Joining me on the adventure, my mother, Sherri, and I went forth in great anticipation to dine on some authentic Indian dishes at Tandoor Cuisine of India. Located just off U.S. 41 in Schererville, Indiana, the Tandoor has made its name as the place to go for authentic Indian cuisine in Da Region. The restaurant was easy enough to spot from the road, a quaint hut standing right out in the open, but getting into the parking lot was whole other story. Although wedged between the massive parking lots of Strack & VanTil’s and Walmart, there was absolutely no segue connecting these lots with Tandoor’s. After scrambling around to find someway to reach the restaurant, the two of us realized that the lot could only be entered from the North side of U.S. 41. Not willing to go all the way through Walmart’s Christmas death route to turn around, we settled for a parking spot on the far side of Strack & VanTil’s.
Once warm inside the restaurant, we were happy to find the place relatively to ourselves. Arriving at 3p, we had just missed the lunch rush and were a couple hours ahead of the dinner crowd, which was good considering there was only enough seating for about 36 people.
Never having tried Indian food before, I relied heavily on suggestions from friends, family and of course, our waiter.
Every table is served a basket full of lentil and Indian style salsa. While I enjoyed its blend of bell peppers, onions and cayenne pepper, my mother wasn’t as tolerant of its tongue burning touch. Fortunately, I was able to coat my palate with the smooth, creamy and delicious Mango Lassi, a delicacy recommended by my good friend, Pat. A perfect harmony of mango and yogurt, the Mango Lassi was a great partner in crime to the spicier dishes.
Taking our waiter’s recommendation, we ordered the Vegetable Samosa for an appetizer. Apparently the traditional snack of India, the Vegetable Samosa was a small, crunchy pastry, similar to an egg roll, containing a mixture of peas and potatoes, accompanied by sweet tamarind and bold mint sauces for dipping. It was certainly a filling dish, and reminded me a little of a miniature potpie, which, according to my mother, had an uncanny resemblance to the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter.
For the entree, I took my aunt, Kelli’s suggestion and went with the Chicken Tikka. Sizzling chicken resting atop a bed of onions, green peppers and lemon wedges on an cast iron skillet, the Chicken Tikka felt like a unique Indian twist on what I know to be the chicken fajita, minus the tortillas. My mother, on the other hand, went for a sweeter, spicy-phobic alternative. Ordering the Mango Chicken, her dish consisted of a chicken breast marinated in house special marinade with mangos and herbs served with a side of white rice. Allowed to taste test a sliver of chicken from her plate, I must say, out of the two entrees, the Mango Chicken had to be my favorite... Sorry aunt Kelli.
Unfortunately, the manager was unavailable to talk as he was on vacation, but our waiter filled us in on some fun facts about the place. In business for 18 years, the tandoor has changed hands 3 times. Each new owner has brought something new and interesting to menu. The most recent among these is the goat curry. A truly unique curry, featuring goat meat on the bone, he told us that they were originally afraid that their patrons would be unsettled by the idea. Fortunately for them, it is now one their more popular menu items, and further proof that as long as it’s cooked (which is also a flexible stipulation on our end), we Region Rats will eat it.
Filed under: Eateries
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