Dinner in New York City

Various loaded at Babrs 510New York City is invigorating, even on a cold rainy day in the end of October.  I am on the East Coast this week for a family wedding and all the other parties that go with that life affirming occasion.

After arriving at JFK, late Wednesday afternoon, we immediately headed for Manhattan’s Lower East Side near SoHo (South of Houston St) to check out the hip fashion scene and purchase vegan (non Leather) shoes for my nephew. At 5:30 we headed up to the famed Kalustyans, one of my all time favorite stores, to lay in a supply of rice, including, aromatic Egyptian, Pink Madagascar, Red Wehani and Turkish Baldo.  Kalustyans is an inspiration to me, its shelves chock full of rice, spice and everything nice since 1944.

After Kalustyans we went up to 79th and Amsterdam, dropped off a package at a friend’s co-op and then headed back down to 46th street between 5th and 6th to Le Marais,  a venerable (for those of you outside of New York, yes there is such a thing) kosher steak house.  Lucky for us there is a valet parking lot Continue reading

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More East Coast Holiday

200px-ChickentandooriShalom Bombay

On my recent trip to the East Coast, my goal was not only to visit my sister, but also to explore intriguing, ethnic, kosher, dining spots.  After a hard day of shopping, what better way to finish the day then a stop at an authentic, Indian food, hole in the wall in Teaneck, New Jersey?  We arrived late, hungry, and tired, but the delicious food soon had me re-energized for the long drive home.

papri-chaatWe started our meal with Papri Chat, crisp crackers served with chopped potatoes, onions, mint chutney, and tamarind sauce, delivered to our table by a cheerful Indian girl with long chocolate-colored hair and a pleasant manner.

As in our Turkish restaurant experience, our strategy was to order too much, taste everything and pack up the leftovers.  The waiter resisted our ordering tactic and thought we were a bit eccentric, however, the customer is always right and we prevailed.

Vegetable Samosas, burning hot, with a trio of sauces, including tamarind sauce, green mint chutney sauce, and minced red chili sauce, were crisp and spicy with a melt in your mouth-filling.   Tandoori Chicken , red glazed, tender, and infused with Goan spice and flavorful Lamb Vindaloo were were luscious eaten atop basmati rice.  The beef stewed in a Rogan Josh curry with vegetables was soft and gelatinous in its thickend red gold juice.

We ordered a unique, house speciality, naan bread stuffed with nuts and dried fruits along with Vegetable Biryani or rice that contained green chili, cauliflower and cashews.  How could anyone eat so much food?  I enjoyed the food so much one mouthful just followed another, although we did pack up a lot of leftovers.

As a point of interest, while researching the topic of Samosas, I discovered that they are an Indian version of a Boreka!!!sig

Bamya With Stuffed Kooba

BAMYA WITH BEEF STUFFED KOOBA

Okra Stew with Ground Meat Dumplings cookbook pics july3009 010

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My vivacious friend  Nina is an Israeli American whose family was originally from Romania.  Her husband is originally from Iraq.  As a result, Nina knows how to make all of the most amazing Israeli, Iraqi, Romanian, and Sephardic dishes.

Nina’s recipes are in her head, from a lifetime of cooking seven days a week.  I had this idea to get together, cook, and write down instructions in English along with measurements, so I could make her recipes accessible to the average home cook.  We set aside a day from 9 a.m. until 2p.m.

We made Green Bean and Tomato Stew with Beef, Beef Koubideh Kabob, savory Mushroom Borekas with puff pastry Continue reading