Mehek Punjab de (Fresno)
Very much enjoyed a take-out dinner from Mehek Punjab de (vegetarian Indian) the other night. I found only one other mention of this place on Chowhound:
Garlic naan. Made in the front area in (what I assume was) a tandoor oven; slathered with butter, garlic & herbs. It smelled so good we ate one of these in the car before we even got home.
Aloo Tikki: deep-fried mashed potato with spices. Really excellent: soft & moist interior with a nicely fried exterior; not too crunchy or overdone. Spices were delicious, too. Seemed a little greasy though we chalked that up to the fact that they sat in the car for 20 minutes before we got home. Served with two sauces: a dark, sweet sauce that we didn’t care for much & a light, creamy sauce with lots & lots of cilantro: really good with the aloo. Although I don’t recognize it on their menu, she told me (if I understood her correctly) that they also have a chickpea or chickpea & potato tikki available that we’d like to try.
Daal Makhni: curried lentils with butter. Also quite good: rich flavor; a comfort food texture. Perhaps a good entrée for someone who’s not excited about eating vegetarian; the richness almost has a kind of “meatiness” to it. Anxious to try other curried lentils.
Mushroom curry: yellow curry with sliced mushrooms. This was our least favorite: not bad but we both agreed that the texture was thin & I felt that the flavor was thin also.
We ordered our food (the daal & curry) spicy (our choices were mild, medium or spicy) & I have to say that they had quite a kick to them.
Also tried a piece of Khoya Barfi (also spelled Burfi) from the sweets counter: made with khoya (a dried milk similar to ricotta), spices & nuts. They have many different flavors made with different nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc.). The sweets are sold by the pound (about $4-$5/pound depending). It’s a texture that takes a little getting used to but after a few bites I found myself strangely attracted to the slight caramely flavor of this sweet.
Interior is a big, open space, hardwood floors & bulky wood, dark-stained tables. Smallest table was a four-top; I suspect they’re set up for families; couples may sit at long tables with other couples?
We’re very anxious to go back & try more. When we were there at 7:00 on a Friday evening, I was dismayed that the place was completely empty. Meanwhile, cars were parking outside & people were streaming to Plaza Ventana next door. I hope this Indian restaurant makes it a while; our first experience suggests it’s quite good & it deserves more customers.
Mehek Punjab de
3173 W. Shaw Ave.
(Time Square; half a block southwest of Shaw & Marks)
Mehek Punjab de
3173 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93711