Teji's, one of Austin's better and least pretentious Indian options, has opened a second location deep in the heart of the 40 Acres; the only problem with that is parking. If you're on the Drag afoot, it's no big deal. For the rest of us it means using the Dobie Mall or UT Co-op parking garages; finding an open spot on the street is unthinkable with the outrageous rates at the ever-present meters.
Teji's is a long, skinny space; slim on atmosphere, but it's all about the food. You place your order at the counter, and then the servers take over. (Hint: For the server to get the tip, leave one at the table.) We started with a tasty samosa chaat ($5.99), a pair of crispy potato samosas topped with channa dal, yogurt, zippy chile-and-cilantro chutney, and sweet tamarind chutney – a perfect balance of flavors and a meal in itself. Lamb bhuna ($9.49) is chunks of rich and tender lamb in a thick sauce of fried spices and aromatics; slightly piquant and delicious. Reshmi kabab ($9.99) is a platter of tender and moist skewered chicken breast chunks, marinated in spiced yogurt and almonds before a trip to the tandoor. The kabab comes on a bed of sweet onions with lemon on the side, a tempting Mughlai specialty. Onion kulcha ($2.50), a type of leavened white bread, is fantastic – buttery and loaded with spicy onions.
The return trip involved the goat combo ($9.99), with a spicy, meaty, and rich goat curry, served with rice and lentils, and a cup of decadent rice pudding. This combo is the Teji equivalent of a lunch special, offered with five different proteins. Hara bhara, or "green" chicken ($8.49), lived up to its spicy claim. Falling-apart tender chicken is bathed in a thick sauce of spices, green chiles, mint, and cilantro. Keema naan ($3.49) is packed with succulent ground lamb before a crispy visit to the tandoor. Teji's is laid-back and funky, but cranks out some good Northern Indian fare; a welcome addition to campus eats.
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