Sunday turned into a bit of a curry fest for Chris P. and I, as we went pretty much the whole late afternoon and evening with curry-fuelled grins on our faces. First, we headed over to a Jingumae for an event set up as part of the Farmer’s Market called Curry and Beer Festival, where they were serving up a decent selection of curries and beers in the premises of the United Nations University. We didn’t quite make it in time for a full-on feast, with many of the stalls displaying “sold out” signs not long after we’d arrived. We did manage to grab a Chana Masala and samosa at Spice Magic Calcutta’s stall, however, and that went down well with several craft beers. After the emergence of events like this and Love India, adding to the more well-established events like Namaste India and Diwali in Yokohama, it’s good to see this kind of thing happening more and more in Tokyo. Hopefully the recent upsurge in interest in Indian food in Japan will see more events like this becoming popular.
With our appetites far from satisfied, we decided to head over to Minami Aoyama with a few friends to sample the delights of another fantastic branch of the Mumbai group and a shop that specializes in southern Indian cuisine: Pondichery. As we were in a group, we went to town a bit when ordering: We went for Black Pepper Chicken (a Mumbai staple) and Saag Paneer for the first round of curries, and mixed vegetable biryani, masala dosa, roti, paratha, Tomato Uttappam and some papad and beer to accompany.
The curries, as expected, were cooked to perfection and the winning combination with the roti and paratha had everyone singing the meal’s praises. The masala dosa (which came with a portion of sambar and creamy coconut-based sauce) was a real stand out, and the combination with the curry and biryani was just immense, and we found ourselves battling over the last remaining scrapes of each dish. Chris noticed that there was some of the perfectly oily paratha remaining, so up went his hand and he ordered some Dal Tadka to round us off. It was slightly optimistic as we were all stuffed by this stage, but we love a challenge. The dish arrived: the slightly roasted lentils matched perfectly within the refined sauce and this was mixed with a couple of remaining spoonfuls of biryani, its mild citrus mingling with roasty and ginger infused mix, providing a overall warming flavour.
We couldn’t quite get over the line with it all, so we took the rest out in a doggie bag, and it was just left to Chris P. and I to haggle over who was taking it home. Chris must have seen a hint of desperation in my eyes. The leftovers made a great lunch for me the next day.