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Meat the Vegetarian

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The winds were blowing and the rain was coming down, although it is August, a chill was in the air.  Max and I looked at one another, and we knew– there was no food that was going to taste quite as good for dinner as… INDIAN.

  

Contrary to widespread misconceptions, I would like to point out– INDIAN FOOD IS DELICIOUS.  I get grief from my brothers, my boss, and most other people.  Really, it is NOT ALL Curry and it doesn’t have to be so HOT sweat drips off your forehead (unless you want it to be… ::cough:: Max and Allie ::cough::).  The best part, for me, is ALL the choices.  They have vegetarian sections of the menu with things I have never tried before!!  After being veggie for so long, I feel like I have tried every type of vegetarian food. (I understand this is an exaggeration, but still– if I see another grilled-vegetables-as-my-dinner-while-everyone-else-eats-something-that-took-some-effort plate, I will vom all over the chef.)  Curry Hill is an awesome area for some low-key indian cuisine.  Luckily, it is a few short blocks from our apartment.  While I have been to several of the restaurants that line both sides of Lex in the upper 20’s, Dhaba happens to be one of my favorites. 

Location: Dhaba, Lexington and 28th, NYC 

Price:  Pretty Cheap, entres are $12-$17, but there is more than enough to take home and have for lunch the next day.  A pitcher of Coney Island or King Fisher is $10.  (10 bucks for a pitcher of beer in NYC– UNHEARD OF!!) 

Difficulty: Easiest.  They have a Vegetarian Section, a Paneer (cheese) Section, and a Vegan Section of their menu, making this an “everyone”-friendly restaurant. 

Meat-Eater:  I developed my love of Indian food thanks to Max.  His family really loves the cuisine, and I was very skeptical at first.  He can eat (and love) any thing off the menu.  Usually, Max chooses a chicken dish, but on this particular occasion, he went with the lamb with the chili pepper next to it on the menu, called “Bhuna Lamb Michwala”– spicy lamb, tomato sauce, green chillies, and like every other indian dish, 8 million other things too.   I think he ordered heavier because the weather stunk.  He liked his lamb very much.  I think he missed his chicken dishes though; Dhaba has a great chicken tikka masala (apparently).  Beware, though, if you order anything spicy at an indian restaurant– it is going to  be SPICY.  The little chili pepper next to the name of the dish on the menu, for most people who aren’t Max, means “STOP!!  Choose a different dish!” 

From the top down: Paneer, Lamb, Dal

Veggie:  I had a wonderful paneer dish, and my veggie friend, Allie, had  a very good Dal dish.  We all started off sharing Samosas (potatoes and vegetables fried in a giant crispy dumpling type thing)  and the Purani Delhi Ki Papri Chaat, basically a fancy name for chickpeas, crunchies, and yogurt.  I love chaat…. LOVE.  We were so hungry, we ate the samosas before a picture could happen; the chaat just made it, I almost didn’t get a picture of that either.  For the main course, I had Methi Mattar Malai, which is paneer in a tomato based sauce with fenugreek and peas.  Paneer is one of my favorite foods.  It tastes like a hybrid of cheese and tofu; it goes well with anything, but is especially yum-tastic with tomato based sauces.  Allie had a Dal.  I am pretty sure it was “Dal Makhni” (black lentils with onions and garlic).  While she told me it was delicious, she said she missed her fav, Saag Paneer (spinach and cheese).  I can’t tell you anything about the Dal, because it was WAY too spicy for me to think about tasting.  When it comes to spice, Allie is in the same nut-job league as Max.  It looked really good, and I like lentils, so if Allie hadn’t ordered “light-your-face-on-fire” hot, I am sure I would have liked it.  She and Max shared “Habernaro” Naan (that’s how they spell it on the menu….I know) and I got my own garlic naan, because let’s face it, I can’t take the heat.  (Naan is bread– it’s sort of like Super Pita that’s fluffy.) 

Chaat-- I had to slap some hands away to take this picture, and one of them was mine.

It was another awesome meal at Dhaba.  The three of us rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and down the street home with all of our left overs– in between rain drops, of course.  Yes, each of us had lunch the following day, and Yes, it was just as good.  Indian is good on any day, but there is nothing like indian on a rainy day.  

I wouldn’t leave you without the link….. http://www.dhabanyc.com/

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