Gate of India

Story and Photos by Carl Patzel

Spring 2024

Walking through the Gate of India restaurant, you may not find the majestic palatial Taj Mahal, but opening these doors will unlock a flavoursome royal banquet, all the same.

A ravenous invitation to a splendid feast immediately hits all the aromatic senses of ancient spices indicating a gastronomic experience of authentic Indian cuisine at this small Towerlane Centre bistro.

Opened in 2022, Gate of India owner Umesh Prasad noticed more and more Airdrie Indian food-lovers were making the trip to their location in Calgary’s Coventry Hills neighbourhood or pressing for delivery of their international cuisine.

“That is what attracted us to Airdrie,” says Prasad.

Following in the deep culinary footprints of his uncle, Chef Kailash Raturi, who brings 25 years of international experience to the restaurant world, Prasad focused on authentic, traditional fare for the attractive, friendly Airdrie location.

“[Ours] is known as the North Indian food,” Prasad says. “It isn’t as spicy, but still has plenty of spices and envelops traditional dishes [of that region].”

Apart from a popular lunch special offering five different options on one platter, Gate of India produces a huge menu of well over 100 dishes with varying proteins and plenty of vegetarian options.
Under the guiding eye of a golden Buddha statue, colourful surroundings and traditional East Indian music, we started with a tray of honey garlic cauliflower.

This appetizer came out dripping in a dark-brown, satisfying sauce that lived up to its name in both sweet and savoury. With a gratifying crunch, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish these veggie bits from a tender cut of meat.
Like many traditional chicken dishes, the tikka masala version is prepared in a clay oven, producing a modicum of sweet with plenty of heat. Large chunks of slow-roasted chicken are accompanied by crunchy peppers and onions. There’s a depth of flavour that can only be conjured from a long history of perfecting this popular entree.
Another favourite on the vegetarian scene, the Dal Makhani also comes from the time-honoured slow cooker combining black lentils swimming in a thick, creamy red sauce chalked full of ginger, tomatoes and garlic. This can only be described as a hearty, soul-filling enchantment.

Complimenting the already-aromatic feast, no Indian meal is complete without a generous portion of flaky, tender garlic naan bread.

You may walk through the Gate of India a hungry peasant, but you’ll feel like monarchs after this feast.