By W. A. Muller
Acclaimed restaurateur Shiva Natarajan, who is behind many of New York’s most-coveted Indian restaurants, has opened Haldi, a brilliant restaurant in ‘Curry Hill’ offering a notable variety of fresh and flavorful Indian fare.
Natarajan transformed the city’s Indian fine dining landscape with his string of restaurants, including Chola in Mid-town; the Flatiron’s Dhaba and neighboring Kokum; Chote Nawab in Kips Bay; and Malai Marke in the East Village. He holds a similar vision with his new venture, Haldi, where he as applied his winning formula – a combination of excellent cuisine, inviting atmosphere and impeccable service.
The 60-seat restaurant has a décor that is playfully themed around the restaurant’s namesake – the Indian spice turmeric, or haldi – with mustard-yellow walls, a ceiling covered with copper tawas (Indian woks), and whimsical murals depicting old-world Calcutta.
Haldi offers authentic Indian cuisine, with a particular focus on showcasing Bengali specialties. The menu features unique entrees such as the dak bungalow chicken curry with boiled eggs; the memsaab lamb rizzala with yoghurt and onions; and nimbu dhania kukkad, a lime chicken preparation. The delicious seafood specialties, such as macher pathuri, mustard spiced fish steamed in plantain lead, and chingri shorsay narkol, shrimp cooked with coconut and mustard, are a testament to the full-bodied flavors on the menu.
The menu also showcases an interesting array of dishes from Calcutta’s Indian-Jewish community which are considered “must-tries” in many of Natarajan’s other restaurants. These include the bhuna kalegi, tandoor-roasted chicken livers; chicken makmura, chicken meatballs in an almond raisin gravy; and bamia khuta, lamb and okra in a sweet-and-sour sauce.
Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy a delectable culinary experience at Haldi, with dishes such as sukki bindi, okra with green mangoes; chor chori, mixed vegetables with five spices; and gughni, a yellow peas preparation.
For lunch at Haldi there is an in-house eating option or to-go, with several options for fast, inexpensive and freshly prepared meals with a choice of entrée, vegetable, daal (lentils in light sauce), rice and bread.
102 Lexington Ave,
New York, NY 10016