Choolaah brings fast casual Indian food to Y-town


Have you ever wanted some new food but didn’t know what to try?

Well, Choolaah, the new restaurant located in Boardman is perfect for you! The first Choolaah opened in 2014 in Orange Village which is just outside of Cleveland. There are also two stores in Virginia, one just outside of Philly and one in East liberty.

Choolah’s co-founders are two guys who are franchisees of Five Guys, and their whole goal was to create a fast casual Indian concept which is how Choolaah was created.

We spoke to Carly from the marketing team at Choolaah and asked her a few questions on how this place came to be. When Carly was asked why they decided to make a Choolaah in Boardman, she said that “we have a few members on our senior leadership team that are actually located in the Youngstown/Boardman area, so it was our goal to bring a Choolaah to them because we have a lot of family and friends there.”

Many people also wonder how they came up with the name. Carly said, “Choolaah actually means oven.”

In ancient India the whole town would gather around a Choolaah and cook together. The creators of Choolaah thought that this was a different thing and they wanted to somehow connect it to their business. They chose to do that by making it the name of the restaurant. At the restaurant they use the ovens to cook bread and even some of their proteins. They use this as a spin on the classic ancient oven.

Choolaah’s menu is a combination of Northern and Southern Indian cuisine. One of their main goals was to be able to accommodate a lot of different dietary processes. They have many different options for Vegetarians, Vegans, and even Gluten friendly customers. Choolaah has options for everyone, so you will never leave unsatisfied. Their main dish is their signature bowl, which you can customize in any way. You start by picking a protein whether that’s chicken, salmon, or roasted vegetables. They also have salads that you can add these proteins to. You can then pair the protein with either rice or a masala. They also have many other toppings that you can choose to add to your bowls.

Carly explained how the founder of Choolaah wanted to create a concept similar to Indian street food. A popular Indian street food is a samosa, and they also sell something called a pow Baji, which is basically a vegetarian sloppy joe. When we asked Carly what her favorite dish was, she said her favorite dish is the chicken Choolaah bowl with tikka masala. This happens to also be the most popular dish sold at Choolaah. This dish is very popular in India, which is why it is a top seller here in Boardman, as well.

There are many different ethnic food places in Youngstown, Ohio, but the goal of Choolaah was to give off a different vibe than the rest of them. We can’t wait to go into Choolaah next week for a menu tasting, so stay tuned for our video next week to watch it all take place!