Quick Indian food guide

A quick guide to the Indian and Sri Lankan eateries of Sandringham Shubh (520-524 Sandringham Road) For readymade dal and snacks to takeaway or eat in Mumbai Chaat (1 Kitchener St, opposite Lord Kitchener pub) For chaat (snacks)/streetfood from India’s capital Mumbai Saatveek (570 Sandringham Rd – the blue-painted eatery on corner with Calgary St) For chaat (snacks)…

Curry in Sandringham

So this is the big one right? ‘Going for a curry’ sometimes means going out for Indian food in general – but as this guide is about breaking down what’s on offer, here we’re just talking about curry as in the stew of meat, fish, vegetables or maybe paneer cheese in a spicy sauce or gravy. Dal, tandoori, biryani…

Indian-Chinese

Many of the local Indian restaurants have Chinese-influenced dishes on their menus – like Hakka noodles, Szechuan masala or chicken Manchurian. This is because Chinese food is actually really popular in India. Chinese immigrants introduced it as street food more than 100 years ago. It’s been adapted to Indian tastes with Indian flavours over the years, and the winning dishes form a mini-cuisine of…

Tandoori

These are the dishes cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven that roasts at high temperatures and provides the charcoal flavour. Along with kebabs, these are dry dishes, i.e. without a sauce or gravy like curries. Tandoori chicken (or meats or paneer cheese) are marinated in a mix of yogurt and spices. Tandoori chicken was invented by a Punjabi Hindu called Kundan Lal…

Dosa

Dosa is a thin, crisp pancake made from a batter of rice flour and lentil flour, usually served rolled like a tube. It is a staple of south India where it is served for breakfast and throughout the day in homes, street stalls and restaurants. Meanwhile, a hopper is a similar Sri Lankan dish. It’s made with rice and…

Biryani

Biryani is a premium rice dish cooked with spiced meats, vegetables, yogurt and sometimes nuts or boiled eggs. Biryani is a classic of Mughlai cuisine, which developed when royal Persian cooks travelled south and incorporated Indian spices into their dishes more than 500 years ago. Other foods like korma and naan bread come from this tradition. More background on biryani from foodster. What to…

Dal

Dal has been called India’s national dish because it’s found everywhere. It’s a stew of lentils (or dried peas or beans); and it’s also the word for the dried, split form of these pulses (lentils/peas/beans). A small serving may be served as part of a meal, or it can form the substance of a meal as a thick…

Chaat (street food)

If you do one thing in Sandringham this year, go out for chaat. Going for chaat is like going for coffee or a beer with someone, i.e. more informal than a proper dinner. Chaat is often street food in India; they are snacks/dishes with a range of textures and flavours: tangy, spicy, sour, savoury and crunchy. There are hundreds of different ones…

Bhel puri (Indian snacks)

The first time I tried bhel puri was at the end of a long shift at an Asian trade fair in London. A colleague bought us plastic bowls of the puffed rice snack from an onsite caravan. It had been a weary day and – possibly expecting a curry – I was a bit underwhelmed by a dish whose…

Samosa chaat (Indian snacks)

Who walks into an Indian food store and doesn’t come out with a samosa? These golden packages at the counter promise to bring to life all those exotic raw spices lining the shelves behind you. An instant masala burst for a dollar or two. Samosa has been in India a long time. It is based…

Vada pav (Indian snacks)

As we delve into the amazing range of chaat (Indian snacks), vada pav is another white bread-based favourite – popular in Mumbai, across India and where Indian populations have settled, like Auckland’s Sandringham. The invention of the double-carb hit of yeasty bread (the ‘pav’ and a spicy potato patty dipped in gram flour for crispiness) is attributed to Ashok…

Pav bhaji

Chalking up five years in Auckland’s Sandringham I should probably be more fluent in Indian eatery menus. There are 15 or so South Asian outlets within the main village shops, with an ongoing dance of new arrivals and extensions. Shoppers from all over the city come for bulk cooking supplies or specialist ingredients or prepared…