Sunday, June 25, 2017 This Week's Paper

India Mahal - Tacoma’s ‘Best Indian Restaurant’ is a keystone downtown business

As other businesses have come and gone in Tacoma over the years, India Mahal remains a bedrock business in the downtown core. For more than 15 years this family owned and operated restaurant has been serving the city’s best authentic Indian cuisine. In fact, Tacoma Weekly readers voted India Mahal “Best Indian Restaurant” in this year’s “Best of Tacoma” readers’ poll. Even its blue and red sign at 823 Pacific Ave. has become a local landmark, offering a familiar sight for Tacomans all these years. Open seven days a week, India Mahal caters to both lunch and dinner crowds. Its spacious dining room neatly decorated with exotic Indian art and wall hangings provides a most pleasant atmosphere where individual diners or couples, families and groups will feel comfortable. Reservations and walk-ins are welcome, and India Mahal accepts take-out orders and offers delivery as well. Above all, it is the food that keeps customers coming back for more. Whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan, India Mahal has got you covered. The restaurant is perhaps best known for its lunch buffet – 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For a mere $8.95 the buffet offers up to eight entrees to choose from, along with rice, homemade Indian breads, mixed salad greens and chai tea to drink. If the buffet does not suit your fancy the India Mahal menu is packed with mouth-watering cuisine created from traditional recipes of Northern India along with influences from traditional Punjabi dishes. Appetizers with either meat or vegetables are offered to start your meal. Popular choices are the Vegetable Pakore (mixed vegetable fritters, $3.95) and the Meat Samosa (pastry stuffed with meat, deep fried and served with chutney, $3.95) or order the combo plate to try some of every appetizer ($7.95).

The soup selections include a delicious and traditional Mulligatawny made with lentils, fresh coconut and delicate herbs and spices ($4.95). Pair a bowl with any of the nine varieties of fresh baked breads. The Garlic Nann is a big seller, made with fresh garlic and cilantro ($2.95) or have a traditional taste of India with Tandoori Roti bread made with whole-wheat flour ($2). Entrees include vegetarian specialties like Mater Panir (fresh, homemade cheese cooked with tender garden peas and spices $10.95), Palak Panir (homemade cheese with spinach and spices, $10.95), and Channa Masala, made with garbanzo beans and potatoes cooked in a gravy of spices ($9.95).

Seafood options like Goa Halibut Curry is made with fresh coconut and an array of spices, and the Shrimp Curry is submerged in a puree of fresh green herbs blended with spices. Chicken dishes feature Butter Chicken – tender pieces of chicken cooked in mild sauce enriched with tomatoes and green spices ($12.95) – and Chicken Tikka Masala made with oriental spices and sautéed with tomatoes, onions and bell peppers ($12.95). Lamb, beef and pork menu items offer many choices. Gosht Vindaloo is an India Mahal favorite made with potatoes in a special hot and spicy curry ($12.95). Rice specialties and Tandoori (barbeque) dishes round out the menu, with Kulfi and more for dessert (homemade Indian ice cream flavored with cardamom and mango, $3.95).

If you have a nice-sized family, India Mahal’s family-style dinners are feasts fit for a king but without the king-sized price. Visit India Mahal on Facebook and online at Call (253) 272-5700.