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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Terrific Takeout: Tamarind Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Peachy Deegan and Avtar Walia, Founder and Owner of Tamarind
The superlative Lobster Masala of Tamarind

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If you think Indian food isn't for you, clearly you haven't been to Tamarind.
There was a time when Peachy Deegan was just not that into Indian food at all, however, the problem was she had tried the wrong Indian food, and was ignorant of it.  Peachy is about as Indian as anyone gets from Connecticut-which is an Indian name.  Of course, different Indian.
We first featured Tamarind in Tribeca in 2012 briefly:
Tamarind earned a full-fledged formal review in Peachy's Picks in 2012:
And it took us far too long to return.  We were most impressed on our recent visit!!!
Sometimes we find a place to be just as good or not as good as we remembered, but Tamarind was even better than we remembered.  Peachy cannot wait to go back and laments the passing of the Lobster Masala in her stomach.
VERY IMPORTANT: Note that Tamarind's only location now is in Tribeca at 99 Hudson Street.  It is one of the most spacious restaurants in Manhattan and seats 200.  Tamarind was in its old Flatiron location from 2001-2013 and the Tribeca location-now the one and only- opened in 2010.  
Avtar Walia hails from Punjab in Northern India, and came to New York in 1977.  He first created Dawat on 58th street in 1986, and later Tamarind in 2001.  It's your good fortune he chose the restaurant business!  He came to America as a college graduate and liked the social environment of a restaurant and also the idea of being able to eat there and not having to cook, so he began in this industry.
Tamarind must be reading because they presented the Mozzarella-Monster-in-Chief with a light amuse-bouche: puff pastry with mozzarella, green peas, tomatoes and onion.  It ignited our appetite!
The appetizer we chose was the Murgh Malova, above.  Chicken marinated in an apple cider vinegar, ground pepper, curry leaves in a fiery red chili paste boasted extraordinary flavor turning this chicken out in culinary haute-couture.  Its recipe is derived from South India, which makes it even spicer than the North.  
Avtar suggested Peachy try two other appetizers as well.  We liked what we picked but we liked his suggestions even better.  This does not happen that often!  We usually pick best for ourselves...
You want to try the Lasuni Gobi.  No idea what that is either?  It's chunks of succulent cauliflower battered and deep fried, then sauteed in tomato garlic sauce.  It's delicious.  We can't think of what you would compare it to but aren't we supposed to be eating more vegetables?  It tastes just as terrific as it looks.
Our FAVORITE appetizer was without a doubt the Shrimp Baghara, which is one of the most phenomenal appetizers we've eaten at all this spring.  These two appetizers Avtar suggested you will not find on the regular menu but they are often specials.  The shrimp is sauteed in fresh curry leaves, mustard seed, and curry oil in a creamy tomato sauce for a knockout flavor.  Also, these second two appetizers are often ordered via takeout by Jimmy Fallon.  Jimmy you can be on our dining panel any time; clearly you've got great taste.
For our green salad, we chose the Jalpari.  Basil shrimp, bean and radish sprouts, pea shoots, micro greens and honey and ginger dressing team up for a most inventive salad!  And, of course Tamarind put the dressing on the side per our request from the picky person here.
Everything was super fresh and this salad was a lot of fun to eat with its diverse ingredients!
If you like Chicken Tikka Masala, you will LOVE Lobster Masala.  Jimmy Fallon, if you feed Hashtag this we bet he'd dance like never before! (Hashtag is Jimmy's dancing panda whom we would love to meet.)  The thick, rich masala sauce perfectly envelops this magnificent crustacean.  Presented beautifully, the Lobster Masala is triumphant in its flavor and a total delicacy; lobster is joined by shiitake mushrooms, chopped onions, garlic and white wine.  Asparagus comes to the party for color and nutrition.
Not to be outdone, the smashing standard of Chicken Tikka Masala is the best at Tamarind among Manhattan Indian restaurants.  Tandoori boneless chicken in a tomato and fenugreek sauce arrives in style in silver.  You will be sure to get every drop with your tantalizing garlic naan and leave a clean plate behind, it is that good.
Avtar tells us Mike Tyson is a big fan of his Chicken Tikka Masala.  We checked and Avtar still has his ears...and the hospitality at Tamarind is tops.  They have a 95% returning clientele rate Avtar tells us and Dev, the manager:
was fabulously friendly the minute we walked in the door.  We almost thought he was going to say "Welcome to the Exotic Marigold Tamarind Restaurant!" (We are only kidding, and we are kidding about the ears too.  Bring your sense of humor to reading our reviews.)  Dev is holding Poori: Whole Wheat, deep fried puffed bread, which is just spectacular:
Lemon rice, fragrant and enjoyable, goes with everything we believe:
Finally, we drank a Mango Lassi, which is like the dog but better.  There's no alcohol in it but is filled with spices that aid in digestion, and it calms down any fiery sensations that you experience from spicy food.  

Tamarind is Terrific Takeout!
Right Jimmy!?!?

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