Indian Cuisine in the United States: Naan-N-Masala in Milpitas, California

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RACHEL JIAN

Naan-N-Masala, an Indian restaurant located at 94 Dempsey Road in Milpitas, California, has survived two financial crises – one in 2008 and the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

The restaurant is located at the edge of a small square. Although the building is small, its colorful floors and welcoming staff create a comfortable atmosphere. The restaurant, open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., serves non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes.

Since the pandemic, Naan-N-Masala, like other restaurants, has followed health and safety guidelines to continue operating its food service.

The owner, who only goes under the TJ name, said he has yet to lay off any employees despite financial hardship caused by the pandemic. He thanked his loyal customers for that and said, “We survived, we will survive no matter what. ”

When asked how he chose the name, TJ replied, “Your restaurant name should tell you what it is.”

As the name might suggest, Naan-N-Masala focuses more on the flavor than the frills.

Focus on the food, ”TJ said. “I don’t care about the scenery. I don’t care about anything else… Just focus on the food.

For social distancing purposes, I didn’t eat at the restaurant but bought some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Here is my opinion on this takeaway:

1. Chicken Tikka Masala ($ 11.99)

Naan-N-Masala’s Chicken Tikka Masala. Photography: Rachel Jiang

Masala is essential in Naan-N-Masala. Its famous chicken tikka masala is made with a spicy cream sauce coated with cubes of boneless chicken. At first glance, the dish seems filled with ingredients of all sizes and has a delicious aroma. There is a layer of red oil on top, with pieces of chicken mixed in.

The chicken is slightly dry, but complements the rest of the dish well. The sauce is very creamy which is great for those who like it. Plus, notes of sweetness mixed with the salty parts make this dish refreshing to try.

The dish was wonderful in that the sauce was not too thick but not too runny. However, it was a bit too creamy for my liking and the chicken was a bit dry. Nonetheless, those who like cream with a bit of sweetness would definitely love it.

2. Chicken curry ($ 11.99)

Chicken Curry

The presentation of the curry chicken dish is satisfying, as a thin layer of oil covers the top, with pieces of tomato, spices and chicken evenly dispersed in the sauce.

This dish is a mixture of garlic, chicken, tomatoes, ginger, butter and other spices. Together, they create a creamy yet savory taste that pairs well with fresh rice or naan. The dish is ideal for lovers of spices – it starts immediately at the beginning. The chicken is soft and comes off easily, dipped in the sauce.

This chicken curry platter took me back to a year ago, when my neighbor frequently sent us homemade chicken curry. Eating the Naan N Masala dish reminded me of the bond my family and I had with our neighbors as we passed food around for others to try. The flavor of the curry gave me a lot of nostalgic feelings.

Globally

Naan N Masala was a delightful experience. Customer service was welcoming and the dishes generally matched my taste buds. Although I couldn’t try too many dishes, I want to try more of the menu in the future.


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