Masala is a South Asian spice mixture that typically includes garlic, ginger, chilis, and onions. It is this flavor that adds punch and heat to the sandwiches at Masala Times, a small Bollywood-themed restaurant in the West Village. (In Bollywood speak, Masala refers to the crazy dance sequences, fight scenes, and general over-the-top nature of the films).
Here's something we hear often: "I like Indian food, but I don't eat it enough." If you're one of those people, and you're looking to beef up your Indian culinary knowledge, consider this your guide. We combed through the Serious Eats: New York archives to put together this glossary of Indian food in New York that we love, from street snacks to fine dining, and from downtown Manhattan to outer Queens.
Cream-laden sauces and muted spices are still the norm at many Indian restaurants in New York City. But now a few hip, yet modest, Greenwich Village restaurants are shaking things up—offering both homesick Desis and adventurous Americans some surprisingly authentic Mumbai street food, snacks, and home cooking.
South Asian food in New York City is finally moving beyond tikka masala territory, and this week-long series will help you make the most of these heady times. Not sure of the difference between dosa and roti or how to distinguish good chaat from the rest? We've got you covered. Up today: Maharashtra, Mumbai, and Gujarat on India's western coast.