The Best Indian Restaurants in New York City

Nearly three years after COVID forced the city that never sleeps to dim its lights, New York’s restaurant scene feels like it’s back to its old self. Many of the beloved classics on this list, like Italian charmer Via Carota, Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, and pizza destination Lucali, can now say they made it to the other side.

And with the addition of outdoor dining, some now have even more seats to welcome guests. There are also new genres of restaurants—like Contento, which works to be truly accessible to all, and the wildly spicy Dhamaka that opened during the pandemic and persevered—establishing themselves as important contenders among the best restaurants in New York City.

With tourism numbers back up, the best tables in the city have once again become highly coveted commodities. Be sure to book them in advance, swing by early, or try your luck at the end of the evening for an open seat at the bar.

The best tables in the city prove that if you can make it here (as a restaurant), you can make it anywhere.

Dhamaka

Restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef/partner Chintan Pandya have taken the city’s dining scene by storm in the past few years with a string of openings that, without question, match their company’s name: Unapologetic Indian. Their West Village spot Semma, which recently received a Michelin star, is often rightfully in the spotlight, but Dhamaka is the cool older sibling that has their own thing going on.

Picture : TheUNN

Dhamaka is not a restaurant of restraint, it’s one of abundance and exuberance. Pandya and his team’s cooking looks deep into regional cuisines of India to share dishes we rarely see on menus in the U.S like the restaurant’s acclaimed rabbit dish from Rajasthan, which must be ordered in advance. It’s marinated for 48 hours in spiced yogurt and then slow cooked for hours. There is also doh khleh, a chili-laced pork salad with cilantro and ginger from Meghalaya near Bangladesh and chenna poda, a baked cheese dessert from a state in eastern India below Kolkata. Some dishes like the exceptional goat neck dum biryani, which is served in a pot that’s sealed with a thin flatbread, are larger, so check in with your server about the number of items to order.

MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View: “This rousing Indian restaurant in Essex Market is refreshingly unapologetic with its complex spices, fierce heat levels and inspired preparations of more unusual items (kidneys, anyone?). Dhamaka, which means “explosion” in Hindi, is a bold love letter to the country’s more rustic dishes, many of which are drawn from the owner’s childhood.

“Where else have you had smoky goat belly flecked with coriander seeds and wrapped in cedar wood? How often does your mutton come in a clay pot filled with a deliciously dark chili oil and an entire bulb of roasted garlic? The kitchen grinds many of its spices daily, and the crowds have been quick to recognize such attention to detail. Tables are comically small but bring friends anyway.

Adda Indian Canteen

New York’s neighborhoods are dotted with Indian takeout spots that serve a rotation of standards like chicken tikka masala and paneer.

Picture : TheUNN

Adda, in Long Island City, Queens is not part of this club. Run by Roni Mazumdar of Rahi and executive chef Chintan Pandya, Adda offers, as they say, “‘unapologetically’ authentic Indian food.” That includes the housemade paneer. There’s also junglee maas, or goat curry, and snacks that come with a fair warning on the menu: “highly addictive.” (Conde Nast Traveller)

Established in 2018.

“Adda, meaning “a place where people hang out,” holds up to its name with its bright, casual atmosphere, collage wall of Indian newspaper covers, and rustic, “unapologetically” authentic Indian food. We at Adda believe that food is a conversation of life and want to recreate that dialogue through our ingredient-focused menu. By evoking hints of their own nostalgia, owner Roni Mazumdar and Chef Chintan have created traditional dishes the way it’s meant to be cooked: with a variety of herbs and spices made in-house while staying true to India. It’s unpretentious and unapologetically Indian. Come with your spice-appreciating friends and join us for a sensational feast!”

Semma, South Indian Cuisine Restaurant In NYC, Earns One Michelin Star

Michelin’s 2022 guide to New York City, has 73-starred restaurants and 17 restaurants were awarded single stars for the first time. South Indian restaurant Semma is one of them.

Semma, a restaurant in New York City’s (NYC) Greenwich Avenue, which has been serving heritage South Indian dishes since October last year has earned its first Michelin Star. It’s the only Indian restaurant in the US with a Michelin star in the year 2022. Michelin’s 2022 guide to NYC, has 73-starred restaurants and 17 restaurants were awarded single stars for the first time. Michelin characterises one star as “High quality cooking, worth a stop!” Unapologetic Foods, the team behind Semma and other popular restaurants such as Dhamaka, Masalawala & Sons and more across NYC, set out on a mission to tell the real story of Indian food. Authentically sharing regions and ingredients with a clear perspective without changing the food for anyone else.

After opening Adda and Dhamaka to immense critical success, the team set out to tell the story of Southern India with Chef Vijay Kumar at the helm. Drawing from Chef Kumar’s rural and ancestral background, they put together a menu that is difficult to find even in India. It reflects the deeply impactful memories of the chef and explores ingredients that break the mould of Indian cuisine across the country — snails just as he used to forage with his grandmother to venison that he used to hunt with his grandfather, tells the story of the forgotten side of India, unapologetically. Chef Vijay Kumar, talks about Semma, the unique experience that it offers, influences in curating the menu, and more.

Picture: Hindustan Times
  1. What is that one experience that the guests at Semma get that makes it so unique?

It’s the closest they can travel to those regions and memories without us compromising anything. They get a taste of the distinct flavour profiles that are embedded in Southern India. The cuisine is from all around South India and particularly from Tamil Nadu. It reflects my childhood memories of growing up in my home town in Tamil Nadu.

  1. Where do you source the ingredients from for creating authentic South Indian dishes?

We source all the best ingredients possible that are sustainable and all the spices are imported from India via vendors.

  1. A Michelin star. What’s next?

Just continue to tell our story by cooking unapologetically. For me, cooking heritage Southern Indian food brings immense pride and just getting the opportunity to do so is exciting. We want to continue to push ourselves to bring the guests as close to our ancestral homes as possible and share a sacred moment together.

  1. How did you go about creating the menu? Were the recipes tweaked for the palates of the patrons in the US?

Most of the dishes on the menu were created based on my childhood memories that I grew up eating. There is absolutely nothing tweaked! We just want to be who we are unapologetically!

  1. What are some of the most popular items on the menu?

Every dish on the menu is popular and much appreciated from our guests, but particularly Gun Powder Dosa, Aattu Kari Sukka (lamb dish), Nathai Pirattal (snails) are very popular. (MSN.COM)

Samosas Dipped In Chocolate And Strawberry Go Viral

Fusion food and culinary experiments continue to trend on social media. However, some experiments tend to baffle people, who are confused as to how the dish ever came into existence. In one such example, social media users were left bewildered after a video of ‘chocolate and strawberry samosas’ surfaced on the Internet. The 18-second video clip, which shows the savory snack being dipped in chocolate and strawberry, has divided people, with many saying that fusion food combinations had been taken too far now.

Industrialist Harsh Goenka shared the video on his Twitter account, captioning it as “Seeing the lollipop idli circulating in social media was ok, but this one,” ending his post with emojis of horrified faces. The idli popsicles that went viral recently did have several takers, but that can’t be said for the latest fusion food fad to hit the internet. Social media users across the spectrum were left befuddled after watching a viral video that shows samosas dipped in sugary chocolate and strawberry and netizens have reacted to the odd fusion with a mix of cringe and confusion.

Putting his shock into words, industrialist Harsh Goenka tweeted the video with the caption, “Seeing the lollipop idli circulating in social media was ok, but this one.” The video has garnered over 24k views so far. The last one shown is a desi samosa with tandoori paneer stuffing. Clearly not pleased by these attempts at fusion, many took to social media to air their opinions. One user even wrote, “What no cheese? Is this even a legit street food.” The video has garnered over 25,000 views till date. Many social media users were left horrified by the food item, saying that such fusion food items should be banned by law.

Many also said that their hunger vanished on seeing his monstrous combination. However, some people were pleased by the image, calling it “payback” for the viral image of popsicle idlis that was circulating on the Internet a few days ago. Some users also wrote that chocolate samosas were a common feature in the Delhi-NCR region, as several restaurants dedicated to just samosas have sprung up in the area, which also serve varieties such as the ones shown in the video.

This is not the only bizarre food combination that has been doing the rounds of the Internet lately. Recently, the image of popsicle idlis that were being served at a restaurant in Bengaluru divided social media users. While some called the dish innovative, others were less pleased.  Even Congress MP Shashi Tharoor waded into the debate, admitting the concept was “absurd but practical”.

Enormous Benefits Of Basil

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one’s body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don’t dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil’s volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one’s gut health, may complete one’s fibre quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol. There are more than 60 varieties of basil, with sweet basil being one of the most widely used. The herb has rounded leaves that are often pointed. It is a bright green plant, although some varieties have hints of purple or red in their leaves, basil makes a colourful and flavorful addition to many different dishes.

It has been observed that many of the cooks use basil to thicken their dessert instead of using any artificial/ unhealthy powder to do so. Sometimes people are not able to differentiate between Chia seeds and basil seeds, to make it clear basil seeds are different in nature they are larger and a bit duller in their colour. These herbs are used in various recipes as a cooling component in desserts, drinks and fruit juices for refreshment, also beating the summer heat.

For better digestion, weight loss and immune system, I suggest this simple recipe which can be easily made at home:

*Take 2 tsp of Basil seeds (sabja) + Add in 1/2 litre of water +10 mint leaves crushed

*1/2 tsp cinnamon powder + A little bit of sendha salt (pink Himalayan salt)

*Or to make a sweeter version one can add organic honey.

*Mix it well and drink it.

This recipe will help to flush out toxins from our body making it feel light and healthy. (IANS)

Four Mushroom Brown Penne W/ Parmesan & Dill

The one highly nutritious ingredient easy to cook with and loved both by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike,vegans, paleo vegans, keto-people.. almost everyone alike, is mushroom. It’s a delight to not only to cook with mushrooms, but also to taste and learn about a wide range of edible mushrooms.
How I developed this recipe?
Me and everyone else in my family loves mushroom dishes. Dried shiitake and fresh button mushrooms are always stocked up in my kitchen pantry. I love the kinda chewy texture and umami flavour of mushrooms. Mushroom soups, noodles and pastas are a regular thing in the house during vegetarian diet days.
But most of the time it’s always been one or two kinds of mushroom in a dish. Knowing about the amazing varieties of edible mushrooms and their distinct flavours I wanted to try combining quite a few more types of mushrooms in one of my recipes, and went on with the idea that a pasta would be the best thing to try, for a irresistibly creamy bowl of this perfect cooked umami rich pasta dish would never go wrong.
What’s special about this recipe?
Brown penne- Penne is one of the most popularly loved and widely available pasta variety. But brown penne? Although brown pastas are not preferred by many for their chewier texture and nuttier flavour, this recipe is an exception. It tastes just like white penne once it’s cooked al-dente as you follow the below recipe and stir it up in the rich and yummy pasta sauce. So, there’s no excuse on going healthy this time by switching your white pasta with brown.
Different types of mushrooms- Low in calories and rich in micronutrients, mushrooms are always loved and included in the diet for weight loss, antioxidant-anticancerous properties. It’s also one of the most famous umami-rich vegan substitute for meat. Portobellos for burgers, enoki for ramens, shiitake for soups, button/ porcini for pastas, cremini for risottos are all the widely used types of mushrooms loved for their distinct shapes, flavour and texture. This recipe here uses 4 types of mushrooms that I happened to collect in my pantry and is super delicious.
What you’ll need-
. 1 cup of dry brown penne
. Olive oil- as required
. Salt- as required
. 1/4 teaspoon oregano
. 2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
. 2 pinches (or more, to make it more hot) of red chilli flakes
. 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill leaves
. 1 tablespoon cold butter
. 1 tablespoon heavy cream
. 1-2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
. 1 tablespoon of chopped shallots
. Half cup of vegetable stock
. 2 tablespoons of white wine (optional)
. One small bay leaf
A handful of button, brown shimeji, shiitake and porcini mushrooms.
. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
How to make-
Start buy cooking the pasta. Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil with half a teaspoon of salt . Drizzle a little olive oil and add the dry pasta. Give it a stir, cover with a lid and reduce the flame to med-low. Cook it covered for 5-8 minutes, or *until your pasta has no white ring in between when bitten into (“al-dente”- perfectly cooked), not over cooked.
Drain the pasta and reserve the pasta water. Give your pasta a cold water bath to avoid sticking together and to firm up your carb a bit before cooking further.
For the sauce, start but sautéing the onions, garlic and bay leaves with a pinch of salt in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add in the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have sweat enough to reduce in volume. Spice it up with black pepper and red chilli flakes, add oregano and half of the chopped dill. Sauté again, pour in the broth and wine. Bring this to a boil and reduce it into half. Now pour in the reserved pasta water and bring it to a boil as the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream and pasta. Stir well on low heat until the pasta is uniformly coated and the sauce the sauce has reached the desired creamy consistency-this would take 1-3 mins. Season it with salt again-if required. Turn off the flame and stir in the cold butter until it melts and coats the pasta nice and creamy.
Serve you yummy pasta topped with rest of the chopped dill and Parmesan.
Notes, tips and suggestions-
  • -*follow this (starred in instructions) tip for the perfectly boiled pasta each time you a pasta dish.
  • -Feel free to substitute the mushrooms in the above recipe with your favourite mushrooms varieties -cremini, enoki.etc., to enjoy your comfort food better.

Mini Dark Chocolate Fondant for 2 (Dairy-free)

Wanna start your New Year with a guilt-free sweet treat? This yummy chocolate goodness is perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and is quite easy to make as well!

How I developed this recipe-

There are definitely a lot of chocolate fondant and molten lava cake recipes out there on google and many different cookbooks. But trust me, most of them haven’t come out perfect for me. It was always either overdone or undone, cakey or too gooey ..etc. This one here is a never-fail recipe and once you see the results by yourself, you’ll definitely make  it again.
And yeah, it’s dairy-free as well- that simply means it won’t trigger any inflammatory reactions in any dairy allergic or intolerant or restricted person. But yeah, this is a versatile recipe and you can refer notes for more details.

What’s special about this recipe-

Dairy-free & refined sugar-free: Sugar & Dairy are known to mess up with the hormones and cause acne triggers for many. Considering this, along with the rise in healthy fancy diets for lactose intolerant people, this recipe is a saver for almost everyone in the family to equally enjoy a chocolate dessert.

Real goodness of dark chocolate: Known to be rich in antioxidants and mood boosting properties dark chocolate has a high reputation in today’s world. But most of the time, it’s adulterated by low quality fats and dairy in most desserts. This recipe here preserves the purity and thus the goodness of dark chocolate, so that your chocolate would literally feel yummy in the tummy.

What you’ll need-

70 g good quality dark chocolate (* I used Van houten)
50g vegetable oil (preferably avocado/coconut or neutral oils like sunflower or canola. * I used avocado oil)
1/6 cups brown sugar (half of 1/3 cup)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
Half a tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of white flour
Oil & cocoa powder for greasing & dusting pots, respectively

How to make-

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius. Grease and dust 2 ceramic ramekins or mini oven-proof pudding bowls with oil and cocoa powder respectively.

Combine chocolate & oil in a bowl and melt it in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each 30-seconds until fully combined.
Stir in the eggs and beat until even combined & gloppy. Now mix in vanilla and finally the white flour.

Pour this chocolate mixture into the prepared ramekins and bake for 10 to 13 minutes, just until the sides are little puffed up, whereas the centre is still moist and gooey.

Take it out from the oven and flip it onto the serving plate after cooling for not more than 30 seconds.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions-

. You could you either use 70 % dark chocolate chips or your favourite dark chocolate bar leftovers (chopped up) for this recipe.

. It’s best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh berries. Also dust your mini dessert with snow sugar (powdered/icing sugar) before serving to make it look more appealing.

. If not preferring to go dairy-free, you could make this dessert the traditional way by substituting the same amount of oil with butter in the recipe.

. Baking for longer time could result in a cakier chocolate dessert rather than a molten chocolate centre, which is undesirable.

Thanks,
Certina Romel

Pretty Raspberry & White Chocolate Swirl Log

Hello peeps!

Got some fresh raspberries from your local store and wondering what to do with them?

Ditch your weekday super berry smoothies.

It’s time for a cheat sweet treat for this weekend. I’ve come up with a fancy dessert this time. Enjoy this with your family & friends. I’m sure you’ll be surprised with the compliments you are going to receive for this lovely treat that could satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

 

What makes this recipe special?

. A combination of berries and chocolate is the best when you want your dessert to standout.

. This recipe is easy when it comes to how lovely the final dessert roll turns out to be- it’s not your boring Swiss roll guys!

. No store bought sponge rolls with additives like preservatives & emulsifers tastes as good & wholesome as this vanilla sponge sheet in this recipe.

 

How did I develope this recipe?

This recipe is basically my favourite vanilla sponge sheet recipe + easiest cream less white chocolate  firm ganache recipe + fresh cream raspberry filling.

I developed this recipe out of my husband’s craving for a white chocolate raspberry cake. But I didn’t want to make the usual boring raspberry cake with white chocolate & buttercream filling as that’s what everyone would go for when they are given these 2 key ingredients or could be a cookie / pannacotta to the farthest for us home cooks.

This recipe here, uses less cream, sugar and butter, it’s delicious and best for a dessert that doesn’t go too far with fat & carbs. And so, this is the kind of sweet indulgence  I would offer my family and now, from me to you

 

What you’ll need-

Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake Roll-

. 100 g sifted cake flour

. 100 g castor sugar

. 4 eggs (yolks & whites seperated

. 1/4 tsp cream of taster or white vinegar

. 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (any flavourless oil like canola/sunflower)

. 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

 

White Chocolate Rasberry Cream Filling –

. 100g chopped white chocolate

. 125g fresh raspberries

. 125 ml heavy cream

. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ,at room temperature

 

White Chocolate Ganache frosting (firm finish)-

. 100g white chocolate

. 100g butter, at room temperature

. Half tablespoon milk (if needed to loosen up)

 

How to make-

For frosting

  • Melt white chocolate & butter on a water batch (double boil method), stirring constantly until white chocolate is just melted & well incorporated.
  • Let it cool down & refrigerate after cling wrapping for a minimum of 2 hrs.Make it a day ahead and refrigerate overnight if you choose to.

 

Cake sheet roll-

  • Preheat oven to 230 degree Celsius . Grease & line a sheet cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Beat egg whites with cream of tartar trill foamy. Add in sugar little by little untill well incorporated and soft peaks are formed.
  • On low speed, stir in egg yolks & vanilla too.
  • Gently fold in sifted cake flour little by little and end by folding in vegetable oil, all with a spatula.
  • Pour the cake batter evenly onto the lined pan & bake for 7-8 minutes until it springs back.
  • When done, cover & flip onto a damp cloth & it up when keeping it moist & to avoid cracking.

 

Filling

  • Mash up the fresh raspberries and cook for 6-10 minutes in a saucepan pan. Then strain out the seeds from this purée.
  • Melt chocolate with the cream in a Microwave for 30-40 seconds & stir well to incorporate the cream every 20 seconds & set aside to cool.
  • Add butter to the above & mix well. Stir in the raspberry purée & whisk well
  • Refrigerate after clingwrapping.

 

Laying & mounting-

  • Unroll ,Remove parchment paper& cloth, trim-up the sponge sheet & spread a good amount of the prepared filling on it. Roll back tightly.
  • Clinwrap the entire sponge cream roll and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up.
  • Whisk up the chilled frosting mix using a hand/stand mixer (adding half tablespoons milk- if necessary) until fluffy.
  • Spread it evenly onto the cake roll & run a fork several times on the ganache to create a pattern pf vertical lines
  • Sprinkle chopped pistachios and decorate with raspberries on top.
  • Cut into circle slices& serve after refrigeration.

 

Notes & tips-

If you don’t have cake flour & all you have at home is All- purpose flour, Mix all – purpose flour to cornstarch in the ratio of 7:1. ie., 14 tablespoons of all- purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch for 1 cup (16 tablespoons) of cake flour – DIY cake flour !

. You can add in your favourite raspberry / strawberry jam instead of raspberry purée , if you can’t get fresh raspberries.

. You can use butterscotched (praline) nut bits instead of pistachios if you prefer.

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