Tag: Indian food (Page 1 of 2)

Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala Review

As far as microwavable tikka masalas go, this isn’t bad.

I love chicken tikka masala, but I’m pretty particular about it. I haven’t found many commercial versions that I like. Trader Joe’s tikka masala sauce and frozen chicken tikka masala entree are OK, but just that. This refrigerated version was better, it wasn’t as acidic and tasted closer to what you get at a restaurant. But it wasn’t quite there. The sauce wasn’t very complex, the chicken didn’t really have the smoky tikka flavor and I didn’t find myself licking the bowl as I otherwise would. It’s better than the
Sukhi’s Chicken Tikka Masala you find at the supermarket – but that’s not saying much.

It’s also not a particularly great value . It’s $6.50 (at the Castro Valley Trader Joe’s) for the 16 oz package, but half of it is rice. The 15oz package of Sukhi’s chicken tikka masala is $11 at Safeway (and it goes on sale occasionally) but that’s all chicken. And you can get a far better chicken tikka masala at Shef, for $11.50 for a 16-oz container.

In all, I won’t be getting it again.

Locale Review

This ready-to-eat meal delivery service brings you yummy food from Bay Area restaurants, but has limited offerings.

Locale is a new-to-me meal delivery service operating in several areas in California. Their hook is that the meals come from well known restaurants in the area and that at $11 each, plus $5 delivery fee, they are more affordable than actually getting take out. They are priced, however, to compete with other similar services like CookUnity and Shef. They only deliver on Mondays, but you are able to order up to the Friday before, which gives you far more flexibility than the other services. I subscribed to Locale with a discount offer I found on Facebook and later got a discount for a second and third week.

Some of the meals are the same that what you can get at restaurants, but others seem to be particularly prepared for Locale and may be smaller than the restaurant offerings. That means that, depending on the meal, you may not be saving money by ordering from Locale vs picking them up yourself, particularly if you live in San Francisco where competition keeps restaurant prices more affordable – though you do save on tax, as the meals are delivered cold.

Locale’s website is sparse but it’s easy to use. You can only order one week in advance and you can decide how many meals you want to order each week. You can also pause the service quite easily.

Like the other services, meals come in an insulated bag, this one with cooling packs, and they will pick them up when they deliver your next order. They are very diligent about texting you with updates on delivery.

Each meal comes in a cardboard tray, sealed with a transparent plastic film. The meals are usually good for 5 to 6 days, which gives you some flexibility on when to eat them. Most can be microwaved, but some need more laborious heating.

You can’t really see how many restaurants Locale has available to you until you sign up, but I was disappointed both on how few there were for me in the East Bay – and how few dishes each restaurant offered. In all, they only had 29 restaurants available and several only offered 1 to 3 different dishes. Those who had more often presented different variations of the same dish (e.g. the same dish but offered with chicken or beef). They also have a very limited selection of vegetarian dishes – my vegetarian daughter could only find a couple she was interested in. All in all, Locale wouldn’t work as your weekly delivery service unless you always want to eat the same thing, or have very eclectic tastes and just like everything.

I subscribed with a discount for my first delivery, and then got texted further discounts when I paused. My meal reviews, however, assume that I’d paid full price for the meals (around $11.50 each). Note, I haven’t felt compelled to tip Locale delivery drivers as they are not offering a personalized service – drivers deliver to multiple people in a pre-set, optimized route – and because I don’t tip other similar delivery services but Locale seems to be pushing tipping, as are all employers who want to keep salaries low.

These are the restaurants I ordered from and the dishes I got. Those that I’d order again have a checkmark.

Asian BoxBurritos La PalmaComalDumpling TimeEl FarolitoHardKnox CafeHawaiian Drive InnMela BistroPeaches PattiesPerillaSumacTenderleafTrisaraVik’s ChaatZareen’s

Asian Box, Bay Area

Asian Box is a small chain with seven restaurants in SF and Silicon Valley, including one at the airport, and one in LA. They specialize in “choose your ingredients” bowls (but in rectangular containers, thus called “boxes”), where you choose a base (e.g. rice or salad), a protein, toppers (e.g. peanuts or pickles) and a sauce. Boxes start at $14 and go up depending on your protein, they also have some “signature boxes” at varying prices. Locale offers 4 boxes from Asian box.

Chicken Curry Bowl with Potatoes and Jasmine Rice ✔

This dish was described as having comes rice, six-spice chicken, potatoes, carrots and yellow coconut curry and being topped with herbs, scallion oil, peanuts and shallots but instead of the “herbs and scallion oil” it came with a spicy red sauce which might have been the “fiery red curry”. The bowl was very good. The star of the show was the six-spice chicken, which did remind me of five-spice but also had a nice acidic flavor and tasted grilled. It was just very good. The yellow curry was a standard coconut curry, a bit on the spicy side and competent but not great. The portion give was just enough to moisten the chicken, rice and potato – so make sure to scrape it all off. The peanuts were chopped too finely to add much texture, but the occasional piece of shallot gave it a nice crunch. The portion made for a filling dinner. I’d certainly have it again. This same dish sells at the restaurant for $15.50

Burritos La Palma, Southern California

La Palma is a small restaurant chain in Southern California which gained famed when the Michelin guide gave it its “Bibi Gourmand” designation in recognition of its Zacatecan style burritos, which seem to be tortillas rolled around meat and salsa, with no other additions. They’ve become famous enough to sell their burritos frozen through Goldbelly. Locale is now offering 4 different types of burritos.

3 Birria y Queso Burritos

burritos
Two of the three burritos – delicious!

Quesobirria tacos are all the rage in California these days, and I can see why this burrito version has become so popular. I loved the softness and elasticity of the tortilla after microwaving it. The filling was tasty, and the cheese worked well to mellow the strong flavors of the birria. My daughter also really liked them. I can see ordering this time and again. The burritos are $5 each at the restaurants, so you get a small discount ordering through here (plus you don’t have to go to LA to get them).

Comal, Oakland

Comal is a well known Mexican restaurant with locations in both Oakland and Berkeley. It’s a favorite place for events, and we’ve gone to a few there. I’ve very much enjoyed their tacos in the past. Locale offers 7 different meals from Comal, 3 bowls and 4 burritos.

Carnitas Burrito with Pinquito Beans, Rice and Salsa Verde

My daughter enjoyed this burrito. The carnitas were flavorful and the whole combination worked well. It was a pretty substantial meal, which my daughter couldn’t finish. Burritos retail for $13.75 at Comal, but they didn’t list this particular one, so it might be a cheaper version than their normal semi-gourmet offerings.

Dumpling Time, Bay Area

Dumpling Time has five locations in the Bay Area. They specialize in Chinese dumplings. They only offer one or two dishes through Locale. The one we got is no longer available.

Dim Sum and Garlicky Green Beans with Wakame Seaweed Salad

This dish consisted of one pork bao (aka pork bun), 2 shrimp & pork siu mai and 2 shrimp har gow served with green beans and sea weed salad. Unfortunately, it’s no longer being offered by Locale (nor is this combo in he menu at Dumpling Time). My husband really liked this offering and would have liked it again but it’s no longer available.

El Farolito, San Francisco

El Farolito is a run of the mill taqueria in San Francisco, best known (in Yelp, at least) for its cheap burritos. They offer three quesadillas through Locale.

Mission Style Chicken Quesadilla with Crema and Salsa

This was an overall good quesadilla. It had a nice taste and it was more flavorful than I expected. The portion was probably the right size for lunch. However, I wouldn’t order it again. The first issue was the heating. It requires that you take out a pan, melt a tablespoon of butter and then heat up the quesadilla for a minute on both sides. This gives you a crispy tortilla, but the heat doesn’t go through enough to melt the cheese. I fixed this by microwaving for an extra 30 seconds. I didn’t like, however, that I had to dirty a saucepan to heat this up. I do take responsibility for not reading the heating instructions before I ordered it, they were right there on the page. I also didn’t like that it came with a green sauce instead of guacamole. Price was, it was a tad cheaper than what I can get at my local taquería for a similar size quesadilla, but I can choose steak and get guacamole if I order it there, which I prefer.

Hard Knox Cafe, San Francisco

This is a soul food restaurant with two locations in San Francisco which seems to get mostly good reviews. Locale only offers this dish and mac & cheese from this restaurant.

Southern Style BBQ Pork Rib with Collard Greens and Mac and Cheese

This consisted of just one spare rib with BBQ sauce, mac & cheese and collard drinks. My daughter enjoyed both the rib and the mac & cheese, she felt they were very good – she didn’t try the greens. It was enough food for her, but she is a girl who can never finish any meal – it really should be two ribs to satisfy a normal appetite. She wouldn’t have it again, however, because most of the meal was the mac & cheese and it wasn’t good enough to be a whole meal. The dish is $21 at the restaurant, but it looks like they serve at least 3 ribs.

Hawaiian Drive Inn, Bay Area

Hawaiian Drive Inn seems to be a 5-location Hawaiian BBQ chain in the Bay Area, serving standard Hawaiian BBQ fare.

Hawaiian Chicken Katsu with Steamed Rice and Green Beans

This was a pretty average Hawaiian BBQ chicken katsu, and there is nothing wrong with that. The green beans, however, lacked all seasoning. The heating instructions also had us using the oven for the chicken and the microwave for the beans which is too much trouble – we just heated the whole thing (minus the sauce) in the microwave. The portion size was similar to the mini-meal size at my local Hawaiian joint which is $12, so this is not a great deal.

Mela Bistro, Oakland

Mela Bistro prides itself on serving “Modern Ethiopian Food”. From its website, I can see that the restaurant forgoes the traditional art and trappings from many local Ethiopian restaurants and it has more sleek surroundings. The menu is short and filled with traditional items. That said, this is the one restaurant we are happy Locale introduced us to and the one we re-ordered from our second week.

Ethiopian Style Beef Tibs with Brown Rice and Green Split Peas ✔

This was a very good version of beef tibs. Flavor wise, it was pretty much on point for beef tibs but it felt less greasy than usual – quite an achievement for a dish cooked in ghee. It was medium spicy. It’s served with turmeric rice. This dish is $18 at the restaurant, so it’s actually quite a bargain to get it through Locale. The portion was enough for one meal without leftovers.

Ethiopian Beef Stir Fry with Spiced Turmeric Rice ✔

These seem to be just beef tibs, but served with turmeric rice instead of brown rice and split peas. Once again, they were very tasty, only a bit spicy, and less greasy that beef tibs usually are. Once again my husband was happy. It was a good sized portion. He thought the rice was fine, but would probably get it with the brown rice and peas next time for a somewhat healthier option.

Peaches Patties, San Francisco

Peaches Patties is a Jamaican restaurant operating from the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The owner previously ran a catering business. It specializes in Jamaican patties, which is their version of empanadas. They get great reviews from these, but they are not available on Locale. They have a few other dishes, including two new ones that don’t appear on their menu. Locale has four dishes from this restaurant.

Ginger Tamarind Chicken with Fried Plantains, Kidney Beans and Jasmine Rice

This dish was described as featuring “tender chicken infused with bold ginger and tangy tamarind, served alongside crispy fried plantains and fragrant jasmine rice.” I can’t say it was a success. The chicken was tender, but the thigh meat felt dry. I usually like sweet-savory flavors, but the sweetness here felt out place, it fought, rather than blended with, the spiciness and the smokiness. My favorite part were the pieces of the chicken that tasted charred, unfortunately there were few of them. I usually don’t mind soggy chicken skins, but I felt this one could be crispier. The plantains were definitely not crispy either and they needed more sweetness. I don’t know, this just didn’t do it for me and I wouldn’t order it again. While this dish is not on Peaches Patties current menu, a similar jerk chicken meal that also includes veggies sells for $20.

Perilla, San Francisco

Perilla is a casual Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco. It offers three dishes through Locale, each consisting of garlic noodles, broccoli and either pork, crab or five spice chicken. At the restaurant, these dishes are priced at $14.

Five Spice Chicken with Garlic Noodles and Broccoli ✔

This dish was pretty good, the boneless chicken was was sweet and savory with light soy sauce overtones, and the noodles were quite good, not too garlicky. My daughter, who had it, enjoyed it and would have it again. The portion was more than sufficient for dinner, though not quite enough to have much in the way of leftovers.

Sumac, San Francisco

Sumac describes itself as a “modern Mediterranean street food” restaurant and has locations in both LA and SF. They serve wraps, salads, rice bowls and hummus bowls with your choice of grilled chicken, meatballs, red lentil balls or felafel. Seven of these combinations are available at Locale.

Chicken Hummus Bowl with Roasted Veggies ✔

Both my husband and I loved this bowl of grilled chicken, roasted veggies and hummus. – so much that we had it a second time. The chicken was tender and well seasoned, and worked well both by itself or dipped in the hummus. It was a little weird to eat warm hummus, though. Next time I might scoop it out before reheating. My husband was actually surprised at how much he liked the veggies, but we both skipped the pickled beets. The restaurant version sells for $21, but it also comes with an arugula salad.

Turkish Kofte Bowl with Basmati Rice and Chickpea Salad ✔

These are lamb and beef shoulder meatballs served with rice, chickpea salad and a labneh sauce. The same bowl sells for $18 at the restaurant. This was a good, filling and satisfying meal. The meatballs had that chewy texture of kibbeh – I think it’s achieved by over grinding the meat -, which I’m not super fond of, but they were well seasoned and very tasty. The buttered basmati rice reminded me just how nice buttered basmati rice is on its own. The chickpea salad was fresh and piquant, and I enjoyed it even though I’m not a fan of chickpeas. And the yogurt sauce was thick and refreshing. Everything was slightly spicy, however, But overall a very good meal that I’d have again.

Turkish Red Lentil Wrap with Tabouli and Herb Labneh Sauce

I got this for my vegetarian daughter and she found it edible but unexciting. It was a good portion, at least (the photo shows just half a wrap). She probably wouldn’t order it again. It sells for $16.50 at the restaurant.

Tenderleaf (Ghost Kitchen)

Tenderleaf is described as a “a beloved Bay Area gem, is a cozy, locally-owned restaurant” located in San Francisco. As far as I can tell, that is a lie. A google search failed to find any restaurant with that name anywhere in the Bay Area, much less a “beloved one”. Instead, it seems that Tenderleaf is a ghost kitchen operated by the owners of Locale. To me, this seems extremely deceitful. I don’t have a problem with ghost kitchens myself, but I do have a problem with dishonesty.

The address that Google has for Tenderleaf is in the San Leandro industrial area, and I’ll probably drive by and check it out some time.

Tenderleaf offers 9 dishes through Locale, the most of any restaurants.

Mom’s Meatballs in Marinara Sauce with Italian Sausage and Parmesan

This dish consisted of four medium-size meatballs and 2 sausages, topped with tomato sauce and a little Parmesan cheese. I warmed it in the microwave. There was definitely plenty of food. I liked the meatballs. They tasted very much like the meatballs you can get at your average pizzeria – I’m thinking of Porky’s Pizza Palace in particular. They had a good texture, they weren’t too soft and not too gritty, and a nice flavor. I would imagine that these are not “homemade”, but it’s not like I can get meatballs that taste like that at the supermarket. The sauce was pretty standard marinara, a little on the acidic side. A bit more cheese would have been better, but you can always add your own. I also liked the sausages, which were pretty dense, and smooth, and tasted primarily – but mildly – of fennel. Obviously this would have been better over some pasta, and next time I might just boil some myself.

Trisara, San Francisco

Trisara is an affordable Indo-Nepalese restaurant that gets 5-stars on Yelp. Unfortunately Locale only offers three of their dishes, the momos below and two biryianis.

Nepalese Chicken Momos with Steamed Broccoli ✔

My husband thoroughly enjoyed these momos – Nepalese dumplings – which were served with a tasty tomato chutney. They were tasty and comforting. The broccoli was just steamed, and he would have preferred it with some seasoning. Still, he’d order this again. The portion of 8 momos sells for $14 at the restaurant, but here you only get 5 momos and the broccoli.

Vik’s Chaat, Berkeley

Vik’s Chaat is a very well known Berkeley Indian restaurant. It’s a casual eatery, meant for college students. It’s been there for decades and has always been very popular. I went there once, over a decade ago, and I don’t remember loving it, but I didn’t write a review. Locale offers 3 dishes from Vik’s Chaat.

Tandoori Chicken with Spiced Chickpeas and Basmati Rice

This dish consisted of a chicken leg – separated into thigh and drumstick – served with basmati rice and spiced chickpeas. I wasn’t super fond of it. It tasted like the sort of tandoori chicken you can make it at home, in your own over, with tandoori masala. The masala sauce, which was a bit spicy, clung to the chicken, which I don’t particularly like. I much prefer the tandoori chicken found at most restaurants where the chicken skin has been died and the flavor has been absorbed by the meat, rather than resting on a marinade outside. Still, it wasn’t bad, just not as good as the Americanized versions of tandoori chicken you usually get at restaurants. It did remind me of why I didn’t like Vik’s when I went. A similar tandoor chicken dish at the restaurant which is served with dal, instead of chickpeas, and with naan and raita, costs $18.

Zareen’s, Silicon Valley

Zareen’s, along with Burma Superstar, are the only restaurants Locale mentions on their Facebook ads and comments. This seems to be because they were listed in the 2020 Michelin guide. It’s an Indian/Pakistani restaurant with locations in Palo Alto, Redwood City and Mountain View. Locale offers 7 dishes from this restaurant, though two are tikka masalas and three spinach curries.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice

I was underwhelmed by this dish. It consisted of shredded chicken tikka in a masala curry and yellow rice. The chicken was tender and had a nice smoky flavor but was otherwise very underseasoned. The sauce lacked the complexity you look for in a tikka masala sauce. It wasn’t bad, but it was underdeveloped. The portion was adequate for a single meal. In all, I think I rather pay more at my local Indian restaurant but have a better curry and leftovers for a second meal. This curry is $16.25 at the Zareen’s restaurant, though I’m not sure if the portion is the same size.

Paneer Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice ✔

I got this for my vegetarian daughter but ended up eating it myself. I liked it more than the chicken tikka masala. The panner was spongy and slightly sweet and combined perfectly with the sauce and the rice. The sauce was pretty standard, but I think better than last time. The portion was substantial enough to leave me full. I’d get this again.

Prepared Meal Services: Shef

The tastiest ready-to-heat meal service I’ve found so far.

If you are on Facebook, chances are that you’ve seen ads for Shef*. It’s a ready-to-heat meal delivery system, where the catch that the meals are individually made by home cooks in their own homes, rather than in large industrial facilities. That can have both pros and cons, but it’s quickly become my favorite of the ready-to-heat meal services (I’ve also tried Locale, CookUnity, Thistle and Freshly) .

Shef allows you to order meals individually or subscribe to a weekly service. Their website, however, is very clunky. In order to use it, you need to enter your zip code and then create an account. You will choose your delivery date and how many meals you want to get, as well as how many servings each meal should be. You will then get a list of chefs – including a small photo, first name and surname initial – and a list of the dishes they offer. You then select which dishes you want to get. You are then prompted for side dishes and finally for your credit card information. You will get e-mails and texts the day your order will be delivered mentioning the time period (something like 3 hours) where the meals will arrive. So far, all of mine have arrived within the promised time.

Shefs are local to you, and what they offer will thus depend on where you live – and also, for which day you schedule your delivery. I’ll be reviewing the dishes served by my local shefs, but obviously they will be different for you if you don’t live in San Leandro or nearby. Shef has made a particular effort to recruit immigrant cooks – and originally, immigrant women cooks, thus the name -, and they have been particularly successful with Indian and other Asian cooks. If you love Indian and/or Asian cuisine, Shef is definitely the service for you. If you don’t, this is your opportunity to learn to love it. There are a few other cuisines represented, though not many (so far, at least).

One of the things I love about Shef is that the food is delivered in reusable cold bags with frozen water bottles instead of freezer packs. As far as I can tell, the bottles are sealed so you can drink them. But it also means no waste. Dishes do come in plastic containers (the same type used for take out food), though one of my shefs uses compostable containers (but plastic lids). Of all the services I’ve used, I’d say this is the greenest one.

The HUGE disadvantage of Shef, is just how clunky their website is, and how difficult to use. As I mentioned, you have to sign up to even be able to see the menu. Once you choose a plan, there is no way to change it. You basically have to cancel it, and then re-subscribe. This is true even if one week you want to order side dishes, and the next week you don’t. If you order then once, you are stuck ordering them again unless you cancel and resubscribe. Fortunately, subscribing and unsubscribing is easy.

Another disadvantage of Shef is that because the dishes are cooked in a home kitchen and cooled in a home refrigerator, they really need to be seen as leftovers – so you should eat them within a couple of days of getting them. I have frozen two in their containers so far, and they defrosted in the fridge quite well, and were pretty good when heated.

There is no way to review individual dishes – you are prompted to review your whole order, and then the scores apply to each dish in that order! That makes absolute no sense – just don’t rely on the scores as they mean nothing.

I haven’t had to contact customer service yet, but I’ve read it’s pretty clunky as well. I will report more when I try it.

So far, I’ve gotten the following dishes. The checkmarks are to remind me which to order again (blue ones to get for Mike)

Aejung S. | Amit R. | Balihar S. | D C. | Erendira E R. | Frehiwot K. | Geetwani R. | Grachik P.| Izabela P. | Issara T. | Joina L. | Kelly L. | Mak M. | Mandira D. | Phuoc V. | Quynh Sophie E. | Ruben & Nucha G. | Sarjo B. | Shilpa P. | Stacy L.’s | Sukhdeep K | Thazin H. | Theint E. | Vanita Yadav M. | Victor S. | Victoria S. | Wayne F.

Shef AEJUNG S. – Korean

This shef doesn’t seem to be listed anymore.

Bulgogi Korean Ribeye Beef With Rice

I was very disappointed on this dish. I love bulgogi. I make bulgogi frequently (at least, when I’m cooking). It’s a pain to cut the meat (though you can buy shaved beef, and this is clearly what Shef Aejung has done), but it’s otherwise not too laborious to make. You let it marinade and can pan fry it as you go – or just cook it all at once and then reheat it. But the secret, the basis of bulgogi is the marinade – and this marinade just wasn’t there. The beef barely had any flavor. It also had barely any veggies – some shredded carrots but maybe a couple of onion strips. It wouldn’t take much to improve things, as either the marinade he used was flavorless or, more likely, they were not marinated for very long. The portion had a fair amount of meat and it came with white rice, but without any sauce, there was little point to it. I wouldn’t order it again and neither should you – just your make your own bulgogi or buy the amazing frozen bulgogi at Trader Joe’s.

Shef AMIT R. – Indian · Himalayan · Indo-Chinese · Southeast Asian · North Indian · Chinese

Pahadi Chicken Curry

This was a nice curry. It tasted like your regular Indian curry – made from spices, not curry powder. It didn’t have any sweet notes, so given a choice, I’d go for a korma or a tikka masala (or a pasanda!). But as far as regular curries goes, this is a good as you can get in a restaurant. It was very mildly spiced.

Shef BALIHAR S. – North Indian · Punjabi

We’ve gotten two dishes from this shef so far, both showed a very sophisticated use of whole spices in his cooking. While I didn’t like one as much, it was due to personal preferences.

Butter Chicken (Boneless)

This butter chicken was a bit different from others, but still very yummy. It was on the spicy side, and mostly lacked sweetness, but the spices, tasted fresh and were very forward. It felt like a mixture between a butter chicken and a chicken curry, but very well balanced. My one complaint was that the chicken cubes were dry. The bowl was enough as a meal without rice, but could have been extended with it. My husband would definitely want it again.

Tari Wala Chicken

I haven’t had this Punjabi chicken curry before, so I can’t make any comparisons, but it tastes like a pretty generic Indian curry. It’s clearly made with whole spices, rather than garam masala or another such mix, and I appreciated the balance and fresh flavor of the sauce. I’m less fond of the bone-in chicken. It was on the lower side of medium spicy, which meant that it had some heat but I could deal with it. Still, I wouldn’t order it again, simply because I prefer sweeter, creamier curries. But this one is perfectly well made.

Shef D C. – Mediterranean · Italian · American · Comfort · Baked Goods · Vegetarian · Irish

This is an awesome shef who understands his craft, I just wish he would expand his repertoire.

Beef Osso Buco

Another winner from Shef D C. The osso buco meat was extremely tender and the dish was very flavorful. It was, perhaps, too intense, but I had frozen it previously and was heating it up from a semi-frozen stage and overheated it a bit. The sauce really needs a starch to absorb it, so plan on eating this with something.

Shef D C.’s Irish Guinness Beef Stew

This was a good, basic beef stew. Not as good as a tomato based stew, but that’s not the chef’s fault. The meat was tender but a little chalky (typical for beef stews). I’d order it again.

Pollo Al Ajillo – Spanish Garlic Chicken ✔✔

This was a delicious, homey dish. It consisted of three drumsticks, deliciously garlicy, in what I think was a sauce that was thickened with flour, giving it a smooth texture. Not that there is much of a sauce, but whatever remains from it. I ordered it again and enjoyed it just as much.

Shef ERENDIRA E R. – Mediterranean · Californian · Italian

Bolognese Fresh Pappardelle Pasta ✔

This was a pretty tasty Bolognese. The thick noodles were soft and the Bolognese sauce tasted exactly like you expect Bolognese sauce to taste. The portion was sufficient for a meal. My daughter, who ate it, wouldn’t want it again – but she’s not that great a fan of bolognese. I, however, would order it for myself.

Shef FREHIWOT K. – Ethiopian

This shef seems to no longer be cooking for Shef, which is unfortunate as her Ethiopian food was awesome.

Beef Stew (kay Sega Wot) ✔✔

After getting the combo twice, I decided to go for the kay sega wot by itself. It was delicious, but spicier than the meat combo. I actually think I prefer it mixed in with the chicken. This one did remind me far more to the Ethiopian food you get at restaurants. It was sooo good

Meat Combo ✔✔

This plate of food was absolutely delicious. It didn’t taste that much like the Ethiopian food I’ve had at restaurants or cooked myself, perhaps because I asked for “mild” (and yes, everything was mild) – but it was very, very good and addictive. So much so that I had it again the next week.

Shef GEETWANI R. – Fusion · Indo-Chinese · Indian · Comfort · East Indian · Hakka

Butter Chicken

Our second attempt at butter chicken was more successful than the first. This was a spicy dish, what one would normally call “medium” at a restaurant. Mike ate it and liked it, though he didn’t think it was restaurant quality but he’d have it again.

Shef GRACHIK P. – Mediterranean · Middle Eastern · Ukrainian · Armenian · Georgian · Russian · Belarussian

Scrambled Eggs With Tomato Sauce (Shakshuka)

The description of this dish as “scrambled eggs with tomato sauce” is far more accurate than that of shakshuka. This basically was an omelet with some tomato sauce added to it. My daughter thought it was fine, but she didn’t like that it had bell peppers and wouldn’t get it again.

Shef IZABELA P. – Polish

Beef Stew (Polish Goulash)

This beef stew tasted exactly what you expect beef stew to taste. It was meaty and rich and very homey. The meat was a little chalky, but I have the same results when I make stew, so I’m not going to blame the cook for this. The portion was fine, though it could have used a couple more pieces of meat. There was a lot of sauce, so get some rice to soak it up. I’d order this again.

Shef ISSARA T. – Southeast Asian · Asian · Thai

Panang Curry Pork With Rice ✔

My husband liked this dish. It was an average panang, which is not a bad thing. The portion of pork was fine, but there was way too much rice. Still, he’d have it again.

Shef JOINA L. – Latin American · Asian · Fusion · Brazilian · Korean · Chinese

This is another amazing shef. As a Taiwanese-Brazilian she grew up exposed to a lot of diverse cuisines and knows how to make both traditional and fusion dishes. Unfortunately, her portions are skimpy.

Arroz Con Pollo ✔

We’ve gotten this dish twice. It consists of a chicken thigh and Spanish rice. The chicken was bursting with flavor, was slightly spicy and yet still very much chicken. It was quite moist. The rice was also nicely spiced, though it could have used a tad more flavor. I did like the tomato and sausage. Definitely had a homemade taste. The portion is on the small side, so it’s probably best for lunch or those with smaller appetites.

Brazilian Chicken Pie ✔✔

My husband thought this was delicious and enough for two servings for himself (but he tends to only eat half a meal at the time). The crust didn’t maintain too well, it got sort of mushy, but the flavor was amazing.

Cilantro Chicken

I got this dish thinking I was getting the Roasted chicken with cilantro garlic crema reviewed below – my mistake. I thought it was pretty tasty, but my daughter liked it far less than the aforementioned one. She wouldn’t want it again. The sauce in this one was very watery and it seemed more like a soup.

Roasted Chicken With Cilantro Garlic Crema

This was another very tasty dish. The chicken was moist and nicely seasoned, and the accompanying crema was absolutely delicious. Alas, the portion was also skimpy and not enough to fill you up for dinner. They really need to add an extra chicken piece.

Shef KELLY L Greek · Mediterranean · Street Food · Comfort · American

This shef seems to no longer be cooking for Shef.

Salmon Caesar Salad

My husband overall liked this salad. It wasn’t made with iceberg lettuce but with another leaf, and he was a bit iffy about it, and it had tomatoes he doesn’t like, but otherwise it was just a Caesar’s salad. The very top of the salmon was sort of crusty and it seemed dried out, but when you got past that, it was fine. He’d have it again, but it might be better to just buy a Caesar salad at the supermarket and add some salmon – it’s not like grilling some salmon takes any time.

Shef MAK M. – Chinese · Hong Kong · Asian · Fusion · Low Carb · Comfort

This shef seems to no longer be cooking for Shef.

Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl

This was really a very simple dish, just ground (or maybe chopped) pork on a bed of white rice, but boy, was it delicious. The pork had been braised in a delicious sauce (though none of it was in the dish), and it had a very intense, well balanced flavor. I couldn’t really distinguish any of the flavors (soy? five spice?), but it was just good. The flavor was intense enough that it married very well with the plain rice. I’d order this again.

Shef MANDIRA D. – Bangladeshi · North Indian · East Indian · Bengali · Halal

Rui Macher Kalia (Rohu Fish Curry)

My husband loved he taste of the curry, it was delicious. However, the fish had too many bones, making it vey difficult to eat. For that reason, he probably wouldn’t get it again.

Shef PHUOC V. – Southeast Asian, Vietnamese

Garlic Honey Glazed Grilled Chicken And Garlic Rice

This was a pretty basic dish, but very homey and tasty. The flavors were not gourmet, but they were pleasant, and garlic rice is addictive. I’d have it again.

Shef QUYNH SOPHIE – Middle Eastern · Lebanese · Mexican · Vietnamese

Kafta Potato Stew

This was a very homey dish, just kofta and large chunks of potatoes in a thin tomato based sauce. It was good and very satisfying. Not something you’d have at a restaurant, but that’s the point of Shef – homefood. I’d get it again.

Shefs RUBEN & NUCHA G. – Latin American · Argentinian

This Argentine couple makes good empanadas, but the meal consists of only two, which is not sufficient and makes them more expensive than those at local empanada restaurants.

Mushroom & Gorgonzola Empanadas

As an Argentinian who loves to make empanadas myself, I’m particularly picky about empanadas, so you shouldn’t be surprised about how critical I am of these ones. The main problem was how small the portion was. You only get 2 empanadas, which is fine as a snack, but not enough for lunch, much less dinner. As a child, I used to get 3 empanadas for lunch – you need at least 3 or 4 for an adult, particularly when they have a light filling such as mushrooms and gorgonzola. The filling was actually pretty good, not great, but good enough. The shells, however, needed more salt. They came with a little tub of chimichurri, which was good by itself, but didn’t compliment the flavor of the empanadas. I wouldn’t get them again.

Traditional Beef Empanadas

I had the same issue with these empanadas than the ones above. Two empanadas are just not enough and the shells are not that great. I did like the knife-cut beef, which was nicely flavored. It had that briny undertone of olives and a note of sweetness – though I didn’t see any raisins. I also loved that it didn’t have any hardboiled egg. But I wouldn’t order them again, mostly because they are a poor value.

Shef SARJO B. – Senegalese · African · Gambian · West African

Another excellent Shef, her dishes are little more spicy than I like, but all very flavorful.

Jollof Rice With Beef

This is another winner by Shef Sarjo. Both the chicken and the rice were great, though a little more chicken would have been better. They were very nicely spiced and better than any jollof rice I’ve had.

Peanut Butter Stew (Domoda)

Mike liked it. He thought the sauce was very peanut buttery and the meat was tender and moist. He’d have it again. I just tasted the sauce and I felt the one I’d made was better, this one was missing some umami flavor.

Yassa Bone-in Chicken

This dish was absolutely delicious. Yassa is one of my favorite dishes, and I have made it many, many times since I first started cooking over three decades ago – but this one was far better than any of mine. I don’t know what the secret is, though I did think I distinguished some mustard notes, and when I make it again I’ll see about adding some mustard. In any case, I really enjoyed it. There were a few problems, however.

First, as you can see from the photo, the chicken wasn’t cooked through. While chickens today are safer than in the past, there is always the risk of salmonella, and home cooks, as well as professional ones, should make sure the chicken is fully cooked. Second, the portion only came with one chicken drumstick – that was definitely not enough protein for a meal, even a lunch. The cook should add a second drumstick or a thigh. Third, the dish was too spicy for my taste. At an Indian, Thai or BBQ restaurant, this dish would be characterized as “medium spicy” and it’s just at the edge of what I can stand. To eat the onions – and boy, were the onions delicious – I had to add some rice. So when I order it again (and I will, despite these caveats), I’ll have to make sure I either order a side of rice or that one of the other meals comes with some.

Shef SHILPA P. -West Indian · Maharashtrian · Malvani · Marathi

This shef seems to no longer be cooking for Shef.

Kolhapuri Sukka Chicken

This was a very garam masala forward dish, slightly spicy – in the way garam masala is – but not particularly complex. The chicken was tender but also very bony, so a pain to eat. I’ve made Kolhapuri lamb before, and this dish reminded me of that. Mike liked it, though he also wished the chicken was boneless. I’m not huge on garam masala, so I wouldn’t order it again. Mike probably wouldn’t either.

Shef STACY L. – Southern · Soul Food · American · Comfort · Asian · Fusion

Fried Bbq Chicken Plate

I was intrigued by the idea of both frying and bbq’ing chicken. As it turned out, the extra step of frying was unnecessary. The chicken was moist, so there is that, and it had a nice flavor – but nothing to write home about. It was just a little bit spicy. It came with overly salted mash potatoes and corn. I don’t think we’d order it again.

Southern Fried Chicken

Shef screwed up for me this week and sent me two dishes I didn’t order instead of two I did. One of these was what I presume is Shef Stacy L.’s Crispy Southern Fried Chicken. It came with mashed potatoes and corn.

The dish didn’t work for me. I found the chicken was nice and crispy but the piece of chicken I ate had a disconcerting sour taste. I’m not sure if it’d gone bad (I didn’t have intestinal problems later, so I’m going to guess it didn’t), or if it’s something in the ingredients. In any case, I wouldn’t want to eat it again. My husband had the other piece and didn’t find it sour.

I was hoping that the mashed potatoes would be the saving grace, but they were impossibly salty. My husband agreed. The corn was just corn. I would definitely not order this again, as you can get better fried chicken at the supermarket for less.

Shef SUKHDEEP K. – North Indian · Punjabi · Clean · Desserts · Comfort · Vegetarian

Butter Chicken ✔

Our third Shef butter chicken was the winner among those Shef has sent us. While the sauce was on the thin side and the dish could have used a little more chicken, it was very tasty – almost restaurant quality. It was mildly spiced. You definitely need rice to eat this with. Most importantly, my daughter liked it and would want it again

Shef THAZIN H. – Burmese · Southeast Asian

Burmese Style Lamb Curry With Potatoes

This was a fairly generic meat and potatoes stew. I wouldn’t call it a “curry” per se, in the sense of the spices and flavor profile that the word “curry” usually alludes to. However, according to my notes from when I cooked this dish myself years ago, this is precisely what it’s supposed to taste like: homey. As someone who likes meat and potato stews, I was pretty happy with it. The portion was generous.

Shef THEINT E. – Burmese · Southeast Asian

Basil’s Lemongrass Chicken

This dish was OK. I enjoyed eating it, though I don’t see myself craving it. I think it might be better at a different time of year when basil is brighter/fresher – as it had a slightly bitter taste. It could have used a tad more sweetness, but the spiciness level was good, medium-mild, I’d say. It was an adequate portion. I might order this again.

Shef VANITA YADAV M.– Indian

This shef doesn’t seem to be listed anymore.

Andhra Chicken Curry (Kodi Kura)

I gave this curry the old college try, but after a few bites, I just had to abandon it. It was way, way too spicy for me. In a restaurant, it would probably be described as somewhere between medium and hot. This is a pity, because the curry was very good. The chicken was so moist and tender that I actually thought it was lamb, and there were lots of it. I tend to prefer sweeter curries, this definitely was not that, but the flavor was complex and developed. It did not taste of curry powder, garam masala or anything of the sort. In all, a very successful dish even if I couldn’t eat it.

Shef VICTOR S. – Chinese · Caribbean · Japanese

Chicken Adobo With Pickled Leeks With Jasmine Rice

My husband really liked the chicken, it was very tasty and it didn’t have the skin on, which is a plus for him.

Chinese Cured Pork Belly And Sausage With Jasmine Rice

This dish was OK. Half of the tray was cabbage, which is not my thing. The sausage and pork belly were fine, not exciting, and there was something crunchy, brown and weird that neither I nor the dog liked. I wouldn’t order it again.

Shef VICTORIA S. – International · Southeast Asian · Vietnamese

Caramelized Spare Ribs

This dish came in several containers, and I didn’t realize that I was supposed to put them together into one until after I had eaten the actual spare ribs and looked at the picture of the dish online. Basically, it comes with a tub of spare ribs, one of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, another with two hard boiled eggs and a final one of rice (white, not seasoned as in the website photo), and you are supposed to put it together into a plate. Together, they form a substantial plate of food – the ribs alone might be too little for a meal, though they are so rich, that I wouldn’t have been able to eat any more of them.

The ribs were very tender and tasty, but only slightly sweet and they had a tad too much fish sauce. Each bite is mostly bones or tendons which makes it a bit difficult to eat. But the flavor was there. Mike, in particular, really liked them and would want to order them again.

Shef WAYNE F. – North Indian · Indo-Chinese · Fusion · Indian

Butter Chicken

This plate came in a 16 oz container, which is the container size you get at most local Indian restaurants when you order take out. The dish, however, contained relatively little chicken – it was mostly sauce. The chicken came in large chunks, but was tender enough that it came apart when cut with the fork. Unfortunately, the chicken itself lacked seasoning.

The sauce was just OK – somewhat better than jarred butter chicken sauce or the ones that come in frozen entrees, but not nearly as good as the best butter chicken sauces from our favorite Indian restaurants. It had some disconcerting bitter notes, that I couldn’t quite place, and it was a bit too acidic. It was only slightly spicy, which was to my taste. I wouldn’t order it again, but I didn’t mind eating it.

While I’d say there is only enough chicken for one meal, there is enough sauce for another half-meal if you eat it with rice or naan bread. For the price, I think I’d order it at a restaurant instead.

*This is a referral link, if you subscribe I may get some credit.

San Leandro Bites: Indian Grill

Our closest Indian restaurant is usually a good bet.

For many years, really the first decade and a half of our life here, San Leandro was an Indian food desert. We had the best Indian grocery store ever – Santos Spice Market -, and yet somehow we didn’t have even a single Indian restaurant. That started changing when Bella Italia (now closed) started serving Indian food, in addition to Italian fare, but their heart really wasn’t in it and it wasn’t that great. Fortunately, in the last decade several actual Indian restaurants have opened both in San Leandro and nearby localities, and most of them have been quite good.

I’m really surprised I haven’t reviewed Indian Grill before, as we’ve been satisfied costumers ever since it opened at the old Ploughman’s space back in 2019. The food, if at the time slightly more expensive than its competitors, was consistently among the best Indian-American food I’ve experienced. We visited the restaurant itself a couple of times before the pandemic, and I’ve been there a couple times since – it’s done a good job of looking classy in a coffeeshop space -, but mostly we get take out from there.

Last week, it was just Mike and I so we only got a couple of dishes, and the results were unfortunately mixed.


I had the Lamb Korma ($19), and it was as delicious as ever. Their korma is not particularly sweet or nutty, but it has a fairly deep, complex flavor – albeit milder than the tikka masala sauce -, that I enjoy. The lamb was tender and not particularly fatty. I enjoyed it very much.

Mike, meanwhile, ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala in butter chicken sauce ($17) and this was a dud.

Chicken tikka masala, at least in local restaurants, refers to usually boneless chicken, cut in large bite-size pieces, that is seasoned with tikka spices and grilled or cooked in a tandoori oven. It’s then immersed in a curry/masala sauce, invented in England, that is reminiscent of the curry from butter chicken. The chicken in butter chicken, on the other hand, is usually shredded or cut into small pieces and is cooked in the sauce. This is meant to be a combination of both dishes: grilled chicken tikka served in a butter chicken sauce.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t very good. I don’t know if the sauce was off that day, or the recipe doesn’t quite work, but the sauce had an off flavor, while lacking depth. The rich tongue feel was there, but not the flavor. We both agreed we didn’t like it. Indian Grill has one of the best tikka masala sauces out there – with a very intense, bright flavor – so we’ll continue ordering that in the future.

Rice is not included in the meals, and it’s an extra $5, which seems excessive. Still, when eaten with rice, there is enough food on each other fort two meals. I usually prefer to eat it with naan ($3 each), which are good, but not remarkable.

Food is usually ready on time and is still hot by the time it arrives – and my husband usually walks to get it.

Indian Grill
1600 Washington Ave
San Leandro, CA
(510)-878-2704

W 10:00 am - 9:30 pm

Th-Tu 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm



NYC Food Adventures: Mama Halal Food

Notes from a New York City Foodie Trip

The halal cart phenomenon continues unabated in NYC, and with good reason.

Forget about hotdogs, for several decades now, the New York City street food par excellence has been halal fare. Originally referring to the types of foods permitted for Muslims – think Kosher but far less strict -, halal carts are understood to serve food of Mediterranean origins, mainly shawarmas and kababs, either served on pita or as part of a rice bowl. Halal carts broke into the NYC street scene in the 1980’s, when Greek carts were still a thing, but really blew up in the 1990’s. By the end of the millennium, there were over 500 halal carts in NYC, and their numbers have only grown since then.

Perhaps the most famous halal cart, and one of the first, is Halal Guys. Over the decades, they have not only expanded throughout the city but nationwide, operating both carts and brick and mortar restaurants. Like many of the current carts, it was operated by Egyptian immigrants. They are famous for their white and red sauces – the former apparently a mint yogurt sauce and the latter apparently shattah, a peppery sauce. -, something which other carts seem to have imitated. In addition to Egyptians, many halal carts are operated by Bangladeshi and Afghan immigrants/refugees, and the menus of their specific carts may reflect these interests.

Getting food from a halal cart was one of my “NYC must do’s” and we were lucky that one of the two halal carts located immediately across the street from our hotel – there were probably a dozen or so within a couple of blocks -, got very good reviews. Thus on our second night in the City, after attending a taping of the Colbert show, we got halal take out at Mama Halal Food and ate it in our hotel.

lamb gyro

I went with the lamb gyro ($8.50) and I was very happy. The lamb cubes were impossible tender and flavorful, and after I removed some lettuce, the pita sandwich was well balanced. I had it just with the white sauce. The gyro was perhaps a tad small, but fortunately I wasn’t terribly hungry. I’d definitely order it again if I was in the area.

chicken tikka masala

Mike had the chicken tikka masala bowl ($10.50), with both white and red sauces, and he was very happy with it. I, personally, didn’t think it tasted much like tikka masala, and the red sauce had made it too spicy for my taste, but I appreciated how tender the chicken was. He’d order it again, I wouldn’t.

Drinks were cheap, just $2 for cans, if I recall correctly. There was almost no wait on that cold February Monday night, and service was friendly and efficient. In addition to the W 51st location that we visited, Mama Halal Food has carts at W54st/8Ave, W50st/9Ave and 121st/LibertyAve (Queens).

Mama Halal Food
W 51st St. & 7th Ave.
NYC
(347) 207-5804
M-Su 10 AM - 3 AM

							
	

San Leandro Bites: Flavor of India

Food at this San Lorenzo Restaurant is Just Delicious

I have been getting delivery and take out from Flavor of India in San Lorenzo for quite a few years. I discovered them in GrubHub, and it was a the time one of the closest Indian restaurants that delivered in my area. It wasn’t the best restaurant, but it was good enough.

Since then a couple of Indian restaurants opened in San Leandro and we’ve switched to getting take out rather than delivery, so it’d been a couple of years since we last had their food. A couple of nights ago we decided to try it again and I’m so glad we did. The food was absolutely delicious. Apparently, they are under new ownership and the new chef really knows how to cater to American tastes.

Fish pakora with sauces

We started with fish pakora ($7). The portion was a good size as a shared appetizer, the fish was flaky and had a very flavorful coating and the accompanying cilantro and sweet/sour sauces were particularly tasty and not too pungent. I enjoyed it very much.

Lamb Korma

I had my usual lamb korma ($14) and this time the sauce had a much more intense, bright flavor than I remember it having. It was the best korma I’ve had for years. The lamb itself was very tender.

We also ordered butter chicken($13) and chicken tikka masala ($14). I didn’t taste the chicken in the former, but the sauces are very similar if not identical. The chicken in the tikka masala was in large cubes and was surprisingly moist – I tend to prefer butter chicken because chicken tikka is often dry. The sauces were, once again, out of this world delicious.

Naan bread ($2) was standard as was the rice. The curries come with rice, so you don’t need to order separately.

It was easy to order on their website (currently through the lokobee app), and the food was ready quickly and hassle free. The prices are lower than at other local Indian restaurants and the portions seem to be about the same size.

Flavor of India now offers outdoor dining in a patio. I haven’t seen it, but it looks very nice in pictures, though set in a parking lot. Still, this seems like a good option for eating out, and I might try it.

Flavor of India
15930 Hesperian Blvd
San Lorenzo, CA
(510) 276-5000


Kashmiri Masala Recipe

This masala is wonderful, not at all spicy but very tasty.

  • 1″ cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Indian bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a dash of ground mace

Heat a dry saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Toast for a few minutes, stirring, until the spices are toasted and fragrant. Transfer to an electric grinder, add the bay leaf and ground into a powder. Mix in the nutmeg and the mace.

Based on this recipe at Archana’s Kitchen

Marga’s International Recipes

Gobble Meal Kit Review: Butter Chicken With Basmati Rice & Naan Bread

8/10

I absolutely love Indian food, but I’m cursed with not being able to successfully replicate my favorite dishes – of which butter chicken ranks at the top. I’ve tried making it, and while the results weren’t bad, they were not nearly as good as those of my local Indian restaurants. I’ve also tried a number of commercial sauces, none of which can compare to restaurant-make. That’s why I was particularly impressed that Gobbled managed a very good butter chicken sauce, that rivals that at any of our local restaurants.

The kit was fairly easy to make: you cooked the pre-cubed chicken for a few minutes, then added the prepared butter sauce and cooked it for a few more. Pre-made rice was heated in the microwave and a single naan bread was supposed to be baked in the oven. I hate preheating a whole oven just for that, so I put it in the air fryer for 4 minutes. It was a bit crispy, but very good.

Finally, the kit came with a cucumber & tomato salad with a pre-made salad dressing. I don’t like cucumber and my husband doesn’t like tomatoes, so we ate our vegetables separately. The dressing was OK, but didn’t really have much to do with the rest of the meal.

In all, another very good Gobble meal.

New Cuisines Up: Honduras, Hakka, Hyderabad & Hmong

As I make my way cooking and eating food from “H” cuisines, I’ve “finished” four more:

Hakka

I made two very tasty chicken dishes and a vegan noodle dish.

Hmong

I did great with the meat dishes – the vegan dishes weren’t as good.

Honduras

Not my most successful cuisine, but I made steak, chicken & rice and coconut buns.

Hyderabad

This incursion into a regional Indian cuisine had me cooking chicken curries, a biryani and a dal.

Vegan Options at Favorite Indian – Hayward

Eating out – or getting take out – with a vegan is no easy matter, at least here in San Leandro (L.A., though, is another matter altogether). So I’m starting to ask restaurants what vegan dishes they offer previous to taking my daughter to the restaurant.

These four dishes are always vegan at Favorite Indian, Hayward. I’m sure that’s true too at the other branches, but you may want to confirm.

Vegetable Pakora, veggies coated with seasoned chickpea flour and fried.

Dal Curry, a yellow lentil curry. I tried this at the buffet, and it was pretty good.

Aloo Gobi, potatoes and cauliflower cooked with spices.

Bhindi Masala, okra cooked with spices and onions.

Chana Masala, chick peas cooked with spices. Alas, my daughter is not too fond of this.

In addition, Favorite India can make the following dishes vegan. Simply ask them to make them with no cream when you order them:

Baingan Bharta

Eggplant roasted in tadoor and cooked in a cream and tomato sauce

Navratam Korma

Vegetables, nuts & cheese cooked in a mild sauce (asked them to hold both the cream and the cheese/paneer)

Mushroom Matar

Mushroom & green peas cooked with onion & tomatoes

Dal Makhani

Whole black lentil & red kidney beans cooked in a creamy sauce.

They may have other vegan dishes at their buffet, so it doesn’t help to ask. The restaurant manager/owner – the young woman who is often at the reception desk – is very knowledgeable as to the ingredients.

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