Lets Talk Curry Hill

Can also be called Katori Chaat, but the bowl / basket (katori / tokri) is more often wheat than shredded potato.

I don’t see it at Kailash Parbat (there’s a corn basket, which will have a different filling than the one you had) which was my most likely candidate.

However, the tokri / katori is just a presentation twist.

The same ingredients and flavors can be found much more easily in Papdi Chaat.

Dahi puri / Dahi batata puri (aka Doi Fuchka / Puchka at the JH Bangladeshi carts) is also similar, but again with slightly different presentation. (Papdi are slightly thicker wheat chips, the puris in these are very thin bowls that are filled with the rest of the ingredients.)

Any of those you can find at KP or plenty of other places (I just checked Om – they call it Chat Papri).

(NB: if you see KaCHori chaat, that is not the same as KaTori chaat – the former are fried balls stuffed with lentils or beans – like round samosas with different fillings.)

Over a span of about 25 years of eating there, I found the food more complex and assertive (not just in a hot spice way) for the first 10. I began to notice the “toning down” around 2010.

Thanks for this! Sometimes we stop at dimple or another oak tree road spot on the way back from fl, perhaps I’ll convince my better half we need to stop on our upcoming trip.

Vatan was one of the first, if not the first Indian meals I had in NYC roughly 25-30 years ago. Back in the day, post Vatan, I would judge them by their Chicken Tikka Masala. I moved up greatly since then, to Butter Chicken :wink:

To continue to beat the Vatan horse, you’ll get two thalis when you dine there, both unlimited, appetizer/snack and main. The appetizers are much better than the mains, in my opinion, and I’d recommend concentrating on those and getting refills of the ones you particularly fancy. (I seem to recall @Saregama saying so as well on some previous thread.) Also, ask if they have any off-thali specials (they don’t volunteer the information). If they have jowar bhakri (a peasant sorghum flatbread) get it, especially if you are part of a group and can share (if you’re alone it adds excessively to the already huge amount of food).

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Butter chicken is a yardstick I use too. That and tandoori chicken. Also just basic naan.

But we are very far regionally using either butter chicken or ctm in the same sentence as Vatan.

Maybe as far apart as using xlb to judge whether a place will have good dapanji :joy:.

Or Neapolitan pizza as a bar for Venetian food :flushed:.


I love jowar and similar breads but they are heavy…thanks for the tip

Yep. Hence my suggestion that you have people to share them with.

As a total aside, an outfit in the Boston area offers a variety of millet breads and other Maharashtrian/Bombay food – a close cousin to Vatan’s Gujerati. If you’re in that neck of the woods I recommend them highly. They’re an extraordinary operation, uncompromising in their devotion to a single cuisine, as is Vatan. Endeavors such as these need our full and enthusiastic support.

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I don’t know when you were last at Patel brothers or similar indian grocery store, but the range of frozen products has expanded significantly in the last 10 years, so Jowar and similar flatbreads are easily available these days. Also every imaginable stuffed Paratha. And Puranpoli.

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The place I miss the most is Sinha’s Foods of India, which was all vegetarian and had fantastic spices, lentils, and basmati rice that I believe they imported directly.

yes its a great thing ive seen them there., so many imported options in the freezer now, but I havent tried.
Is the quality good?

I’ll tell Mr Sinha, it will make him happy I’m sure. They were the pioneers — they did restaurant supply and then the retail store too, long before all the others.

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Yes, they’re good. For Gujarati stuff get a Gujarati brand (eg garvi gujarat or bhagirathi), for stuffed parathas a North Indian brand (eg haldirams)

I like Vatan and my wife and I have taken many groups there for meals and had a lovely time. While there is a set menu, we have had no issues asking for more of dishes we liked and less of ones we did not. It’s a good place for a group to nibble and chat and not take themselves too seriously.

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Excellent meal at Pippali last night. Superb, perfectly spiced Lucknowi Seekh Kabab. Fine Butter chicken, and an even better Ludhiana Curry. Complex, herby, very tender chicken. Chicken Biryani didnt disappoint, tho I should have prob tried the goat or lamb instead. I find them often too dry.
Really some of the best Indian food Ive had in a while.

The place was completely empty for much of the meal (7pm Sunday). A few occupied tables when we arrived, and a few more came when we were leaving. Full staff. My main issue was lack of light. Just felt it was too dark for that kind of room. Every time I got a glimpse of the kitchen I was jealous of the light there.


The kebab looks delicious!

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My last meal there included the seekh and the goat biryani. Good eats.

… and I took note of that. Thanks for the reccs

While most of Curry Hill, and this thread, is focused on Indian cuisine, I was at Taste from Everest on Tuesday evening.
We only tried 4 dishes (2 apps, 2 mains):
Duck chilly
Chicken momos, stir fried (deep fried and steamed available too)
Mustang curry
Nepali duck curry
We went with very low expectations and were very pleasantly surprised.
Chicken momos are often dry. These momos were perfect.
The duck chilly was just a little sweet but a little of the leftover dipping sauces from the momos corrected that. My friend thought the duck was boney. ducks have bones, no?
The Mustang Curry was similar to a Chettinad curry with boneless chicken. My favorite of the evening.
The duck curry was equally good with a deeper curry.
No photos. Sorry. I wasn’t expecting to post about it.


This is where Haldi was, right? Next to Bhatti?

As I recall, it used to share a kitchen with Bhatti (they were all Shiva Natarjan places at one time, I don’t know about now).

Thanks for the write-up. I usually just want thukpa and momo and Nepali and Tibetan places (the chilli chicken is too often the ketchup variety and not the soya chilli one :joy:) so it’s nice to read about other dishes that were good.

(Iirc someone had opened an “outpost” of JH’s mustang thakali kitchen on the next corner, then it turned out they had just copied the name and signage — kind of like “new” spicy village in Chinatown — but I guess it didn’t last.)