Anthropologists have long theorized about how the clay used to create the first tandoor oven was baked, given the apparent dearth of microwaves or freelance dragons. Marvel at this tasty mystery with today’s Groupon to Taj Palace. Choose between the following options:
- For $15, you get dinner for two (up to a $31.85 total value), which includes:
- Two entrees (up to a $13.95 value each)
- One dessert (a $3.95 value)<p>
- For $29, you get dinner for four (up to a $63.70 total value), which includes:
- Four entrees (up to a $13.95 value each)
- Two desserts (a $3.95 value each)<p>
Voted Best Austin Indian Food by Citysearchers in 2009, Taj Palace’s menu fosters Northern Indian cuisine to its full flavor, some dishes requiring mere minutes inside super-hot tandoori-style ovens and others simmering atop a miniscule flame overnight. To create the barra kebab, lamb chunks soak in a burbling sauce of yogurt and spices seared in place by the tandoor’s blazing touch. Hefty chunks of shrimp, beef, lamb, or chicken float in in the tomato-butter-cream sauce of makhani curry, the same sizzling flavor as found in the dal makhani, a stew of black lentils and herbs that spends all night bubbling to the tune of Beethoven’s Ninth before being served the following evening. Sweet teeth sink into the cardamom- and honey-syrup-coated pastry puffs of the gulab jamun or the badame kheer, often refusing to come out unless coaxed with a second helping or threatened with abandonment in favor of more cooperative dentures.
Taj Palace’s owners Ajay and Kiran studied their native cooking and hospitality customs within the kitchens of New Delhi, India, transplanting the recipes and lessons learnt to Austin in 1990. The establishment’s interior bears all the marks of its origins, from soft tabla and sitar music twinkling in the background to heavy beaded curtains and hand-painted lanterns whose pictograms depict the traditional Indian process of lantern-painting.
Though Taj Palace sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
Taj Palace Indian Restaurant & Bar
Ajay and his wife Kiran spent their childhood in New Delhi learning the ins and outs of Indian cooking and hospitality. Their experiences shine through at Taj Palace Indian Restaurant & Bar, where the aromas of tamarind, mango, mint, and curry tangle complexly in the air. In the kitchen, chefs heap charcoal on the glowing embers in tandoor ovens, skewer cuts of lamb steeped in herbs, and make sure each grain of basmati rice is pointing in the same direction. Wait staff dressed in crisp white shirts and bow ties carry away the piquantly spiced dishes, which earned the eatery a Best Indian Food in Austin award from Citysearchers in 2009. In the rose-hued dining room, soft sitar music meanders beneath framed paintings and golden arches. Colorful hand-painted lanterns dangle from the ceiling above tables laden with flavorful curries and rice dishes.