If you love Indian food, here’s a restaurant you should definitely visit in Connecticut. Don’t be deceived by this unassuming facade of Tawa Indian Cuisine. What’s inside is well-executed Indian food.
Our visit began with this glass of Mango Martini, which I truly enjoyed while seated outside.
This stack of freshly roasted papadums came with these three dips – mint/cilantro chutney, onions and tamarind.
I decided to mix the onions with a bit of the mint/cilantro chutney. This papadum was just beautifully roasted!
Chef Kausik Roy welcomed us warmly to his restaurant. He shared a brief overview of Indian cuisine in America, even how he got started and eventually ended up in Stamford.
I snapped this photo on our way inside the restaurant.
I love the logo. Guess I have a thing for round logos. 🙂
Now here’s how it looks like inside the restaurant.
It turns out that Chef Roy took the photos himself. Guess some people really have so much talent! Not only is he a chef, he’s also a photographer!
Now you’re probably wondering, “where’s the food?” Hold your horses. The food photos are coming up, I promise. But before that, just a quick background about my own experience with Indian food.
I discovered Indian food a little late in life – in my early 20s, thanks in large part to an office mate of mine from Tanzania. She introduced me to the gateway Indian food – chicken tikka masala. I fell in love. What’s not to love? The sauce alone is pure yummy, especially when slathered over basmati rice and/or with naan to mop it all up. It became my go-to Indian food until I discovered chicken vindaloo, the spicy hot dish that made me forget about chicken tikka masala. Eventually, I started ordering different dishes, the scariest of which was phaal. The rest, as they say, is delicious history.
When I got the invite to visit Tawa, yes was the only answer.
During our visit, Chef Roy pretty much forewarned us that the food he’s serving is different from the typical Indian fare served here in the U.S. All I could do was wait in happy anticipation.
The first dish that came out was this Tandoori Chicken Salad with mixed greens, avocado and yogurt dressing.
Pretty, right? Then came the Paneer Tikka Kebab, which was spiced homemade cottage cheese patty, curried chick peas, tamarind and mint chutney.
The next dish was something I was curious about – Signature Grill Scallop with Crispy Okra. I love crispy okra, but it’s not always done properly in different places. Thank goodness, their crispy okra lived up to my expectations. I wasn’t sure how it would work with the scallops, but it did!
It was impossible for them to go wrong with the fourth dish – the Tandoori Salmon Tikka.
This fifth dish, the Signature Fireball Kebab, is supposedly a dish for challengers because it’s spicy hot. We took up the challenge and lived to tell the tale.
Imagine my surprise when the Dab Chingri Malai Curry arrived at our table and it was inside a coconut! Oh yeah, it’s got black tiger shrimp cooked with coconut water and tomato. Interesting presentation, right?
Here’s the curry again.
The final surprise was this “Potli” Biryani. You probably have never seen biryani served like this before. I know I haven’t. The biryani is actually steamed and cooked inside the bread. Amazing.
What made it even better was when the bread basket was finally cut open! Steaming hot biryani…mmmm!
Here’s our dessert, Gulab Jamun – fried milk balls in sweet syrup.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of this last dessert, but I think it’s made of grated carrots.
After dessert, Chef Roy led us to his kitchen and showed us this extremely hot stone oven.
He proceeded to demonstrate how to make naan in minutes!
Who knew it would stick that way to the oven?
Once the naan was ready and out of the oven, he sprinkled olive oil with butter on it. Goodness, I can never eat naan the same way again. Freshly baked naan is the best!
Here’s our little group with Chef Roy.
Verdict: Tawa Indian Cuisine is Indian food perfectly executed by a true professional. The “Potli” Biryani was proof enough. Seriously, how do you make biryani inside bread? Chef Roy’s choices of ingredients respect seasonal and regional differences, which is a wonderful thing to do. Each dish was meticulously plated and modestly proportioned. Did I mention the food was bursting with intense flavors and enticing aromas? One visit at Tawa Indian Cuisine and you won’t go home hungry. With a chef who takes great pride in presenting Indian cuisine at its best, Tawa should be your destination for fine Indian food in Connecticut.
Tawa Indian Cuisine
487 Glenbrook Road
Stamford, CT 06902
Disclaimer: I received an invitation for this free food event from MaxEx Public Relations in exchange for writing a review on this blog. All opinions in this blog post are my own and my husband’s.