I don’t have Indian food very often. It’s just not too convenient to where I work in the city, nor to my abode in Jersey. So when I’m visiting my folks in Yonkers, and they want to order some take-out, I always request Indian.
We usually- switch it up between two places: Zafran Restaurant (off Central Avenue) and Bukhara Grill (near Cross County Mall). I think Bukhara has better traditional Indian, but Zafran is definitely more unique, with several “fusion” items on the menu. And it’s also closer to the ‘rents and therefore, a shorter ride to my stomach.
We’ve been to Zafran several times and it’s always empty. This makes dining there generally uncomfortable, kind of like when Jerry kept visiting Babu’s place on Seinfeld. The owners are overly cordial and will engage you in conversation, even when you’re eating. The most interesting thing I’ve learned from these little talks: Ron Howard likes to eat at Zafran. I know this because his name is dropped every time we walk in.
Now that we’ve established why take-out is the safer option, let’s talk about the food. This particular meal consisted of two dishes: Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Dum Biryani.
The chicken is basic but good. The take-out menu describes it as “marinated and cooked using a traditional Northern Indian recipe enriched with aromatic herbs and spices in a creamy gravy.” If anything, the sauce is slightly lighter than others I’ve had.
The lamb is also tasty and much lighter than you’d expect. It is described as “succulent lamb pieces, cooked in their own gravy, gently steamed with long grain basmati rice.” Unfortunately, there was severe shortage of meat in this one. Only about six pieces made it into the mostly rice-based dish.
While I wasn’t too impressed with this evening’s take-out, there was a saving grace: Mom’s apple pie for dessert.
It may have been a strange way to cap the Indian-flavored night, but I can’t complain. Fresh pie is one of life’s greatest pleasures.