indian food 88.
(photo credit: )
Hailing from New Delhi, Israel’s Indian cuisine queen Reena Pushkarna is the
founder of the Tandoori restaurant chain. She learned her cooking skills on the
high seas, much like the spice traders of old, as the wife of Vinod Pushkarna, a
captain in the Merchant Marines.
“During my nine years at sea,” Pushkarna
explains, “I traveled extensively to distant lands and exotic ports all over the
More often than not, I would wind up in the kitchen trading
recipes with the chef of each ship.”
The food at the Tel Aviv Tandoori is
world-class Indian, as good as any I’ve ever eaten in Israel or abroad. And the
prices are very reasonable. A full-course meal runs between NIS 80 and NIS 100
The restaurant offers delectable dishes to its customers
A variety of sauces, exotic spices and other specialized
ingredients are used in the preparation of these tangy dishes. Some of the most
popular items on the menu include chicken tikka masala; boneless breast of
chicken marinated in herbs; and mint and palak paneer.
We had an enormous
array of food brought to our table, starting with a version of traditional
Indian naan bread called kima-naan, filled with minced meat. It was
A centerpiece of white fish, white chicken and red chicken
followed. The tikka and kastoori were surrounded by four Indian dips: a
brown dal maknee made of black lentils; malai kosta; a chicken gilaz;
vegetable pilaf. Although the sauces all looked rather similar, they
different. One was sweet, one was savory, and one was hot enough to burn
mouth unless you washed it down with a half-gallon of Gamla red wine –
Tandoori has locations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem,
Eilat. In addition to the restaurants, the Pushkarnas own an ethnic food
which, in partnership with supermarket giant Super Sal, is sold in more
outlets in Israel.
Moving further into the food production
Pushkarnas opened a 15,000 square foot food processing plant in the
which produces and exports frozen ethnic food.
says that prime ministers, presidents and diplomats are frequent
Tandoori, perhaps the most famous visitors to the restaurant were
and Yasser Arafat, who met for peace talks there in the early 1990s.
Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will also have a meal there one
Middle East talks can heat up over curry once again.Tandoori is located
at Rehov Zamenhoff 2, Tel Aviv. Not kosher. Open daily from 12:30-3:30
p.m. and 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Tel: (03) 629- 6185. The writer was a guest of