Taj Tandoor, located in the heart of Binghamton’s West Side, is a family-owned restaurant offering a wide variety of both Indian and Halal cuisines. The restaurant, which opened in January of 2004, prides itself in quality and authentic food.

The restaurant week menu, which offers a $20 dinner, includes a variety of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees. Each meal includes an appetizer, entree, naan bread and dessert.

My friend and I entered the restaurant and were immediately greeted by friendly and inviting staff. The dining area had a warm and casual atmosphere.

My initial thought once the food arrived was that gracious portions were served. Between the appetizer, bread and entree, my dining companion and I could not believe that this portion was only $20.

Being a vegetarian can be complicated at times, but Taj Tandoor devoted an entire section of its Restaurant Week menu to vegetarian options. In addition, my friend had a dairy allergy, and Taj Tandoor was extremely accommodating with vegan options.

For my appetizer, I ordered the onion pakora, which are onion fritters with a medium spice. The pakora had a spicy crunch outside, followed by a warm and soft, flavorful inside. It was also accompanied by a green chili chutney sauce, which I’d recommend you ask for extra on the side of. Because of her dairy allergy, my friend got an extra piece of naan bread to substitute the appetizer.

The naan bread was brought out warm and fresh. The garlic naan was buttery and had some added spices. The naan also tasted great with the extra spice of the green chili chutney sauce. My friend got the plain naan, which also had similar Indian spices and was extremely warm and soft.

For the entree I got the vegetable biryani, and my friend got the mango chicken. The vegetable biryani, which is a traditional South Indian-seasoned vegetable-and-rice dish served in yogurt sauce, was a mix of curry flavors that I was not familiar with. I ordered the dish medium — rather than mild or hot — but it was definitely quite spicy. Overall, I enjoyed the unique taste that the dish provided, and would definitely order it again.

My friend, who had the mango chicken was very captivated by her dish. The chicken, which is accompanied by rice, made for the perfect supplement to the naan bread. It was well cooked, warm and full of sweet mango flavor, with a spicy curry kick.

The freshness of the food was evident with every bite; the food tasted authentic and homemade.

For dessert, my friend and I both got the gulab jamun, which are warm homemade dessert balls soaked in rose water and honey sauce. The balls, which had a cake-like texture, had a syrupy rose sauce that oozed out between bites. My friend and I both agreed that this dessert was unique and like nothing we had tried before.

With such an authentic flavorful cuisine, this deal, and an accommodating staff, I would definitely put Taj Tandoor atop your Restaurant Week list for 2016. You will leave both satisfied and with leftovers in hand.