Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
I was recently invited at Garam Masala, an Indian restaurant located in Ridgewood, Queens. Its owner, Saiful Islam, who previously managed Tandoori Masala in Bushwick and Mahal Kita in Williamsburg wanted to open his own place, catering to a crowd hungry for Indian flavors, but as he says, flavorful does not mean spicy and he and his team ensures diners get the right level of heat.
“I am from a South Asian country called Bangladesh,” he says. “My culture embraces a richness of values, family life, and food. I have had experience in managing as well as engaging in a partnership in running a restaurant and my desire was to operate one of my very own. I am strongly motivated to serve others and I feel there is no better place for success than right here in NYC.”
The menu offers a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The must have vegetarian dishes are definitely the Manchurian cauliflower, an Indo-Chinese appetizer made of a crispy cauliflower smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce, or the samosa, these crispy turnover usually served with tamarind and mint sauce.
You can also opt for some vegetarian sides like the dal makhni if you like lentils or the chana masala, a dish made with chickpeas slow cooked in a sauce made of onion, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, chilies and ginger. Both dishes were not spicy at all and quite comforting, perfect with some of the plain or cheese naan we tried.
For non-vegetarian dishes, there is the classic Chicken Tikka Masala that has this incredible sauce that is so flavorful and creamy, perfect with naan. I also loved the barrah kebab that is lamb marinated in yogurt, tumeric, cumin and mustard seeds. That marinade was so good, I loved it and they surely know how to cook the lamb that was not dry.
For dessert, we tried classics: gulab jamun that is my favorite as well as rasmalai, made with cottage cheese, sitting in a delicious almond and milk sauce.
Of course, I must mention the beverages that go from sweet or mango lassi as well as Chai, served either hot or cold.
Garam Masala is delicious and we had so many wonderful dishes. This is the kind of place I would want in my neighborhood. Know that the portions you see in the photos are for tasting as we had quite a feast there. Your turn!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Garam Masala - 1819 Palmetto St, Ridgewood, NY 11385