaikka.com) —Mark Nardone
What brings people together during the holidays? Food! If you’re throwing a party, there are a number of local gourmet shops to consider.
1 Naomi’s Creations in Wilmington specializes in food and wine gift baskets. Holiday versions like “Silver Snowflake,” “Think Snow” and “Christmas Tea” are packed with gourmet goodies ranging from sausage and mustard to cheese, biscotti and truffles. (473-4232, naomiscreations.com)
2 Harry & David, which operates online and at the Christiana Mall and Tanger Outlets, offers gift baskets. Note the “Bûche de Noel,” a handcrafted novelty of chocolate sponge cake and mocha butter cream with frosting poinsettias. (292-0207, 226-1553, harryanddavid.com)
3 Seaside Country Store in Fenwick Island is closed during the Christmas season, but visitors can stock up on holiday goods now. The homemade horseradish and cheddar cheese spread is popular. (539-6110, seasidecountrystore.com)
4 Lewes Gourmet offers Christmas flair from across the pond. Its most popular items during the holiday season are mince pies, biscuits, British Christmas cakes and a wide array of spices and dips. (110 Front St., 645-1661)
5 P.U.F.F. in Greenville offers a Christmas stalwart—the yule log—in addition to its perennially popular beef tenderloin and sweet potatoes meal. Cakes sweeten the deal. (654-7833, pufftwo.com) —Phoebe Rowe