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A Time for Tamarind

Strange dosa indeed.
Strange dosa indeed.

Situated in what appears to be a former home in Oakland is an Indian restaurant that goes by the name of Tamarind. For a long time I had heard that this was a good as far as Indian food in Pittsburgh goes, so I finally got the chance to try it and found it didn’t exactly follow the classic pattern of Indian restaurants. For one, the menu had a wide variety of dosas.

Dosas, by the way, are a South Indian specialty that I had experienced before at Mayura in LA, but was looking forward to trying again. In this case, we tried out the Cilantro Dosa, which arrived as little more than the crepe itself while I was expecting it to be stuffed with potatoes and other goodies. It tasted great, yet I can’t help but say that I finished it hoping for more.

Pasta or Indian?
Pasta or Indian?

For my main course I went with the Chicken Vindaloo and it arrived with a look more along the lines of spaghetti sauce than a curry. Nonetheless, it tasted nothing like spaghetti sauce and was actually a really well-flavored spicy dish. It came with a side that looked something like succotash as well as rice, which were both not mentioned on the menu and probably meant to buffer the heat. All of it was great, as was the garlic naan that we ordered to go with it.

I also got the chance to try the wife’s Chicken Tikka Masala, which was especially delicious and tasted very different from the tikka masalas I’ve had in the past…in a good way.

From a guy that can’t necessarily vouch for authenticity, I really enjoyed Tamarind. Sure, I could have gone without the dosa, but everything else was quite tasty and packed a whole lot of the flavor that I’ve come to know and love about Indian food.