2013-08-14 / Restaurant of the Week

Gandhi Indian Cuisine

Gandhi Indian Cuisine is a great place to go for both southern and northern Indian dishes, all prepared on the spot with fine ingredients. Owner Bedarul (Bob) and amiable manager Kash welcome you warmly and our waiter Selim paid close attention to our needs. The petite, quiet restaurant has doors that open onto 30th Avenue for dining in at their tidy tables. A large part of their business is take out, so pick up a menu on your way home from work.

We enjoyed a cold, refreshing Indian beer called Taj Majal while we munched away on light, crispy bean chips called papadam topped with a variety of sauces that include sweet tamarind, spicy chili and pickled onion. There is also a selection of wine to accompany your meal.

There are over a dozen tempting appetizers to choose among, but we started with Gandhi’s famous samosas, which are flaky pastries filled with vegetables, potato and mild spices ($4). Spoon on some of the delicious sauces for extra flavor. Onion bhaji are delicate fritters made of mashed chick peas and onions that are lightly fried until golden. Prawn bhaji are tender shrimp prepared the same way ($7). There are vegetarian options, such as mushroom bhaji and chana bhaji made with chick peas. Soups include classic mulligatawny and carrot ginger. A sampler platter of grilled meats can also be shared as a first course.

While Indian cuisine is always flavorful, not all dishes are hot and spicy. If you have any questions, just ask your server and the expert chef will be happy to adjust any dish to your liking. Whether you prefer lamb, chicken, seafood or vegetable-only dishes, the menu at Gandhi can accommodate you. One of the most popular dishes here is the chicken tikka masala, prepared with a creamy tomato based sauce that is very mild ($11). Chicken korma is a somewhat sweet dish made with tender chunks of chicken, coconut cream, raisins and nuts, while chicken or lamb saag is stewed with spinach, ginger and garlic ($11). We tried the very flavorful and somewhat spicy lamb vindaloo that goes perfectly over the fluffy basmati rice that accompanies most entrees. Don’t forget to order nan bread on the side to soak up all the wonderful sauces.. Keema nan is savory, filled with delicately spiced meat and Aloo paratha bread is filled with potatoes and peas.

From the northwest region of India come Balti dishes prepared and served in a wok-type pot. Choose among tender lamb, chicken, vegetables or shrimp that are slowly cooked with savory spices. Balti dishes are served with fluffy nan bread and raita, yogurt sauce. Satisfying rice biryani dishes are made with your choice of meats or vegetables and seasoned with saffron, almonds, raisins, bay leaf and cardamom ($11 to $14).

The tandoor is a clay oven that cooks wonderful, yogurt-marinated lamb, chicken, kebabs, and shrimp. Order one separately or try the mixed grill with some of everything including chunks of succulent chicken tikka, lamb tikka, seek kebab and prawns that offered plenty to share ($15).

Cool off your palate and satisfy your sweet tooth with one of Gandhi’s delicious desserts. Try their version of rice pudding called kheer, which is creamy and delicious, flavored with coconut milk and almonds ($3). Gulab jamon are golden fried sweet cheese balls, soaked in honey syrup and the mango ice cream is creamy and cool.

Gandhi is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with an economical dinner special for just $12 which includes a choice of appetizer, entrée and a side dish or dessert. The special is eat-in only, served from 4pm to 11pm. There’s an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for $12.95 too, and you can call in orders for delivery.

For fine, flavorful Indian cuisine that reflects all the culinary corners of the country, visit Gandhi Cuisine of India.

Gandhi Cuisine Of India

34-14 30th Avenue  Astoria


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