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Aug 17, 2010 01:51 PM

Hamro Aangan -- Indian/Nepalese [Albany]

I was glad to find a restaurant that served masala dosa in the neighborhood (besides Udupi Palace, which has little else my husband likes). We went for lunch today and the masala dosa was great. We also had lamb curry, spiced okra and a Nepalese chicken dish with tomatoes. The prices are low, in the $6 range and more modest in size than in some restaurants so you can order more dishes for more flavors. Very tasty.

Located in the ill-fated spot on San Pablo just off Solano in Albany--hopefully the Four Corners cafe will bring enough traffic to let these very nice people succeed at their venture. The husband worked at Vik's for 5 yrs, learning and saving to have his own place.

854 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

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  1. Other positive mentions that might have come up if the place link worked include pictures and high praise for the vegetable momos.
    854 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Huh. I searched for the place by its full name and nothing came up. Feel free to have my thread merged. I don't know how.

    2. With renewed discussion today of Aangen, I thought I’d revive this thread and link up some other reports.

      I had a chance to try Aangen in July 2012 with a couple friends including one pescatarian. This was my first time here. The owner waited on us and he was pushing various shrimp dishes. But I wanted to try the kashi ko masu (goat curry) and the sel roti. He seemed reluctant to let us order those dishes as first timers until I assured him that I had eaten in nearly every Nepalese restaurant in the Bay Area. Both of these turned out to be the best dishes we had that night.

      Sel roti has been described as a uniquely Nepalese dish served at festivals. I’ve not noticed it at other restaurants and was happy to try it here finally. It’s a mildly sweet doughnut ring made of deep-fried rice flour and milk batter. With a tender crisp crust and a chewy light interior, the sel roti was accompanied by aloo ko achar, a cold potato salad on steroids bathed in green herb chutney, mustard oil and other seasonings. The owner seemed relieved and absolutely beamed when we told him that we liked it. Maybe other customers do not.

      Kashi ko masu was wonderful with succulent morsels of sweet goat meat swimming in a full-bodied curry sauce thickened with well-cooked onions. Nice for mopping up with the enormous puffy naan.

      I also liked the fresh okra cooked with cubes of potato in masala spices.

      The momos were fine. We were able to split with half vegetarian and half chicken. But I generally prefer a lamb filling, which is not available here.

      Neither the fish pakora, , nor the vegetarian biryani, , left any memorable impression on me.

      When I asked the owner how he decided to offer South Indian dishes alongside his Nepali and Northern Indian cooking. He explained that he had noticed how popular South Indian food is and it was a way to expand the vegetarian options on the menu. He has a separate cook who makes the dosas.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Hmmm, I wonder if this is the same owner who used to run Chaat & Curries on San Pablo near University in Berkeley. They had above average chaat, particularly pani puri. The menu read as an odd mishmash to me, and they had momo, but they weren't as good as the chaat. I was introduced to it by a friend who's grandparents live in Bombay, and preferred it to Vik's. The mix of chaat and Nepali, plus okay chicken-only momo makes me think so. I wouldn't dismiss the chaat due to being from a non-native region--if Chaat & Curries was the previous incarnation they took great individual care to each order (though may have been from learned recipes from Vik's).

        1. re:

          This lists Pradeep Kumar as the owner of Chaat & Curries, but maybe there were earlier owners?

        2. re: Melanie Wong

          dosa + Nepali specialties brought us north to try Hamro Aangan. the owner has taken the sel roti off the menu, so that wasn't available, but fortunately the aloo ko achar was part of the chilled chicken appetizer (actually a full plate of food), chicken chwela. rounding out the dish was something else new to us, beaten rice -- small, flat, rice flakes resembling white tea leaves. lightly coated with oil and a crust of crushed dried red chilis, the chicken (on its own) could almost pass as a Sichuan dish.

          the kashi ko masu was meatier and heartier than most goat curries we've had in local Indian-Pakistani eateries, very good. their renditions of masala dosa and uttapam were also quite acceptable ; could have been cooked a touch crisper, but generous portions and good flavour. their style of rasam is not the sharp, somewhat thin, acidic stuff some places serve, but was generous with veg and had a medium bodied, smooth broth and mild tang. the second chutney to the usual coconut that came with both the dosa and uttapam along with rasam was a pleasant and piquant tea leaf pickle, earthy, reddish brown in color.

          service was excellent and the noise level quite comfortable, with music from the region at low volume in the background.

          1. re: moto

            Thanks for an up-to-the-minute report. Too bad about sel roti, as I've still not seen it anywhere else.

            Do you mean to describe chicken chwela as chilled or chili? Lamb chwela is one of my favorite Nepalese dishes, almost always order it when I spot it on a menu. And yes, it does show the Chinese-y side of Nepali cooking. I'm fascinated by your description of the tea leaf pickle, wonder if it accompanies any other dishes.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              the chicken chwela is on the appetizer part of the menu, it's served chilled along with the cold potato salad and room temp beaten rice. one expects two chutneys + rasam with dosa or uttapam, and the pickle (similar color to the frequently seen tamarind chutney) appeared where one often sees a cilantro or tamarind complement to a coconut one.

        3. Thanks for this update. Don't forget, Vik's has great dosas.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ltsering

            we've been to Vik's seven or eight times over the years in the different locations and stopped going -- the cooking is fine but the overall experience is lacking a certain leisure and enjoyment component for me. probably a symptom of getting old.

            1. re: moto

              The current East Bay Express has a review of Tashi Delek (El Cerrito) and then review summaries of Indian, Nepali, and Tibetan.