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.
Punjab Cafe’s narrow dining room is cozy, sophisticated, and a good place to bring a special someone. The restaurant’s plates for two make a romantic dinner—start with a pair of samosas, move on to meat or vegetarian curry, and end on a sweet note with ice cream or rice pudding.
Metro Active voted New Indian Cuisine one of the top Indian restaurants in Silicon Valley. There’s a good chance the coriander chicken, New Indian’s specialty, tipped the scales in its favor. But the vindaloo —meticulously prepared with a special blend of chillies and spices—probably carried some weight, too.