Thursday, December 4, 2008

Small Indian Lunchboxes

To all of my fellow readers, my apologies! I have been extremely lax in my goal of sharing tasty dishes and favorite spots, please do accept my humble apologies. Now let's get to the good stuff...

There has been so much to write about! My recent trip to Paris, more Chelsea dinner dates, a surprisingly delicious Malaysian dinner in a Chinatown alley way, the braised short ribs I cooked up with Gorgonzola potatoes ( will definitely re-visit that), but, before I delve into any of the aforementioned, I would like to shine a light on my newest favorite spot, Tiffin Wallah, a vegetarian Indian restaurant in M/Curray Hill.

Tiffin Wallah, which translates to "little lunchbox," is such a great find. The expansive menu is sectioned off in categories like "tiffin," "dosa," "gujarti curries," " punjabi curries," and so on. Clear, formal descriptions of each dish are listed, as well as a helpful glossary on the back page if further assistance is necessary.

I traversed to Tiffin Wallah with my roommates, and we decided to do what any sane person would do, ask the wait staff what they would recommend. We started with Samosa Chat; samosas with tamarind, onion, and cilantro and Pakora; mixed vegetable and chickpea flour fritters. Both were tasty and flavorful and enough to satisfy three ladies with hefty appetites as a starter.

For our entrée with ordered a dosa with curried potatoes. The dosa was the size of my kitchen table. A spiced thin pancake that delicately enfolded the creamy potato mixture that was perfect for dipping in mango chutney and sambar. Not only was the dish huge and tasty, but it was a fun process to pull apart bread, dip, make mini sandwiches, or any other thing you chose to do (no judgment).

We also ordered the Alu Baingan; potato, eggplant, tomato, and onion, which hands down, was one of the best eggplant dishes I have ever had. It was so good, that we had to introduce ourselves to the owner and praise his work. I may have gone over board, but he seemed to enjoy it and recommended a few more dishes for my next respite and also wanted us to spread the word about the $6 lunch buffet that they dish out every day!

All of the dishes arrived promptly and were piping hot. The service was so friendly and helpful and clearly, all waitstaff made great recommendations. The restaurant was also modern, but not overly trendy. More importantly, it was clean. Not only was Tiffin Wallah tasty, but the menu is so well priced. With two appetizers and two entrees that three diners could not finish, the bill came to $34.

My thoughts and appetite still crave for Tiffin Wallah so much, that I am tempted to go for more this evening and sample some of the other recommended fare.