Choolaah Indian BBQ Opens in Sterling

By John Patterson

Choolaah Indian BBQ opened its second location in the region last Friday, at 21426 Epicerie Plaza in Sterling. The first opened in Fairfax County in January.

The quick-service eatery chain is based in Cleveland, OH.

“We are taking a different approach to Indian cuisine—authentic yet accessible, wholesome yet lighter and with no artificial colors or flavors,” stated Co-CEO Raji Sankar, who also also owns 20 Five Guys restaurants. “We use premium ingredients and elevate them with our special spice blends and classic, healthier tandoor oven cooking to create dishes so delicious, appealing and affordable that you will want to eat at Choolaah every day.”

Among the dishes prepared in the 700-degree tandoor ovens are Bell & Evans chicken, salmon from the North Atlantic’s Faroe Islands, paneer made with cheese from Ohio Amish farmers, organic non-GMO tofu and fresh vegetables. Halal lamb from California is ground and mixed with a special blend of spices and made into meatballs with a kick.

Choolaah offers vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, garlic-and-onion-free and egg-free menu options. Catering and online ordering are also available.

A grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony featured remarks from Supervisor Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling), a Bhangra dance performance, and henna artists. Choolaah will also be expanding to Pittsburgh this summer.

For a menu and more information, go to

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