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Indian Take-out in Murray/"Curry" Hill

There are probably six or eight Indian restaurants in the East 20s and 30s . What is the best one for take-out?

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  1. Roomali
    Saravanaas (vegetarian-only)
    Pongal (vegetarian-only)
    Copper Chimney

    Not necessarily in that order.

    Though I know you are looking for one place, its hard to say, as I want different things at different times.

    The Roomalis at its namesake place are terrific for quick bites. The dosas at both Saravanaas and Pongal are, in my opinion, equally good with a slight edge to Saravanaas. Copper Chimney has solid dishes. Oh, and don't discount Curry Leaf, which can be hit or miss but usually has good chicken makhani, masala and others...

    The best samosas are, oddly enough, from Curry in a Hurry...but I avoid just about everything else from there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dkstar1

      Strongly agree re Saravanaas and Roomai. The latter, in particular, is still going strong. I used to be a fan of Curry in a Hurry, but it was merely OK when I hit it recently. The food wasn't terrible, but it was very greasy and I could taste little spice besides salt.

      I like the samosas they serve upstairs at Kalyustans even better than Curry in a Hurry. They're supposedly the same as the ones they serve at Curry Leaf down the block, but the store version is always fresher.

      I actually preferred the food generally at Curry Leaf to Pongal and Copper Chimney, but it's been a while since I hit any of those establishments.

      1. re: dkstar1

        I tried Copper Chimney during their buffer and found the food so rubbery I didn't bother going back for a second round. I wonder if it's better for dinner, or we just had very different experiences?

        Roomali can be great, but don't you always feel like the rolls need a condiment of some sort? I always take it home and add a chutney, or even apricot jelly if I'm desperate, just to cut the spice.

        Curry in a Hurry on the other hand stopped spicing their food about 10 years ago. I still eat there more then the others but I stick to the Chicken Tikka, and Spinach. The samosa dough is great...the filling is eh. I've also liked the samosa from the scary take out hole in the wall across the street which has surprisingly good food.

        I wouldn't imagine Saravanaas travels well.

      2. Roomali has fantastic chicken bihyari and chicken tikka wraps. With a little of the extra cilantro / green hot sauce-- no need for anything else. 2 Rolls for about $8 is a fantastic deal. (I can usually eat only about 1.5)

        Kalyustan's upstairs is fantastic-- if you go for the lunch platter you get 3 items which can include falafels, samosa's or some of their great vegetables.

        Make sure you ask for hot sauce, and be ready to take a nap after. For less than $10, you're done eating for the day!

        1. Well we wound up ordering take out from Curry Leaf and it was excellent! I particularly recommend the Chicken Tikka and Papadams. The Dal was also good.

          1. Famous Curry and Kebab is quite good for takeout; I wrote about it here:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/48848...

            it is a very no-frills place (hence, perfect for takeout) and the food is very satisfying, with more of a kick than the typical.

            some of the dosa stuff available at saravanaas might not be good for takeout, but maybe their thalis are.

            5 Replies
            1. re: bigjeff

              just want to give additional props to this place as I tuck into my takeout right now. so delicious: for $6, a heaping pile of seasoned yellow rice, studded with fried onions, fresh herbs, onion and other veg, topped with my choice of 3 vegetables (a dollar more for 2 veg + 1 meat). the okra is perfectly cooked, soft yet still holding body and shape; the dal is perfect, creamy yet still chunky, nice flavor and spice, and the channa (roasted or dried chick peas?) is also excellent. fresh herbs throughout, excellent portions, decent heat, but I'm also popping little chili peppers into my mouth occasionally. go earlier so the selection is better, and I've yet to figure out their schedule of offerings from day to day, but this place is great. check it out for excellent takeout. (East 31st street on the north side, just east of 5th avenue and just past Todai).

              1. re: bigjeff

                You turned me on to this place, bigjeff, and I want to give you props again. It is my 'rainy day' place (my office is across the street and a walk to Curry Hill is sometimes out of reach), so I've had just about everything they offer at lunchtime. I have come to really appreciateg the things that you have listed most of all (okra, dal, channa- the great thing is that they're cooked 'just enough', not overly mushy) but also wanted to suggest the kebabs. They are precooked and reheated, sad but true, but still juicy and flavorful with a decent spicy kick. Man, I'd love to have one fresh off of the grill. Still it is a much better option than the meat curries, which leave me cold- they tend to be too dry, and the meats are not incorporated into the sauce very well at all. Go veggie platter or kebab platter and you'll definitely get some good value.

                1. re: TongoRad

                  This place sounds promising! Is there seating or is it strictly takeout?

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    there is seating, but its strictly taxi-driver style; the restaurant is quite roomy in the back and there is usually some indian TV on; if you eat-in during lunch, they do have a "salad bar" but its mostly the very plain salad with some sauces.

                    1. re: bigjeff

                      Tried Famous Curry last night and quite liked it. As others have noted, the veggie dishes are the real stars. Daal was creamy without being mushy. And the other dish -- shredded carrots with some mystery veggie I thought was cabbage but turned out to be something else -- had a nice spicy kick. The only downers were the chicken tikka masala, which was a bit dry, and the place itself, which was an oven on such a hot night (no air conditioning). This is not destination dining by any stretch but a great choice if you're in the area and want a quick, cheap bite. Thanks for the rec!

            2. dkstar is also very smart and you got some good recs there.

              That said, Curry and Curry is, in my mind, the best Indian takeout in that nabe, over on 33rd. Cheap and yummy. Lines at lunch. Roomali is good if you're in the mood for a non-traditional Indian burrito fix.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Nick F.

                Curry and Curry is excellent, and really cheap. Typically take out from there will last me two meals. The rice is fantastic as well, some of the best I've ever had, the dishes are just spot-on Indian food, executed well.

                I need to do more exploring around Curry Hill before I can declare Curry and Curry champ though.

                1. re: heWho

                  After extensively exploring the area, I can say unequivocally that Curry and Curry is my favorite Indian restaurant in the area for takeout. The curries are bold, flavorful, authentic. They don't dumb anything down, it's in your face Indian food.

                  That atmosphere inside isn't exactly fine dining, but it's good for lunch, especially given the lunch specials. Standout dishes (excuse the spelling) are the Malai Kofta, the very spicy Vindaloo, the Chicken Tikka Chili Masala (NOT the same as the Chicken Tikka Masala which is just alright), Goat Curry, and the Biryani.