Iberia meets India at Tasca de España deli, bakery and restaurant with one kitchen for Spanish food and another where North Indian kormas, biryani and tandoori dishes are cooked. Customers at this only-in-Miami place can sit anywhere and order from either menu — or both, sharing tortillas and tikka masala.
Owner Simone Shlokrekhuda and her husband, Sharuk Sariari, are from the small Mumbai community of Parsis (Zoroastrians) descended from Persians who fled religious persecution thousands of years ago and were welcomed by Hindu kings in India. The couple moved to Miami last year after 20 years in New York to partner with their Punjabi friend, chef Avtar Saini, who went to culinary school in Delhi and had an Indian restaurant in Davie. They bought Tasca and added India Grill three months ago.
The Indian menu offers vegan, vegetarian, meat, and seafood specialties with a few Indo-Chinese dishes like spicy honey-garlic wings and hakka egg noodles with chile-soy sauce. Battered potato, onion and spinach pakora (fritters) are good with a cold Kingfisher beer or a crisp albariño wine.
Large shrimp are marinated in yogurt and grilled in a clay oven with caraway seeds and garlic for smoky flavor. Chicken is also blasted in the tandoor, cut into chunks and finished in butter and tomato gravy.
Crab masala is a dry curry cooked in a ground spice mixture with onions and tomatoes. Kashmiri pulao is a mix of fragrant basmati rice steamed with raisins and nuts, delicious with salti boti, a Parsi lamb curry with dried apricots and straw potatoes.
Shahi korma is a “royal” dish of vegetables in creamy cashew sauce. Lamb biryani layers basmati with lamb shoulder slow-steamed with saffron.
End with house-made coconut ice cream or Galician almond cake — or both.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.