New York Magazine

The Great Curry Ramble
My friend the Delhi connoisseur likes to consume his curries, naans, and kulchas the old-fashioned way, in a messy communal lather. No wonder he's displeased with Adä, in Murray Hill, where you can sip a glass of Chardonnay while hoity-toity fusion dishes like Goan baby back ribs (delicious) and lamb-shank vindaloo (less delicious) are brought to the table one by one. For fine dining, he prefers Tamarind, where he feasts on helpings of shrimp moiley (fresh shrimp in a cumin-spiked coconut sauce), Cornish game hen and quail roasted on a spit, and for dessert, dribbly sweet rasmalai dumplings bathed in rosewater. The elegant Flatiron-district establishment also serves a giant, moon-shaped masala dosa, plus sandwiches rolled in paratha bread — try the lamb sholley — designed to complement a selection of fancy designer teas available at the adjacent tea bar.

If you're in the mood for an old-school curry ramble, direct your cab to the former shoeshine parlor that houses the Lahore Deli on Crosby Street, for a shot of milky sweet chai, a restorative bag of freshly made potato samosas, and a container of curried goat, preferably to be consumed in the company of your cabbie and all his friends. For further adventure, proceed to Hampton Chutney Co. in SoHo for an array of culturally confused dosas (I actually like the one with woody portobello mushrooms and butternut squash), and then travel on to Banjara, in the East Village, to peer at Tuhin Dutta's imposing dumpakht, a strange, blimpish delicacy from the city of Lucknow. The lamb version (there's also chicken and shrimp) is slow-cooked in a creamy stew with almonds, bay leaves, and sticks of cinnamon, then sealed under a dome of pastry, like some fabulist South Asian rendition of lamb potpie.


Adä, 208 East 58th Street, 212-371-6060
Tamarind, 41-43 East 22nd Street, 212-674-7400
Lahore Deli, 132 Crosby Street, 212-965-1777
Hampton Chutney Co., 68 Prince Street, 212-226-9996
Banjara, 97 First Avenue, 212-477-5956

  • The Experience
  • The Cuisine Types
  • The Places

    From the January 7, 2002 issue of New York Magazine.