TribLIVE

| AandE

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Yuva India gives customers taste of homemade authenticity

James Knox | Tribune-Review - Yuva India restaurant Friday June 13, 2014 in Oakland.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Tribune-Review</em></div>Yuva India restaurant Friday June 13, 2014 in Oakland.
James Knox | Tribune-Review - Navin Kohli, is owner alonside his wife Tina of Yuva India restaurant Friday June 13, 2014 in Oakland.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Tribune-Review</em></div>Navin Kohli, is owner alonside his wife Tina of Yuva India restaurant Friday June 13, 2014 in Oakland.
James Knox | Tribune-Review - Navin and Tina Kohli, owners of Yuva India in the restaurant Friday June 13, 2014 in Oakland.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Tribune-Review</em></div>Navin and Tina Kohli, owners of Yuva India in the restaurant Friday June 13, 2014 in Oakland.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Rachel Weaver
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
 

Owners of an Oakland Indian restaurant pride themselves on deviating from the typical with their food offerings and the way they serve them.

Diners won't find a buffet at Yuva India on South Craig Street. But they will find an expansive menu that's become popular with college students, neighborhood locals and out-of-towners.

“I always had a passion for cooking,” says Navin Kohli, executive chef and owner with wife Tina, both natives of India. “I grew up watching my mother and grandmother cooking.”

Yuva's menu is based on those family recipes “with a modern touch,” Kohli says.

The restaurant, open since 2012, opts to focus on “quality not quantity,” he says.

Lunch items, all of which are served with tossed salad and basmati rice, include favorites such as the Yuva Lunch ($10.95), with chicken tikka masala, lamb curry and butter naan; the Spice Lunch ($9.95), with chicken, lamb or goat vindaloo, butter naan and tarka daal; and the Vegetarian Lunch ($8.95), with palak paneer or chana marsala and tarka daal.

Signature menu items featured on the dinner menu include Navin Kohli's favorite Kashmiri Goat Curry ($12.95), with goat simmered in rich onion curry with Kashmiri herbs and spices and finished with coriander. Tina Kohli likes the Goanese Lamb Vindaloo ($13.95) listed under House Dishes and featuring lamb braised in a tangy hot sauce infused with garam masala, garlic and vinegar.

“Snacks” ($1.50 to $6.25) include samosa, pakora, bhel puri and a variety of naan. Flavors of lassi, a yogurt-based drink, include mango, strawberry, sweet mint and cumin and badam ($3.75).

Dessert highlights include the traditional Indian version of carrot cake, Gajar Ka Halwa with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ($4.25), and Kulfi ($4.25), made of pistachio and malai.

Yuva also offers a wine-and-beer list, featuring some brands from India, such as the Sula Shiraz ($8 a glass), a medium-bodied wine with ripe-cherry and plum fruit and black pepper flavors, and Chenin Blanc ($7), a semi-dry light wine with pineapple and stone-fruit flavors.

The menu is clearly marked to indicate vegan-friendly, gluten-free and vegetarian options. There is not, however, a numerical scale to determine spiciness. Homemade chilie paste is used to up the heat factor for those with an affinity for spicy.

“We try to keep it very authentic,” Tina Kohli says. “In Indian homes, you are not asked ‘1 to 10,' you're asked ‘mild, medium or spicy.' ”

Yuva's decor is inviting with rich red, orange and green accents on the seating, hardwood floors, spiral lights and enlarged photos of day-to-day Indian life.

Yuva India, 412 South Craig St., Oakland, is open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch every day but Sunday and from 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays for dinner. Details: 412-681-5700 or find Yuva India Indian Eatery on Facebook.

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. State police say escaped Armstrong County inmate has been captured
  2. Judge rules McCullough guilty of taking money from elderly woman’s estate
  3. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  4. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  5. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  6. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  7. Emails among Governor Wolf’s aides reveal concern over AG Kane
  8. Pitt, McConnell-Serio agree to new contract through 2020-21 season
  9. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  10. Former Virginia Governor Gilmore joins 520 vying for presidency
  11. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries