GANDHI CUISINE OF INDIA

Food, family intertwined at 15-year-old restaurant

2013-07-04T00:00:00Z Food, family intertwined at 15-year-old restaurantGerald M. Gay Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 
  • Where: 150 W. Fort Lowell Road
  • Phone: 292-1738
  • Online: gandhicuisineofindia.com
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
  • History: Brothers Tarsem, Sadhu and Mukhtiar Singh opened Gandhi in the late 1990s. Today, Tarsem's son, Davinder, runs the restaurant with Tarsem as head chef.
  • Type of cuisine: Gandhi specializes in north Indian cuisine, which uses more curries and sauces in contrast to south India's drier, spicier selections. Prices range from $1.95-$2.25 for pakoras and samosas to $25.95 for full dinners for two.
  • Tastes from home: Davinder Singh's favorite dish at Gandhi is the Kesari Chops, roasted lamb chops served in a tomato cream sauce.
  • Bio: Food has always been intertwined in the American experience for members of the Singh family. 
    The clan's patriarchs, brothers Tarsem, Sadhu and Mukhtiar Singh have carved out a solid footing in Tucson's culinary landscape.
    Davinder, Tarsem, his wife and sister-in-law run Gandhi Cuisine of India, which Tarsem opened with his siblings in the late 1990s.
    Sadhu and Mukhtiar run a second restaurant, Flavor of India, in Oro Valley.
    All three have been cooking in the United States for decades.
    The family comes from a small village in the state of Punjab in India where they still own a farm that grows lentils, corn and other crops year round.
    Sadhu, the oldest of the three brothers, moved to the United States more than four decades ago, the first from his village to do so.
    Over the years, he and his siblings have cooked at restaurants throughout Arizona and California.
    Sadhu put in more than two decades at San Francisco's famed Gaylord India Restaurant.
    "They've worked very hard," said Davinder, 29.
    Davinder was 10 years old when his father, who was already living in the United States, sponsored him and the rest of his family to come over.
    "It was hard for me," Davinder said. "I didn't know the language. It took me three years to learn English."
    Davinder went on to graduate from Amphitheater High School and the University of Arizona, where he earned a degree in business management. He has managed Gandhi since 2005.
    For Davinder, the hours are tough. When he has kids, he isn't sure he wants them to take on the family business.
    But it works for him.
    "I like talking with the customers, getting to know them," he said. "I like finding out if they are happy with their meals. I want them to be happy."

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