I think it’s obvious, but I love food. In the past year and half, that love has lead me to the cuisine of the sub continent of India. Ah, incredible India! Your palette is so diverse and delicious. Who it comes to Indian food it started and ended with Chicken Tikka Masala… that is until we discovered Garam Masala located in my old stomping ground of Ridgewood, Queens.
Garam Masala is new restaurant, having opened some six weeks ago. The owner Saiful, previously managed restaurants like Tandoori Masala in Bushwick, and Mahal Kita in Williamsburg. Garam Masala is an Indian term. Garam is the Indian word for “hot” and Masala is the term for “spice.” It is a blend of ground spices, but make not mistake NOT ALL INDIAN FOOD IS SPICY!! Most Indian food is flavorful, complex and deeply satisfying. Garam Masala is all of those.
Achari Tandoori Mushrooms
The LIB team (Kelly and Myself) met at 1819 Palmetto St in Ridgewood under the M train. We pulled a pair of chairs and started sharing a pair of appetizers. We started with Onion Bhujia- diced onion potatoes in fried chickpea batter, and Achari Tandoori Mushroom- mushrooms marinades in pickled spice cooked in a tandoor oven. The Onion Bhujia was really good. It looks like a potato latke, or from the Island of Puerto Rico, something called arañita. The sweetness of the onion paired with the smoothness of potato and the chickpea batter was deeply satisfying. The Achari Tandoori Muhrooms were phenomenal! Once these mushrooms were placed in front of us, my mouth was watering instantly! It was earthy with a sweet finish. The Onion Bhujia was a 8/10. The mushrooms were a 10/10!
Chef’s Special – Chicken cooked in old mustard seed, curry and a secret sauce
On to the entrees. Saiful prepped a house special. The special was chicken cooked in old mustard seed, curry leaves and chef secret sauce. The special had hints of coconut, a little nutty flavor and a smooth finish. We also shared Lamb Saagwala. Ay dios mio, this was amazing! Lamb Saagwala is lamb mixed with spinach. The lamb was cooked perfect. I never knew how much I enjoyed lamb until recently. Now I can’t get enough of it. I rate the chef special a 8.5/10 and the lamb saagwala a 10/10.
Lamb Saagwala- Lamb mixed with spinach
Garam Masala is amazing. In a world where new restaurants pop up almost daily, Garam Masala is a standout! It is BYOB. In my humble opinion, I believe Big Alice’s Lemongrass
Kölsch would pair beautifully with the chef’s special. The light crispy lemon and herbal notes on the Lemongrass Kölsch would be outstanding. A heavy stout would be perfect with the lamb saagwala. I think Guinness should do the trick.
Chef’s special served with Mango Lassi drink
Ridgewood is quaint working class community nestled on the Bushwick border. Ridgewood is forgotten at times. It’s a little off the beaten path. Trust me, Garam Masala will make you look at this little stretch of Queens different.