By Tes Silverman
Farzana Sohail has committed herself to providing diners of Masalah Grill in Huntington Station authentic Indian cuisine. The owner of the New York Avenue Pakistani/Indian restaurant that sits across from the Walt Whitman Shops, said she uses “the freshest ingredients, spices imported from India directly and original recipes passed down from generation to generation.”
The end goal, she added, is to make diners feel at home.
“I want our diners to experience that every dish they eat is homemade, and that we have done everything to make them feel at home,” she said.
Masalah Grill opened in March 2015, originally serving as a takeout restaurant. Since then, however, Sohail has transitioned to accommodate dine-in customers due to popularity.
Walk in and diners are greeted with colors of red and earth tones that provide a relaxed setting. Prominently placed is a take-out counter up front, serving steady streams of customers, but not interfering a dine-in area built to accommodate up to 18 diners.
To begin a journey packed with flavor, choices include Chicken Tikka Seekh ($9), Veggie Samosa ($2/each) and Chicken Samosa ($2.50/each).
The Chicken Tikka Seekh are tandoor-marinated chicken thighs that are tender enough to cut with a fork. Dip the chicken pieces in the mayonnaise and cream dip, and it cuts down the spicy kick, as well as highlighting the marinade.
The veggie and chicken samosas are fried turnovers that are flaky and delicate at the same time. The potato and pea veggie samosa, as well as the chicken samosa melt in your mouth along with the crust. In addition, homemade dips like tamarind and cilantro and mint enhances the flavor of the samosas.
As for entrees, some of the standouts include the Chicken Tikka Masala (butter chicken-$14), Baingan Ka Bharta (eggplant-$12) and Goat Biryani ($15/serves 2).
The chicken tikka masala is so tender that diners will not want to miss eating every last bite. The sauce is creamy but not heavy, perfect for sopping with a piece of Naan.
The Baingan Ka Bharta is roasted and mashed eggplant that is cooked with various spices, making it a complex flavored dish.
Finally, the goat biryani is a perfectly cooked rice dish that will make any rice lover happy. It’s also filled with generous portions of meat like chicken, beef, or goat, for those inclined to be adventurous, making it a very filling dish.
Vegetarians are also accommodated with selections like the Vegetarian Platter (onions, tomato, capsicum, and potatoes seasoned with spices over basmati rice), Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese), Gobi Aloo (cauliflower and potatoes) and Dal Saag (yellow lentil and spinach).
Of course, no Indian meal is complete without bread, and Masalah Grill’s offerings include the Garlic Naan ($3.99), which is served hot, so it’s perfectly flaky and big enough to share.
For a refreshment to go along with this sumptuous meal, diners can try the Mango Lassi ($5.99), a yogurt and mango shake that is delicious and refreshing.
For those with room for dessert, why not try the Ras Malai (soft, cheese balls soaked in sweetened milk, pistachios and cardamom-$6), and enjoy its distinctive texture and flavors.
195 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station
Hours: Monday - Closed; Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 12-9:30 p.m.