Every day, the aroma of smoky spices wafts from the imported, wood-fired tandoor ovens at Tandoori Oven’s locations. To a soundtrack of upbeat techno, reggae, and bhangra music imported from UK clubs, servers deliver plates of lamb biryani loaded with basmati rice, bell peppers, cashews, and secret spices alongside mango lassis blended with housemade yogurt. The healthful signature wrap is stuffed with chicken or lamb that’s been marinated for 24 hours in yogurt and spices and then baked in the tandoor oven and wrapped in soft naan with mint chutney and tamarind. Local athletes dine at Tandoori Oven, a sponsor of the TRIbe Triathlon Club, after workouts for meals made to order with lean meats and served in participation trophies.
Wood- or charcoal-heated tandoors imbue traditional Indian dishes with smoky, yet succulent, flavor by roasting skewered meats and vegetables at temperatures as high as 750 degrees. At Emperor of India, the menu features a variety of tandoori entrees, including vegetable kebabs as well as yogurt-, herb-, and spice-marinated chicken.
Tandoori Bistro is an oasis off the Almaden Expressway that offers subtle spice syntheses to cylindrical oven groupies. After perusing the menu, set the naan-shaped stage for the main course with starters such as samosa chat ($4.95), which stuffs potatoes and peas into a dinner-appropriate pastry served with garbanzo beans and chutneys, or the tandoori chicken salad ($6.95), a citrus-dressed collection of sliced chicken tikka and organic greens. Tandoor dishes are served with rice and house salad, and include the tandoori chicken ($9.95) and the seekh kabab ($10.95), minced, spiced lamb meat cooked on skewers. Main courses like the punjabi chicken curry are also flanked by rice and house salad.
Today’s Groupon will remind your tongue of the time it backpacked across India without you. For $20, you get $40 worth of cuisine at The Mynt, the gourmet Indian restaurant that prides itself on authentic, traditional dishes while staying refreshingly free of the subcontinent's traditional shrieking pterodactyls. Call ahead for reservations.
The heart of the Kinara Lounge kitchen is its fiery clay tandoori oven, which crackles with baking naan breads and sizzling tandoori meats from noontime until dusk. Chefs bustle about the oven, seasoning pans of chicken, lamb, and seafood specialties with flavorful spices while peeking into pots filled with bubbling biryani rice. Servers transport plates to the dining room, where hanging red lights casts a glimmer on bottles of premium liquors and a flat-screen television. Come lunch time, the servers stack a sweeping buffet with simmering platters of fresh Indian specialties, enabling diners to sample a diverse selection of curries, tandoori dishes, and sauces.
Although each dish at Naan-N-Masala is made with market-fresh vegetables and tender meats, it's the herbs and spices that truly stand out. By cooking with pure vegetable oil, the chefs allow the aromatics of the tamarind, mint, ginger, fennel, cilantro, cumin, and cardamom to fill the restaurant's kitchen and dining room. These scents serve as a prelude for dishes such as homemade paneer cheese cooked with bell peppers and onions, savory lamb curry, and yogurt-marinated chicken skewers that roast inside a clay tandoor oven. Most entrees can be made vegetarian-style upon request. With its blue-and-white floor tiles and melon- colored walls, the dining room exudes a casual aesthetic that complements the homespun nature of the chefs' Indian cooking.