February 1, 2017
We hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Ajanta was quite busy during the month of January, a momentum carried over from the holidays.
We would appreciate your help with a couple of polls that are open for voting. Voting has started for Oakland Magazine ‘Best of Oakland & the East Bay 2017’ survey and will end on February 28. Please vote for Ajanta in the category “Best Indian/Pakistani restaurant”. By the way, you need to vote in at least 10 categories for your vote to count. If you are interested in participating, here is the link:
Voting for the 2017 Bay Area A-list has also started. Here is the link
You have to be registered in order to vote. We aspire to be the best Indian restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. To that end, any feedback from you will get serious consideration.
Valentine’s Day is approaching and we have started getting reservations for the 14th of February. As you know, we always get completely booked for the day and this year we are expecting the same. If you are planning to visit us on this date, please call us ASAP. We plan to serve a fixed price menu, with optional wine accompaniment. The regular Ala Carte menu will also be available. We will stay open until 9:30 on this day.
Featured dishes from last month were well received. Mangalore Chicken Curry and Daal Kabila did exceptionally well with our customers. As usual, we will leave these dishes on the menu for another month if you are interested in trying them.
Following are the new dishes being introduced for the month of February, 2017
Curried Scallop Cakes: Diced fresh dayboat scallops are mixed with boiled mashed red potatoes, fresh breadcrumbs, chopped dill, ginger, and spices. To this mixture, we add some spices: cumin, turmeric, chile flakes, and dried, powdered pomegranate seeds. The mixture is formed into cakes, pan-fried, and served with a yogurt-mint-cilantro sauce.
Badami Murgi: This chicken dish gets its name from one of the principle ingredients in its sauce, almonds, called ‘badam’ in Hindi. In addition to ground almonds, the sauce also includes onions, garlic, coconut milk, and spices, including black pepper powder, coriander, cardamom, cloves, and cumin. Boneless organic chicken pieces are sautéed and then cooked in this sauce until tender. This is a Parsee dish from Mumbai. Usually eaten mild, this dish lives up to the tradition of rich and sophisticated cooking in the Parsee community.
Gosht Khada Masala: This lamb dish from north India is popular among those who like flavors of “exploding" spices, literally and figuratively. The word "khada masala" refers to spices that are coarsely ground or left whole in the sauce. While eating the dish, these spices are crushed by your teeth, thereby exploding with flavors. The sensation is more powerful than eating the same spices powdered and cooked in the sauce. For this dish, boneless leg of lamb is braised in a sauce made with onions, ginger, dried red chiles, tomatoes, yogurt and coarsely crushed or whole spices including coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns. A great dish with flavors that linger on your palate long after the meal is finished.
Mixed Vegetable Saagu: This vegan dish from Mysore has been popular every time it has been featured. We like it for its assertive, smoky spice flavors. Organic mixed vegetables (carrots, green peas, green beans and cauliflower) are cooked in a sauce made with onions, garlic, green chiles, urid beans, mustard seeds, asafetida, coconut milk, lemon juice, and spices. The spices include coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, poppy seeds, and coconut flakes. The spices are toasted and then ground up before being added to the sauce. The dish is served garnished with sautéed cashew pieces and cilantro.
The following dishes will be discontinued to make room for the new dishes:
- Crab Croquettes
- Murg Mumtaz Mahal
- Nilgiri Gosht Korma
- Lobhia Aur Khumbi
It is always a pleasure to see you at Ajanta.