I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. April was a good month at Ajanta; we had to turn away many customers on weekends. Once again, to avoid disappointment, please call ahead and book a table, especially for dinners on Fridays and Saturdays.
Most of you are familiar with the Zagat restaurant guide. I personally find this guide very reliable for finding good restaurants in the entire Bay Area, much more so than other published reviews. The restaurant ratings, previously available only to paid subscribers, are now available for free to anyone who registers. I think this is a great thing to have happened. Once you register, you can find the best restaurants in any major city by visiting Zagat.com. Voting for the San Francisco Bay Area is now open and will close on May 6. A reward for voting before the deadline is a free copy of the Zagat guide. If you would like to vote for your favorite restaurants, here is the link: Zagat.com/vote. While you are at it, please remember to vote for Ajanta.
I have always maintained that our Chef's Tasting Menu is a very good value-priced meal that gives you a taste of the best dishes on our menu. Christina Mitchell of East Bay Dish validates this in her entry about this dinner in East Bay Dish's Frugal section. Emma Krasov, Arts and Entertainment Editor for a Russian-American weekly paper, also wrote about our Chef's Tasting Menu on her blog. If you have not yet tried out our Chef's Tasting Menu, I hope these write-ups persuade you to try it out on your next visit.
The new dishes introduced last month were very well received. Asparagus continues to sell very well, and since it is still available, we will leave it on the menu. Goat Masala was ordered quite a lot, but not enough to make it a part of the permanent menu. So, we will discontinue it this month. We will, however, bring it back periodically as we do with many of our dishes.
Following are the new dishes being introduced for the month of May 2013:
Tandoori Game Hen: This is the well-known classic tandoori chicken dish prepared with game hen instead of chicken. In my opinion, the stronger, gamey taste of game hen makes this dish better than tandoori chicken. The game hen is skinned, defatted, and then marinated in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and spices, including mustard powder, paprika, and garam masala (a mixture of toasted ground cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves). The marinade imparts the classic tandoori flavor to the game hen, while also making it very tender. The marinated game hens are roasted in a tandoor oven at a very high heat, resulting in moist and tender meat under a dry exterior.
Kozi Milagu Chettinad: This chicken dish from South India showcases peppercorn, which is grown in South India and exported all over the world. The word "milagu" is a Tamil word for peppercorn, a principle spice in this dish. "Kozi" is the Tamil word for chicken. This South Indian dish originates from the Chettinad community in Madras, known in India for their gourmet dishes. In this dish, boneless and skinless organic chicken pieces are simmered in a sauce made with onions, tomatoes, yogurt, and garlic. The sauce is spiced with whole dried red chilies, peppercorns, fennel powder, poppy seeds, cumin, cardamom, and cloves. This great dish is one of the reasons Chettinad chefs are well-known all over India.
Mixed Vegetable Kofta: We continue our tradition of having at least one kofta dish on our menu. Mixed Vegetable Kofta is my favorite kofta dish. Balls are made with grated organic vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, and peas), breadcrumbs, potatoes, and spices. They are flavored with chile flakes, dried pomegranate seeds, ajwain seeds, and cilantro. The kofta balls are fried and placed in a creamy curry sauce just before they are served, retaining their pleasantly crunchy exterior.
The following dishes will be discontinued to make room for the new dishes:
It is always a pleasure to see you at Ajanta.
Lachu Moorjani (chef/owner)
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