By Ava Stryker-Robbins
Oftentimes I exit the 103rd Street subway station to a heavenly, spice-filled aroma emanating from Aangan’s door. I grew up going to this restaurant, and I have always smiled at even the sight of this awning with large silver letters spelling out its name. I have many joy-filled memories of sipping mango lassis and enjoying naan from the circular tables.
But last week for the first time, I tried their Tandoori Murgh, and it was phenomenal. Each bite of this tender, spiced, but not spicy, chicken was delicious. The lemon juice and garlic, gingery yogurt sauce on the side added another delicious flavor to the chicken. Aangan also serves Tandoori lamb chops, shrimp, salmon, lobster, and vegetables with cheese.
According to Aangan’s owner and manager Dipen Ji, they use a traditional Indian recipe where the chicken is marinated in ground cumin, lime, and ginger for 24 hours before it is cooked for 10-15 minutes in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven used for baking and cooking. Aangan’s chef is from New Delhi, and has created a menu with a wide variety of dishes, including many vegetarian options.
During a phone interview with West Side Rag, Ji stated that he had worked as a general manager of restaurants for many years, eventually fulfilling his dream of owning a place of his own. Aangan opened in 2001 and has been a neighborhood favorite since. “A lot of people come there and then like the food too much,” he stated, quizzically.
Aangan also has a variety of drink selections which Ji prides himself on. “I’m a very good bartender,” he says. “I know all the cocktails!”
Though Ji is the only one in his family to own a restaurant, his family sometimes come to the restaurant and enjoy it greatly, he says. “They’re very happy. They’re nice. They’re very happy.”
Aangan has an elegant ambience with both indoor and outdoor dining. Service is prompt, and staff are friendly. Ji shared that he and the rest of Aangan’s team hope to open other locations throughout the city.
“Come here and enjoy the food!” he concludes.
The Tandoori Murgh costs $17.95
The Dish: Tandoori Murgh
The Restaurant: Aangan (2701 Broadway at West 103rd Street)
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