There are some fantastic restaurants in Queens, particularly in Jackson Heights and Richmond Hill (where I grew up, holla holla!) In Manhattan, there is a stretch of Indian restaurants along 6th street between 1st and 2nd avenues called (a bit offensively) Curry Row. People like to joke that they all share one gigantic kitchen in the middle of the block (which also sounds offensive to me? Am I just being hyper-sensitive?). Either way, I DID pass Brick Lane Curry House, followed by Raj Mahal, followed by Taj, followed by Mitali East, which is across the street from Ghandi, cattycorner to Banjara... so. I would just go into the ones with the best decorations outside. Or try them all.
To get to the source, there are numerous Indian spice stores in the East Village stretching down near the Lower East Side. I've previously blogged about Kalustyan's, a spice emporium, if you can't find what you need in the smaller shops.
This is Dual, on 5th and 1st, one of the best stocked smaller spice shops.
Anyway, while I could have eaten at any number of Indian restaurants, I am often wary of ghee being used, or even if the food is vegan, I find a lot of Indian food to be a little too greasy for my tastes. So I turned to Isa, again, for her 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma from Appetite for Reduction.
While hers might not be the most authentic Indian food recipe, I feel like this is her New York Indian version. And, whatever. It is really flavorful. It includes zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, peas, veggie broth, light coconut milk, a ton of fun spices (I even added extra), cilantro, and some other stuff.
I served it once over mashed sweet potato, as Isa suggests - and once with steamed spinach stirred in.
To me, the dominant flavors seemed to be ginger and cumin. I could have gone for a bit more spice. This is perhaps due to the fact that my curry powder is way, way old. I may have to re-stock at an aforementioned Indian grocer. I treated this more as a soup than a stew but Google image search seems to show this as more of a thick topping over rice. Oh well. I definitely want to try making this again, if only to smell the garlic and ginger and onions cooking in coconut milk!
My favorite Indian restaurant memory is one of my friend's birthdays in a place on 6th street that had live musicians playing while we ate. So, cook up some korma and groove on while chopping:
What is yr favorite Indian dish? For people in New York (or who have visited), what is the best Indian restaurant you've been to?