Set up by restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and Chef Chintan Pandya, the restaurant comes with the tagline ‘Unapologetic Indian’ and presents dishes from all corners of India in their authentic avatars.
A new Indian food restaurant in New York is creating waves in the desi cuisine world. Set up by restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and Chef Chintan Pandya, the team behind Rahi and Adda Indian Canteen, two other restaurants which served Indian cuisine, Dhamaka in New York’s Lower East Side looks to present Indian cuisine in an authentic format.
Although Chef Chintan Pandya, a Mumbaikar by birth, started his career with fine-dining restaurants. Over the years, especially once he paired up with Mazumdar at Rahi and Adda, his style has evolved. It’s quite evident in the menu at Dhamaka, for which, Pandya has used inspiration from all corners of the subcontinent.
While diners will see the influences of Mumbai in the Paplet Fry or Ragda Pattice, it’s not just the big, bustling cities that Pandya draws inspiration from but also from the kitchens across the country’s numerous rural communities and flavours that aren’t commonplace on global platforms. A Rajasthani Khargosh that requires diners to place orders a whole two days in advance is cooked in the same way it used to be back in the days of hunting parties. Bharela Marcha, a popular dish in Gujarat, is made in accordance to a recipe from the chef’s mother-in-law. The Macher Jhol and Beguni come from Bengal while Champaran Meat is a mutton dish from neighbouring Bihar. There’s also Doh Khleh from Meghalaya, remarkable cuisine that hadn’t yet found the mainstream limelight even in India. The only dessert available is Chenna Poda, an Odia delicacy.
The cocktail menu also comes with a bevy of Indian names and ingredients such as green chilli, betel leaf, ginger, rose water, coconut water, cumin and saffron, among others, paired with a variety of spirits.
The tagline ‘Unapologetic Indian’ is rather fitting for Dhamaka, given the absence of done-to-death usuals such as butter chicken on the menu and no compromises on the spice or flavour fronts to make it more appealing to an international audience. It’s Indian cuisine in an authentic avatar, one that sheds light on the real India and not just the popular hotspots.