Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tandoor Cooking Class

By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor
I visited Tandoor restaurant the other day for a Indian food cooking demonstration.  I arrived in the parking lot and I will admit, I was skeptical.  The run-down strip mall on Glebe Road where the restaurant is located leaves a lot to be desired.  But, I thought to myself, "hey, everyone deserves a fair chance," and headed inside.
The inside of the restaurant is a variant on the same theme.  Like some ethnic restaurants I have visited, attention is not placed on the décor.  Generally, I am fine with this and assume that the end result is more focus on the food.  But if you aren't accustomed to it, it might throw you off. 
For the cooking demonstration, the Chef prepared palak paneer - spinach with paneer cheese.  A pretty simple recipe with onions, tomatoes and typical Indian spices (garam masala, coriander, cinnamon, etc.). The staff was very nice and friendly, and seemed knowledgeable (I'm only halfway through my curry cookbook so I can only assess so much). 

My favorite part of the experience was learning about how the naan is cooked in a tandoor oven by wetting the sides of the bread to stick to the side of the oven.   There it browns and bubbles over the open flame until the bread is cooked through.   
In the end, my palak paneer was good.  Nothing especially outstanding or to rave about, but I would think takeout from Tandoor would be a nice occasional alternative to me cooking dinner on a busy Tuesday night.  They mentioned they were opening a takeout service from Ballston Mall in which case, version 2 might be a welcome addition to the food court basics.

Tandoor on Urbanspoon

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