The tandoor oven is superior to the microwave oven because it infuses meats with charcoal flavors and doesn't explode when you accidentally cook a hammer. Mouth-salute superiorly cooked dishes with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of traditional Indian fare and drinks at Akbar Restaurant in Columbia.
The culinary craftspeople at Akbar Restaurant follow 16th-century Moghul recipes to craft diverse North Indian dishes, which garnered the Best Indian Restaurant award from City Paper's Best of Baltimore 2010. Buttressed by 17 years of experience, the head chef whips up white-meat chicken tikka masala ($15.95) and launches it on to dinner plates or into waiting mouths with ease. Vindaloo engages chicken or lamb in heated debate with potatoes in curry sauce ($14.95–$16.95), while lamb xacutti assembles an audience of roasted coconut and spices ($17.95). Taste buds rally to scale peaks of rogan josh, a lamb curry heaped with onion crags and tomato ski chalets ($16.95). Dinner farers eschew meat dominance with mild vegetable jalfrezi, fresh vegetables mixed with cheese and sprinkled nuts ($12.95).
Akbar's chefs concoct dishes in a mélange of fresh-ground Indian spices including ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and black and green cardamom, with many plates prepared in gentle massages from an authentic tandoor oven. Speakers wafting classical Indian music sprinkle diners in waves of sitar, guitar, and tabla. Sensual, sunset-colored walls warm patrons as they alleviate cultural cravings under strings of ceiling lights and the approving scowls of framed, traditional Indian art.
The fragrant aroma of freshly ground ginger and cinnamon wafts from Akbar’s Restaurant’s kitchen, mingling with the smoky scent of meats simmering in a traditional tandoori oven. Rife with spices, buttery marinades, and cream-based sauces, the eatery's Northern Indian cuisine nabbed the title of Best Indian Restaurant from _City Paper_’s Best of Baltimore 2010. In the dining room, romance sparks amid classical Indian music and walls laden with traditional art and lists of pun-free pickup lines.