TAMARIND – NYC
41-43 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010
Date dined: 4.20.12
Tamarind is well known as probably the best Indian in New York City. While I am sure that there are many traditional hidden gems scattered throughout the city, what Tamarind really does exceptionally well is make Indian more accessible to the layperson. Such bold flavors as cardamom, tumeric and curry can be difficult tastes to acquire. I believe that with their nuanced interpretations of traditional dishes, even the most curry-fearing neophyte would enjoy a meal at Tamarind.
I recently had a reunion dinner with a very close friend that I studied abroad with in London. During our time there we sampled many of the incredible Indian restaurants scattered throughout the city so I thought Tamarind would be just the place to catch up.
We started our meal with one of the Goan specialties which was a roasted shrimp dish with a red sauce. I am very picky about shrimp because they can so easily be overcooked and these were done very nicely- still tender and ever so slightly transluscent. The red sauce was tomato- based chili masala sauce and was packed with flavor- a bit tangy, a bit spicy and rich without being creamy.
We also started with a keema nan that was freshly made and filled with ground lamb. We chose a kheera raita to go with it which was grated cucumber and yogurt although the chili masal sauce also went perfectly.
As our main dish we opted for the traditional and ever-popular chicken tikka masala which is served in a tomato fenugreek sauce. After the outstanding chili sauce, this one shied a bit in comparison but was still excellent. The chicken was tender and juicy and there was plenty of sauce to cover the basmati rice.
On the side we had saag paneer which is a spinach dish with cubes of a mild cheese that is somwhat like a mozzarella.
Anyone who is already a fan of Indian food or would like to make an adventurous foray into the exotic cuisine should try Tamarind.