Back in June, before I moved upstate for the summer to run our Bed and Breakfast Catskill Maison, I dined at Chutney Masala Bistro in Irvington. I blogged about “Subtle Curry“, and how difficult it is to maintain a balanced flavor profile of curry and how Chutney Masala excelled, and I was impressed. Tonight I had Indian food at Chutney Masala again, and haven’t had Indian food since I’ve been back in the City and it didn’t disappoint. I dare to say that Chutney Masala Bistro has the best Indian food in Lower Westchester County (Rt 119 and below as I rarely dine above Rt 119 so I can’t comment on Indian restaurants north of Tarrytown).
I love Indian food, its spicy and flavorful and hot, and I love anything spicy…but often I find that Indian food isn’t that “fresh” and the vegetables tend to be over cooked and sometimes the curries are “over spiced”, meaning that the flavors are really one note with no depth at all…sometimes it’s so bad that all of the curries actually taste the same, (the ultimate disaster), which is why I don’t often eat Indian food in Westchester County. Chutney Masala is in a league of its own. First of all Chef/Owner Navjot Arora gets it…meaning that he understands that where you source your food makes all the difference in the world. I’ve blogged countless times about eating local, and seasonal and knowing your farmer. When possible Chef Arora sources locally, and he believes in pasture raised and grass fed meat. The produce is NEVER over cooked, this was very apparent in his treatment of okra in his bhindi masala, it was crisp and flavorful and not slimy at all! His Chili Chicken was an original play on Chinese chicken but with Indian Spices…Brilliant. The saag paneer was so creamy and flavorful, the curries (both the chicken tikka masala and the salli boti zardallo) were well balanced and had unique and distinct flavors…and the dal! We had both the makhani and the tadka and they were very different from each other but both extremely flavorful, the tadka having bolder flavors than the makhani and I’d recommend both.
Chef Arora and his team are doing something unique in this area…they are introducing the farm to table concept to ethnic food, which bucks the new trend in the Hudson Valley where you really only see the locavore concept in New American or French/Italian influenced food. All in all this dinner was a party in my mouth and I can’t wait to go back to sample more of what Chef Arora has to offer!