When U-M oncology researcher Swaroop Bhojani opened Hut-K Chaats in 2011, it was a fresh, innovative addition to Ann Arbor’s menu of both Indian and healthy vegetarian restaurant options.

The personal authenticity of Bhojani’s light and flavorful “nutrilicious” fare, and his energetic scientific evangelism on food’s role in health and disease, brought a loyal clientele to its unassuming strip mall location at Packard and Platt.

Bhojani closed the restaurant in 2018, then reopened as Hutkay Fusion after selling ownership to a friend. But now he has realized long-stated plans to move back to India and tend to aging relatives, and has closed Hutkay for good. The cuisine made its local farewell with a booth at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

In its place, following the extended construction delays that are so common these days, a more conventional Indian concept opened in late September. Desi Ruchulu—a name evoking the flavors of the subcontinent—offers a broad menu of over 100 choices from an expanded kitchen, complete with a tandoor oven.

It’s co-owner Jay Reddy’s first business, a full-service and take-out operation that has already caught fair attention in the city’s southeast side, which many small ethnic establishments call home. Neighbors include plaza stalwarts Bombay Grocers and Panda Chinese & Korean Food.

Observation and online reviews bode well for those seeking Indian food’s characteristic taste and textural complexity. “People like them a lot, the spices; that is one of the driving factors,” Reddy says. “I know we got very good chefs here. They’re really experienced.” Ample vegetarian options are included among the biryanis, curries, dosas, rotis, naan, and other south Indian and Indo-Chinese specialties.

 Desi Ruchulu, 3022 Packard, (734) 361–8111. Sun. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–3 p.m & 5:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Closed Mon. thedesiruchulu.com