Samosa House, Fishkill NY
I saw an ad for this brand-new Indian take-out joint in today's Poughkeepsie Journal and decided to give it a try for lunch.
The chef/owner, Prakash Agarwal, describes his Samosa House as "Indian Vege Quick Serve Food." The 3-week old restaurant occupies an austere storefront in the CVS stripmall. Inside, the place resembles a catering operation, with a large open kitchen taking up most of the industrial-looking space. But don't be fooled by the lack of pretense.
I tried the $4.95 thali-style lunch special: two curries, basmati rice, whole wheat chapati bread, a pickle and a sweet. The curries of the day were a chhole (chick pea stew) and alu matar (potato and peas in a thick spicy tomato sauce). Both curries were superbly rendered -- greaseless and absolutely savory, pure Indian soul food. I would have liked to have been served a little more of the alu matar and a little less rice but that's a quibble for $4.95.
The pickle, a relish of garlic, cilantro and hot peppers (sum much greater than parts, sure I'm missing a few ingredients) was just as dazzling as the curries. Freshly prepared and original, a welcome departure from the same three condiments ubiquituous to so many Indian restaurants. Note: the pickle is served off to the side, on a table alongside the napkins and plastic utensils. Don't miss it.
The billowy chapati and workmanlike basmati abetted me in absorbing every drop of sauce on my plate, which I would have licked clean had I not been within eyeshot of a proper Indian couple lunching alongside me.
This is food of love, right down to the gulab jamun sweet, a featherlight fried pastryball served in a pool of warm honey and rosewater.