Tanduri Fusion in West Omaha; Warm ambiance and a True Taste of India

 Even though we are smack dab in the breadbasket of America, rich culture and generations of immigrants from all over the globe have given us some jewels of Indian Cuisine. If you are curious about trying it, you absolutely shouldn’t wait any longer. If people tell you “it is just too spicy” and that you won’t like it, take a step forward and prepare for an adventure! I should know the difference between good and bad Indian food, I lived for two years in the 1980’s in Bangladesh, right next door. There I had all sorts of naan type breads, wonderful deserts, lamb and chicken curries, pakoras, samosas, lamb korma, and all the other bundles of flavor that comes from somewhere just as far away as can be to us. As Anthony Bourdain says in “No Reservations” when he goes to Eastern and Southern India, This is it; I mean this is the most delicately prepared, most layered flavors you can have explode in your mouth in one bite. The Indian Genre of food is one culinary awakening experience.

Samosas are a mildy spiced form of a veggie or meat turnover, on the appetizer list. Pakoras are not as spicy, and when I had the mixed appetizer plate here, I swooned; the texture, frittery veggie filling and substance of these is something that you need to experience. The mixed appetizer plate for two people here will seriously almost get you too full to enjoy the main course. In India, these are sold right on the street, with a national consistency you could pinpoint with the throw of a dart, but still every vendor’s tasting each a little unique from the other. The breads list here is very extensive. I have just had the naan; but can only imagine what the stuffed paratah with shrimp or raisin and cashew naan would have in store for the taste buds. If you are thinking about American wonder bread or even Greek and Italian flatbreads, forget it…. The consistency of this stuff is so different on the tongue that you can’t believe it crumbles a bit like communion crackers. To say it goes with everything is an understatement, and at Tanduri Fusion there is plenty of care given to this in preparation as well. There is nothing like riding a rickshaw through the night in India and seeing clay ovens smoldering with these creations. The smell is something that you’ll never forget; it pierces your nose with everything your palate can imagine.

When you deal with main courses in Indian food, and in this jewel of an Omahan restaurant, you are dealing with art. If you are working in a large city in India sometimes delivery couriers will ride bikes all over delivering cubicle and factory workers tins of rice and these main courses, with cool yogurts on the side and chicken or fish as the main staples. These delivery drivers possess amazing accuracy! In India, food is way more than just a meal; it is a time of reflection, perhaps meditation; and tradition. The main courses at Tandoori Fusion waft through the venue almost as if on a crowded train, or a “Darjeeling Limited”. A dish like Chicken Tikka is a great way for someone new to Indian food to test the waters.

Believe it or not, it is not really spicy at all. Fish Tikka and Tandoori Chicken would be other excellent choices, and a Rogan Josh or Lamb Vindaloo is where you get into the extreme spiciness you have always heard about. When you are dealing with Indian food and they tell you “no additives or preservatives” you are not getting the bait and switch; they mean business. In most true Indian restaurants there is a quiet distinction and we admit there probably won’t be someone laughing drinking bud light and making a fool of themselves at the bar. But if you are looking for something completely different and a real ravishing of the senses, Tandoori Fusion Ranks real high with this world traveler. Once you sit with these people and really delight in what you are eating and the scents you are taking in; there is a diligent waitery and true service being provided here. I can’t urge you to try it quick enough; there are really only a handful of places in any large city where you are being served more than a slab of meat with a coca cola. You are being served an epic story of a land that has more mystique and heritage than anything in our western world can shake a stick at.

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