Good taste: a love letter to Indian SF cuisine


Namaste! Welcome to Good Taste, your weekly guide to eating well in San Francisco. This week, we’re here to keep anti-racism on the menu.

Spicy Girl: Okay, have you heard of that Washington Post ‘comedian’ who tried to take all Indian food away under the guise of a humorous column? It pissed me off.

Gene Weingarten’s “You Can’t Make Me Eat These Foods” was revised following an international reaction to Weingarten’s derision of Indian food, which he reduced to “the world’s only madly based ethnic cuisine. on a spice “. Weingarten also deleted a tweet in which he referred to receiving the article, but essentially doubled down on his tropes by saying that he then went to the “best” Indian restaurant in Washington, which he did. had found it drowned in the “herbs and spices” which he “hated” (and previously mentioned in the singular) and declared that he was not taking anything back.

He tweeted weak apologies for his Monday column, which was brilliantly edited by Bay Area Chief Hetal Vasavada of Milk & Cardamom.

I passed the column on to Ranjan Dey, chef and owner of Restaurant New Delhi, an official San Francisco business that has been running for 33 years and my favorite Indian restaurant in town. Dey’s extensive menu, which features dishes from all over India that date back centuries, and the New World Spices collection, originally created for his wife on the basis of Indian royalty, are the epitome of romanticism.

Chef Ranjan Dey of New Delhi Restaurant and New World Spices

“India is the only ancient civilization that still exists,” Dey, who grew up in Kolkata, told me. “Indians have used spices for 5,000 years. Western cuisine uses spices with a unique profile, such as chicken with garlic. Indian cuisine uses blends of several spices to create a profile, it’s like an opera on your palate.

Preeti Mistry’s Spice Collection

Last year, I included Preeti Mistry’s cookbook and her Spicewalla branded spice collection in a holiday food gift guide, and I still recommend it in the summer! The set of three includes Smokey Black Cardamom, which I had fun including in sweet and savory ideas, as well as Fenugreek and Sambar Masala mustard, which I use as sharp flavor tools for fruit dishes. sea.

You’ll also find more than one Indian spice at the 12-year-old Jai Ho grocery store on Fillmore, which has recently offered door-to-door pickup and delivery services. This is a wonderful place to go if you want to do your own research to expand your cooking game.

Ritu Indian Soul Food Artichoke Pakora, Spice of America Samosa Sandwich, Udupi Palace Paper Dosa and Rooh’s Dessert Pancake

The WaPo “article” gave me an update on the richness of the Indian food scene that we have here. Besides New Delhi which is my Cheers, I would like to recommend some restaurants and bites that you can get this week that will get you going mmmm: Artichoke pakora at Ritu Indian Soul Food, samosa sandwich at Spice of America (which also has Himalayan dishes), buttermilk pancakes for dessert on the brunch menu at Rooh and the paper dosa at the southern vegetarian pillar of India’s Udupi Palace, which is 24 pure inches of big dose of energy. I am exceptionally happy that all of these restaurants are still open. I have had nothing but solid experiences from each and I hope you will consider supporting them all and discovering new favorites so they can continue to survive.

Swan song: I lost my appetite for Swan Oyster Depot after reading Tin Dinh’s Instagram feed about how he and his sister were the target of racist remarks from co-owner Jimmy Sancimino, who called them “dim sum” while they were trying to order food. , and how theirs was not an isolated experience. Sancimino later explained that dim sum was the term staff used when customers attempted to order from more than one person.

“Unfortunately, this man (and) this young woman took it badly. I’m so sorry about that,” Sancimino told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But they were obviously in a more rush and they wanted better service than I did. could provide. “

It’s pretty hard to swallow here. Dinh said he and his sister stood in line for an hour and a half before this happened, which wouldn’t indicate they were in a big rush.

If this makes you want to research other great seafood vendors, I’ll take this opportunity to highlight and recommend two local vendors to support who are adorable and easy to interact with level of service. Four Star Seafood has expanded to offer fresh, poultry, dairy and specialty products for home delivery as well as seafood from the Bay Area and beyond, including prepared seafood meal kits such as cioppino and sashimi. You can also add local niceties like a Zero Zero frozen pizza in the order and that’s a lot yes.

I have ordered sashimi grade fish and scallops several times from the Japanese Seafood Scholars at Truefish on Pier 45, formerly known as ABS Seafood. After decades of providing high quality sushi bars and restaurants, Truefish started offering delivery and pickup to consumers last year, and there is a wonderful selection of the Bay Area as well as seafood. imported from Japan, Hawaii and the Northwest. I’m melting just thinking about these scallops, which come from Hokkaido, Japan, and need nothing to elicit ecstasy. Their taste is always trustworthy.

Get Ranjan Dey’s recipe for his favorite California Indian inspired late night snack at California eat.


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