Jacob Goldberg is trying something new at Mediterranean restaurant Yalla in Teaneck—Indian cooking joins the menu on Monday nights. Chef Sangeeta, who has been making and selling kosher Indian food in Passaic, began cooking at Yalla on December 20. The first night was sold out with pre-orders shortly after Goldberg announced it on social media and in emails.
Goldberg said he was looking for something new to add, and his wife suggested Indian cuisine. He discovered Sangeeta on social media, where she posted about her traditional Indian fare, adapted for kosher consumers. She is making one dish at Yalla to start—Butter (-less) Chicken. She uses her own hand-crafted blend of Indian kosher spices to marinate the chicken and cooks it in a cashew-based aromatic sauce, using coconut cream as a dairy substitute, so it is as smooth as butter.
Sangeeta hails from Delhi and learned to cook from her mother and grandmother. She moved to London with her husband and began a catering business, specializing in small batches of traditional Indian dishes using only local and fresh ingredients. She relocated to the U.S. this year and started over, sharing her love of Indian food and her talent for making it. After getting a request from a kosher family in Passaic to cook in their home, she learned how to use kosher substitutes to create similar flavors, and began selling to other families.
Goldberg said the beauty of adding Indian selections, as opposed to having a stand-alone Indian restaurant, is that families can get a variety of dishes to suit all tastes. Mom and dad can enjoy Butter Chicken on Monday, schwarma on other days and chicken nuggets or hot dogs for the kids any day. Goldberg said he is limiting quantities to about 50 orders, and once the total is reached, he has to stop. Depending on the response, he may add more dishes and more days.
Pre-order Indian specialty Butter Chicken at https://tinyurl.com/2p86hftf. Request delivery, or pickup at Yalla, 206 W Englewood Ave, Teaneck.
By Bracha Schwartz