Taj Indian Restaurant
Sarah Ramler Cohen <email@example.com>
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There are not many reasons to veer off Road 2 to Or Akiva – but Taj has made this town a destination in its own right. Kosher Indian food is a rare find in Israel, and this small, unassuming restaurant is a diamond in the rough.
Taj sits humbly among an eclectic row of eateries and offices on a one-block strip. Seating is limited, with three sidewalk tables and about four inside – so reservations are recommended. Nevertheless, there’s always room at Taj, as another table was set up outside for a family just as we were leaving.
Indian food is potent, bold, and spicy – and I love it. Yet we were dining with my mother-in-law and my son – neither of whom are so familiar with the exotic mélange of colour, aroma and flavour. Taj’s authentic home-style cooking won all of us over. Here’s how:
We began our meal with two starters – Chana Masala and Punjabi Samosa. The Chana Masala is arguably the most popular vegetarian dish in India, the kind of comfort food that tastes of home, whether home is Ahmedabad or Or Akiva. Taj’s version of this tangy chickpea curry included aloo (potatoes) and was bathed in a light, tangy, deeply spiced gravy. My four year-old son loved it and finished the whole bowl.
The Punjabi Samosa was a delicious take on the familiar samosa – a fried pastry pyramid stuffed with potatoes and green peas. The accompanying chutneys included a refreshing coriander and coconut raita that delighted us all.
Thalis are a feast-on-a-plate in India, offering a variety of different curries, dahl, rice and chapati bread. Taj’s vegetarian thali included spiced cabbage salad and a tangy zucchini curry, and the dahl, while subtle in its flavouring, was a family favourite.
We also ordered a Chicken Tikka, skewered chicken chunks that’s spiced bright red and oh-so-succulent. The meat was tender and juicy and was served with fluffy basmati rice and more of that yummy dahl.
Not only is Taj’s food something to remember – the warm and inviting service is what makes this restaurant stand out. This family business is led by Moshe Solomon, whose parents made aliyah from Mumbai in 1973. Moshe told us that Taj offers the best of his mum’s kitchen, and she’s there every night overseeing the authentic homestyle dishes that delight his customers.
We left Taj happy and satisfied – my mother-in-law, who had never tried Indian food before, returned a week later for some more. As for me – I plan to return again VERY soon to try the rest of the tantalising menu.
Prices are extremely reasonable, street parking is available nearby, and it’s wheelchair accessible. Taj is superb for a quick curry fix – and puts Or Akiva on the map.
From the Taj Dinner Menu:
Taj is a meat restaurant with many vegetarian options, as is the Indian culinary tradition. And speaking of tradition, those familiar with Indian cuisine will enjoy their favorites traditinal dishes at Taj.
Batata vada NIS 22,
Punjabi samosa NIS 27,
Chicken tikka NIS 59,
Chicken curry NIS 59
From eLuna Members
Taj gets high marks on Tripadvisor. Here are some of the comments:
"This is effectively one up from street food so no alcohol or desserts but nevertheless we left feeling full."
" We had a wonderful dinner here, the nan was fantastic and also the vegetable Thali. We ordered many vegetarian dishes and all were yummy! Enjoy"