Recently I have been expanding my food journey. Tabla is where I began. When it comes to American, Italian, Mexican and some Asian cuisines, I’m well versed. I have a knowledge and love for some other European cuisines as well. However, Indian cuisine has been on my list for a while now. About a month ago I made coconut curry chicken over rice with some homemade naan bread. Since then, I’ve been hooked. So, Tabla on Park Avenue was a fantastic experience for me. My favorite thing about Indian cuisine so far is its simplicity. Indian cuisine is straight forward and doesn’t apologize. In most cases you’re served rice, meat and curry or another type of sauce. It’s perfectly acceptable to eat with your hands in a lot of cases, using bread as a utensil.
Tabla Lived up to my Expectations
If you’ve never had Indian food or curry before, you’re really missing out on some awesome flavors and tasty dishes. There are plenty of other types of curry as well that are just as delicious. Examples of this can be found in a lot of Caribbean cuisines. Tabla hit all the flavor notes I remembered from the few times I’ve had Indian cuisine in the past and from my homemade curry chicken. Their traditional curry is so flavorful with just the right amount of heat. I literally ate it on its own with a spoon. I just couldn’t help myself. Their naan bread is fantastic, especially their garlic naan bread.
This opened me up to a new flavor combination. Returning home with an abundance of chicken curry, and out of garlic naan, I rummaged around in my refrigerator for a substitution. I quickly pulled out some garlic bread leftovers, from of our Italian dinner the night before. This rustic, artisan, Italian bread with butter, garlic, and parmesan opened my eyes. There is something awfully gratifying and enjoyable about this style of bread with the seasonings and flavor profile of traditional curry. It is a must try pairing for any foodie.
Tabla Inspired Naan Bread at Home
Here is a quick and delicious recipe for homemade naan bread; along with a few twists of my own as an option to include.
15 Minute Naan Bread Recipe
1 cup Flour, 1 ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp salt.
1. Mix flour, yogurt, baking powder, and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Knead, by hand, in the mixing bowl until a slightly stick dough ball forms.
2. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces.
3. Use a rolling pin, dusted with flour, to flatten the dough pieces into 6-inch circles on a flour dusted cutting board.
4. Heat up a frying pan, without oil, until hot.
5. Lay your dough circles onto the hot frying pan, without crowding the pan, and cook until bubbling and golden brown. Flip the naan and cook until you reach the same consistency on the opposite side.
6. Cool and serve with your favorite Indian food.
If you want to add a garlic or cheesy flair to your naan, you can also add minced garlic and grated parmesan cheese to taste. A Tbsp or two of each should suffice. I would recommend having traditional naan bread with your Indian food first and then upgrading to a cheesy, garlic, naan bread later so you can taste the flavor combination that I discussed earlier.
Tabla Uses a Traditional Tandoor
Have you ever heard of a tandoor? A tandoor is a traditional, clay, cooking oven used in a lot of traditional Indian dishes. Wow, the flavor you get from the tandoor cannot be beat. My two favorite things from the tandoor are naan bread and kebabs. At Tabla they have Paneer Tikka on their menu from the tandoor. I haven’t been able to try this yet but if you’re unaware, Paneer is a super flavorful Indian cheese. Paneer is a soft cheese that doesn’t melt but becomes crispy when it’s been marinated and put into the ridiculously hot tandoor. This was the first section of Tabla’s menu that really stood out to me. On my next visit to Tabla I will be ordering the Paneer Tikka immediately. Check out their menu here. Read my last review for Japan Express here. Check out Tabla’s website here.
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