Tarun and I discovered an Indian restaurant near us. It is called "Choolaah Indian BBQ". Choolah is a clay stove common in many homes in India. When I was growing up, some of dishes were made in the courtyard on a choolah. Tarun's mom had one in their home too. The name brought back childhood memories for both of us. So, we worked up an appetite expecting a caloric onslaught to accompany the deliciousness.
Choolaah serves Indian street food in a fast-food setting. The menu includes Indian bbq wraps and Chipotle-style bowls with traditional sides. Yum!
Three huge, orange tandoors - clay ovens - were clearly visible from the dining area. It was fascinating to watch the naan chef's choreographed steps to grab dough from a machine, wrap it on a pillow with wood inside, slap it on the inside wall of the tandoor, and a few minutes later, pull out the fully baked naan with hooks. I couldn't take my eyes off and the smell of freshly baked naan made me want to jump over the counter to help him.
Here's the kicker - the tandoors have names! Tom, Dick, and Harry!!!
Absolutely not Indian, but perfect! The crowd in the restaurant was cosmopolitan so the ovens definitely cater to everyone.
On the wall was a sign for a 5 lb coriander seed, an exaggeration given that an average seed is 3-5mm in length. The outsize dimension was a representation of coriander's reach. It's an eastern herb brought to Britain by the Romans and has a presence across the globe. The Peruvians are just as fond of it as the Indians. The Chinese say it confers immortality, which would make it a genetic wonder, indeed.
Harry was on duty the day we visited and served up chicken-naan rolls for us to devour in silence and with respect. We will be back very soon for an introduction to Tom and Dick.