Lost Vegetarian Presents… Sindhi Curry At Kailash Parbat

Until I sat down with Gary Mulchandani, at Kailash Parbat NY, to discuss filming this episode of Lost Vegetarian Presents I had never heard of Sindhi culture or Sindhi cuisine. Over the past few years the regional specifics of Chinese cuisine have been becoming more popular around NYC, but Indian cuisine hasn’t had the same thing happen. I vaguely knew there was a difference between northern and southern Indian cuisine, but the truth is I couldn’t tell you exactly what that difference was. There are thousands of cultures in India, all with their own identities. So it was a pleasure to learn about one of them, the Sindhi culture.

And yet as I watched Gary cook (he’s not one of the cooks at the restaurant, but part of his training to manage Kailash Parbat in NYC involved him learning how to make everything) it was something simple and familiar that made me take notice. The Sindhi curry starts with a specific technique in which gram (chickpea) flour is smoked slowly in oil. It was a technique that would be recognizable to anyone who has ever made a French roux; though I’m guessing the Sindhi version pre-dates the roux by a few thousand years.

Obviously a couple of conversations doesn’t make me an expert, and everyone’s family has a different recipe for Sindhi curry. I feel privileged to have gotten a glimpse into a culture I didn’t know anything about, and to be the recipient of Gary’s generosity.

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Matt Yule (https://www.youtube.com/user/YuleBrothers)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Kailash Parbat NY — 99 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

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Come On A Vegetarian Food Tour Of Jackson Heights!

Hi vegetarian food fans! I’ve teamed up with with Queens-based food writer and culinary tour guide Joe DiStefano of Chopsticks and Marrow for a vegetarian food tour in Jackson Heights. On Saturday May 14th we’ll be hitting up a ton of places and sampling a wide variety of foods from South Asian to South American. Please join us!

Buy tickets here!

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Lumpia Shack Snackbar At Berg’n

When I was doing the research into the Lumpia Shack episode of Lost Vegetarian I stopped by their Snackbar Location at Berg’n. I’d already tasted their (excellent) lumpia at Smorgasburg, but I wanted to try something else. And although Filipino food isn’t known for being particularly vegetarian friendly, at Lumpia Shack they make a point of having vegetarian versions of even the most meat-centric Filipino dishes. Case in point: sisig. Sisig is a dish usually made with various parts of the pig, including the face and internal organs. At Lumpia Shack they also offer a vegetarian version (it’s vegan without the egg) made with multiple types of seitan from Monk’s Meats. It’s a great dish, showcasing the vibrancy of Filipino food — the balance of spicy, sour from the ubiquitous Filipino fruit calamansi), salty, and sweet, as well as the interplay of temperatures (cold lettuce with hot cooked seitan) and textures (crisp pickled veggies and either rice or noodles). Yes, the mushroom lumpia are amazing, but the vegetarian sisig is great too.

Lumpia Shack Snackbar at Berg’n — 899 Bergen St

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Lost Vegetarian Presents… Grains Of The Day At Nha Minh

When I asked for suggestions about restaurants that might be good to feature on Lost Vegetarian, James Boo was quick to recommend Nha Minh, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bushwick. Chef/owner Fred Hua constructs these amazing create-your-own rice bowls, which are huge and filling but somehow light and energizing. He uses the best ingredients he can find and cooks them simply, and then everything is combined with a medley of rice, grains, and pickled veggies. Then you can top the bowl with a wide variety of delicious freshly-made sauces, with options like coffee hoisin and fermented black bean with tahini. In this episode, Hua makes a vegan, gluten free bowl topped with Barry’s Tempeh. I’ve been to Nha Minh twice now, and both times everything was excellent. Enjoy!

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Nha Minh — 485 Morgan Av

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Lucky Vegetarian In Sunset Park

I knew I was going to have a good meal at Lucky Vegetarian before I even sat down. The restaurant is underneath a Buddhist temple in Sunset Park; it reminded me of similar arrangements I’ve seen at restaurants in Asia. You don’t see a lot of basement-level restaurants here in the US.

Everything on the menu is vegetarian, including mock meats and seafoods of every kind. I’ve eaten there a few times, and their combo platters offer the best value for money — complete with a tasty soup. Though I’m partial to the mock sesame chicken, but my favorite dish so far has been the cold noodles in Szechuan sauce. Thin chewy noodles in salty, spicy, vinegary sauce… what could be bad? The sauce has the lovely tongue-tingling sensation that comes with Szechuan peppercorns, and is one of my favorite aspects of Szechuan cooking. It’s a little out of the way for me, but I’m hoping to make myself a regular there.

Lucky Vegetarian — 5101 8th Ave

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Lost Vegetarian Presents… Mushroom Flatbread At Bar Bolinas

When Donny told me he was asking Chef Nate Smith to participate in the Lost Vegetarian project I was excited. I was familiar with his food from his first restaurant, Allswell, and was eager to try the California-inspired cuisine he is serving up at his second restaurant. Bar Bolinas has an interesting menu; in Smith’s words it’s meant to be casual, fun, street food-style. Smith is also one of the nicest chefs I’ve ever met, and his commitment to supporting local farms and using the best ingredients make his food something special. In this episode of Lost Vegetarian he makes his mushroom flatbread, a seemingly simple dish elevated by the top-end ingredients. From the house-made sourdough flatbread to the mushrooms roasted with house-dried oregano, the dish is definitely more than the sum of its parts. Enjoy!

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera/Sound – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

(Sorry this is a day late — I was in Wisconsin for my sister’s wedding.)

Bar Bolinas — 455 Myrtle Ave

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Brunch At Mimi’s Hummus

Continuing my exploration of the restaurants on Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park I finally ate at Mimi’s Hummus, arguably the most famous restaurant in the area. I stopped by for a weekend brunch, but wasn’t really feeling in the mood for hummus. Instead I got what they call the Iraqi Plate — eggplant, potato, and hard-boiled egg (all served cold) with tahini, olive oil, and a pickled mango condiment called amba. It was a refreshing meal, not heavy they way some brunch specialties can be. Now I have to go back for the actual hummus.

Mimi’s Hummus — 1209 Cortelyou Rd

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