Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: Diwali Dinner in New York

After a long but pleasant day bounding about the city (NY), I ended up on the Upper West Side with two close friends.  It was late Sunday afternoon and everyone was ready for an earlyish dinner.  But deciding on what type of restaurant to go to was a challenge.  Each of us tossed out our options: Lebanese, Japanese, Chinese......but no one could make up their mind.  I finally settled the matter by suggesting that in honor of Diwali, now in its third day, that we go for Indian cuisine.  After debating which restaurant to go, we finally decided on one within a short walk from my friends apartment.
A walk in the crisp Fall weather stoked our appetites further and we were more than ready to eat when we fell into Indian Tanpura.  A very friendly server greeted us and sat us in the small nicely decorated dining room with crisp white linens.  We perused the menu and decided upon dishes that we would all mostly share.

We began with samosas, which were delicately seasoned and added broccoli to the usual combination of potatoes and peas.  The nicest thing about these samosas was that they were not in the very least greasy, but still nice and crisp.

Then the main courses arrived: Dahl Makhni (Black Lentils sautéed in Ghee with ginger & garlic) , Alu Mottor Gobi (Potatoes, Peas & Cauliflower cooked in Masala sauce), Vegatable Jalfrezi (Mixed Vegetables sautéed with Green Pepper, Onion & Tomato), and an order of Chicken Tikka (Marinated Boneless Chicken Breast cooked in the Tandoori Oven) for my two friends.  The entrées came with white basmati rice and we also ordered the Nan.  All of the dishes were very flavorful and were seasoned perfectly with all of the spices that make Indian cuisine so special.   We enjoyed everything and felt completely satisfied by the end of the meal, with every plate cleaned.  

And as an extra bonus, our extremely attentive server treated us to servings of their rice pudding which was as delicious as everything else had been, sweet with just a hint of curry.

One note to those embarking on a meal at Indian Tanpura.  I love all of the spices that go into Indian Cuisine: cumin, cardamon, garlic, ginger, etc.  However, I seem to have an intolerance to red pepper.  Pile on the black pepper or any other spice and I’m in love.  Red pepper on the other hand.... So, I was incredibly surprised that all of the dishes had an abundance of all of the spices I love, but only enough red pepper to give it a tolerable kick.  I asked about this and was informed that they made their dishes mild as far as red pepper was concerned, unless it was requested to make the dishes really spicy.  So if you are one of those who like their Indian cuisine at fire department levels, just let them know and they will gladly accommodate you!
We had an excellent meal and I would not only recommend dining at Indian Tanpura, but will put it on my list of places to return to.


  1. Hey we both went to Indian today Mdivani. Funny how things work out! I don't really celebrate Diwali but still great great holiday!!

  2. I have been craving Indian cuisine this weekend, this post is so timely! What a wonderful way to honor Diwali :)