Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baba & Chaat

I've "discovered" two new lovely treats. I put the word discovered in quotes because apparently I was just really slow in learning about these delish delights.

I'd been too blinded by my admiration for hummus to ever notice it's cousin Mr. Baba. Gloriously smokey and smooth this dish is so creamy and yummy. The best version I've had(although, truth be told it's also the only version I've had) is at Akdeniz, a Turkish restaurant that Kitchenette and I have been to twice. Nicely warmed and pooled into a large bowl/dish it's topped with a tomato-based stew of either chicken or beef. To me though, the stew is merely a distraction. It's Mr. Baba I come to see. But he's an expensive date. For that gustatory pleasure, it's about $15-16 dollars. So does anyone know of any good baba ganoushes I can purchase at the grocery store? And is it traditional that they serve it warm? Because I have to tell you, I don't know if I would like Mr. Baba nearly as much if he were chilled.

Being cheap and adverse to risk, I usually order from a limited selection of my favorites whenever I'm at an Indian restaurant (chicken tikka masala, chicken vindaloo, saag paneer, vegetable korma, etc). But BUFFETS are a whole different story. They rock! This one restaurant near my apartment has an amazing weekend brunch spread. Luis and I go to this brunch at least once a month. Each time, I've noticed this appetizer of crunchy potato chip look-a-likes that get doused with yogurt sauce, chick peas and potatoes and a green sauce. It was never really compelling enough for me to try until one day when after my third plate of chicken vindaloo I decided to branch out. This stuff is TERRIFIC!!! It's crazily crunchy, both sweet and sour, and just this huge party of flavors. It's bold, brash and unique. Apparently there are also a wide variety of chaats in existence with restaurants putting their own spins on the dish?

Anyway, if you haven't ever tried either of these. I highly recommend them. Although I really do think the baba ganoush must be better warm rather than cold.

(photo from


  1. Did you try punjabi dhaba in inman sq? it is fabulous!!

  2. It's tough to find good baba ganoush in the Boston area. I used to like it at Sepal in Watertown, but they are closed now. Any other places around the area that have good baba ganoush?