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Buzkashi is now Ali Baba Tandoor

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Buzkashi is now Ali Baba Tandoor

Bob Dobalina | Oct 13, 2005 10:19 AM

I kept meaning to pop into Cambridge's other Afghani restaurant, Buzkashi, on Mass Ave. just past Porter Square...

Happening to drive by last night, I noticed all these strange papers in the window, like flyers ... it caught my attention and I found that it had changed its name to Ali Baba Tandoor. Upon inquiring, it is still the same owners, but as she smilingly stated, "Now he thinks about what you want."

Indeed. It immediately brought to mind the line from Big Night uttered by Pascal: "Give people what they want, then later you can give them what you want."

Of course, being a contrarian, I decided to order a couple of Afghani items among the several which remain on the menu.

App: Leek dumpling topped with beef and in a mint-yogurt sauce. The dumplings (4) are somewhat similar in idea to the dumplings of Qing Dao, steamed, but much wider and flatter, obviously homemade. It was very different, the mingling of all these flavors.

Entree: A curried-looking cauliflower that was cooked with tomatoes, onions and spices and a stewed, almost jellied turnip over basmati rice. The cauli was great - not sure what was in it, but I gobbled it all down. The turnip was almost like a sweet potato in consistency, but also a little cabbagy tasting, like you might expect from a turnip. It wore on me after a while, but I think it was due to my turnip intolerance rather than their cooking or presentation. The rice was excellent!

This was take out but they included complimentary flat bread and a couple of different spicy sauces - a thinner, hotter green coriander and a red pepper chutney-type thing, as well as most delicious mint-yogurt. $17 for the deal.

For now, they are trying to keep afloat and are advertising lots of specials, gift certificates, etc. If you are so inclined, give them a try. I enjoyed it, although, based on her comment, it sounds like many of their original dishes just didn't gel well with the typical palates.

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