Last March, while many people were putting their dreams on hold, Lycka and Sunil D’Souza were making their restaurant dream come true.
Two weeks after the pandemic-mandated shutdown, the D’Souzas signed a lease to open Tuskers Indian Fusion on N. 6th Street off of the Capital Beltway. Three months later, Tuskers officially opened its doors, offering a combination of physically distanced dining, and takeout, delivery and catering options for customers on-the-go.
“We are so thankful to everyone who stood by us and helped us through our first year of business,” Lycka said. “Tuskers truly has a family vibe to it, and we never tire of hearing people tell us how our food tastes like home—some even traveling miles to experience our authentic cuisine.”
As local foodies themselves, Lycka and Sunil became known for sharing their favorite Indian recipes at their grocery store, Quality Food Market. After years of recommending dishes, the D’Souzas took the plunge as restaurateurs and created an accessible Indian food haven—only two blocks from their store.
“I grew up in Mumbai [India] where we had access to a variety of amazing foods and cultures,” Lycka said. “Then, moving here, we were not able to find basic Indian comfort food—that’s where our inspiration for Tuskers began.”
With an appetite for complex flavors, customers can indulge in distinctive dishes from India and southeast Asian cultures. Lycka described their menu as “the best of all worlds.”
“Because Indian cuisine is so diverse, we chose a few dishes from various parts of the country that best showcase that region,” Lycka said. “We have something for everyone—of all ages—as a fusion-style restaurant.”
Through fragrant flavors and large portion sizes, Tuskers seeks to offer newbies a great first impression of Indian cuisine.
“I was not interested in Indian food before Tuskers,” said Shanda Neal, Steelton resident. “But the owners are so knowledgeable and offer easy suggestions for first-timers. They are also willing to adjust their spice levels to fit every customer’s needs and wants.”
Shanda and her friends frequent Tuskers at least once a month for the comfortable atmosphere, BYOB options and their favorite dish, Gobi Manchurian—deep-fried cauliflower tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce.
Tuskers encourages customers to sample a variety of dishes and find menu items that fit their diet and lifestyle.
“I have seen hardcore meat-eaters now profess their love for our vegetarian menu items,” Lycka said. “People who always had the impression that Indian food was just hot and spicy are now our regulars and look to us for new suggestions.”
Patrons also savor homemade breads such as naan, kulcha, tandoori roti and parotta—served in a variety of flavors and consistencies. And, of course, Indian curries are offered in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Their most sought-after and comforting curry is chicken tikka masala—cubed chicken cooked on skewers in a clay oven and sautéed in a rich and creamy tomato gravy, served with white rice.
The owners recommend newcomers look over their Indian street food menu made with simple ingredients and inspired by their favorite food vendors from the streets of Mumbai. Their signature crowd-pleasing dish is pani puri—crispy-fried puffed dough balls filled with potato, chickpeas, spices and tamarind or mint-flavored water.
Harrisburg residents Gary and Kali Tennis have tried Indian cuisine throughout the world and are thankful that Tuskers opened in their backyard last June.
“I have tasted Indian cuisine from the best restaurants in Bangladesh, Europe and throughout the United States, but the best Indian food is at Tuskers,” Gary said. “And the owners are kind, generous and lovely. The dining experience here is pure magic.”
Tuskers Indian Fusion is located at 3716 N. 6th St., Harrisburg. For more information call 717-210-3931 or visit their Facebook page.
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