If you are in any way familiar with me and my family, you’d know that there’s no way there’d only be three or four dishes ordered for the table. Even when we’re eating solo. As my grandfather used to say, with an amused but slightly disapproving shake of his head, “you know, hunger isn’t the only thing that kills people.”
He was too much of a gentleman to bandy about the word “gluttony.” I loved him to pieces.
So, where were we? Ah yes, New Bombay specials. In addition to the garlic naan, samosas, chicken makhanwala and palak paneer, we had some mutton rogan josh. Now, I’m no big fan of mutton. I can totally relate to Jerry in that Seinfeld episode with the mutton and Grandma Memma’s napkins.
“I had dogs chasing me for that mutton. I was almost mauled because of that mutton.”
“What exactly is mutton?”
I’m no fan of lamb or goat, either. Except when my husband, his brother, or his aunt is cooking. Then it tastes like beef, without the gamey flavor, and my tongue can relax and stop being so scared of it.
This dish, I actually enjoyed. The cardamom, cinnamon, and chili powder really sang, and there was none of the gamey taste to it. I still wasn’t sold on the texture of the mutton, but I was in the minority here. Everybody else ate it up. It was especially good with this plate of saffron rice.
All I’ll say about this is that you absolutely must try it. The subtle nuttiness of the dish really complements the flavors of the entrees we ordered.
On the side, we had multiple orders of papadum. The papadum was a stack of thin wafers (think anorexic tortilla) roasted over an open flame, with chopped onions and tomatoes and cumin powder as toppings. It’s best eaten still warm and crispy, when it practically melts in your mouth. This is why we had multiple orders of it, so that each stack came straight from the flame. (Yeah. That’s why we had multiple orders.)
We had this with a side order of raita.
There are many different types of raita, and I think we ordered the plain one. I’m not sure because I didn’t really taste it, and I’ll tell you why. About half an hour before this, I had no less than three sweet lassi drinks at my aunt’s house while waiting for my cousins to pick me up for lunch. Her lassi is unbelievable, consisting of homemade yogurt, some water, and pandan-infused simple syrup. I’ve been dreaming of it every single day since first tasting it, and it’s pretty much ruined all other lassis for me. It’s also the reason I’m searching high and low for a way to grow my own pandan here at home. Because I could seriously just live on that lassi.
And that is why, by the time we reached the restaurant, I was pretty much way over my daily quota of yogurt. Sorry about that, raita. You looked pretty, though.
I have a few more dishes to show you, but I’ll do that in a final New Bombay post so as not to overwhelm you. What, you thought we were done with the food? No, sirree. Never mind that our party consisted of three women and two men, and one of the women who shall remain nameless gorged herself on her aunt’s lassis and a breakfast sandwich right before lunch and could barely eat more than a bite of every dish.
To tell you the truth, I don’t even know why I hang out with such a loser.