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Friday, September 17, 2021

Savor returns to downtown

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Always wanted to try Indian food but afraid to take the leap?

Or are you a fan of traditional Indian food but want a new experience?

No matter which category you’re in, Tandoor and Tikka, a modern Indian eatery, has a dish on their easy-to-order fusion menu just for you. 

First you order your style — naanwich, naan pizza or rice bowl, then your protein (several choices here ranging from tandoori chicken to turmeric ginger shrimp) and lastly your curry option (tikka masala, saag, etc.). The menu definitely gives Chipotle and Qdoba vibes.

“Qdoba and Chipotle were the inspiration,” owner Himan Garg said, noting restaurants specializing in other ethnic foods caught on a while ago to the fast casual food trend. “This was a great way for us to modernize it. This was one of the only foods that hadn’t been done that way. Indian food was just lacking any innovation. It’s a more approachable way of trying Indian cuisine — approachable and affordable. It’s something new even for Indian food connoisseurs.”

Tandoor and Tikka is part of Savor Downtown, a food event that gives locals an opportunity to eat a three-course meal at a variety of downtown establishments for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Many restaurants offer vegetarian and gluten-free options.

More than 50 restaurants are participating in Savor Downtown, which ends July 29. Savor Downtown is one of several Savor events organized by Susan Decker, CEO of Susan Decker Media. The Savor series began in October 2017 and gives diners a chance to explore the cuisine of various neighborhoods throughout the city. So far, Savor has traveled west to the International Marketplace and Speedway as well as Downtown, Hamilton County and Midtown.

“Savor for me is about sharing restaurant stories and bringing awareness to just how many amazing chefs and eateries we have in the Circle City,” Decker said. “It’s also the perfect time to check out a new-to-you restaurant or visit one of your favorites, while taking advantage of incredible savings.”

Garg opened the doors of Tandoor and Tikka in June. He’s already made some changes to the menu after realizing some of ideas worked better as concepts. The deconstructed menu he’s arrived at gives diners plenty of options but also offers authentic Indian cuisine. For example, the naan pizza is a pizza made from naan bread, curry sauce instead of tomato sauce and marinated chicken. 

While the food is a main part of the menu, the mango lassie — a smoothie-type drink — steals the show. The lasso, made fresh daily, is made with yogurt — a mainstay in Indian cuisine not only because it’s a protein source since many Indians don’t eat meat but also because it keeps the intestines cool after ingesting so many spices, Garg said.

“It’s kind of turned into a delicacy, a dessert,” Garg said. “It’s a pretty filling drink. It’s probably one of our top sellers.”

Contact editor Oseye Boyd at 317-762-7850. Follow her on Twitter @oseye_boyd

Eat downtown!

Savor Downtown ends July 29. For a list of participating restaurants, visit SavorDowntownIndy.com, Savor Downtown Indy on Facebook, @Savor_Downtown Twitter or @SavorDowntown on Instagram.

Tandoor and Tikka, 805 W. 10th St., is open 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, tandoorandtikka.com.

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