Chicken Tikka Smokey
Jason Greenspan

Why Our Mouths Are Watering Over This Red Hot Indian Summer Menu

A seasonal menu at a high-end restaurant in Tribeca

Typically, most Indian restaurants in New York City have menus that stay the same year round.

Not this one: Benares TriBeCa is now offering a summer menu with dishes designed for the season’s heat.

Many of Benares’ offerings are still spicy, the new summer menu includes dishes such as Dahi Ke Kebab made with creamy, seasoned fried yogurt patties; Chicken Tikka Smokey with smoked curry yogurt, served with mint; and Galouti Kebab, lamb marinated with papaya and the chef’s special spices. New seafood dishes range from Tomato Fish with flaky, fork-tender basa in a zesty tomato sauce, to Cheema Thenga, plump jumbo prawns in coconut milk curry.

The menu is a medley of regional dishes with an emphasis on the restaurant’s namesake city of Benares, in northern India. Inspired by chef Qutab Singh Negi’s time growing up in the region, many of these new dishes are updated takes on food his family would often prepare at home, honoring local flavors and ingredients.

Dahi Ke Kebab

Jason Greenspan

Dahi Ke Kebab

The Tomato Fish, for example, was created after Negi noticed that most Indian restaurants use yogurt or cream bases for seafood dishes. He began to experiment with tomatoes and was able to create a sauce that complimented the fish.

The Chicken Tikka Smokey is another seasonal offering that can only be found at Benares as well. Typically, Indian restaurants tailor Chicken Tikka Masala to American tastes, so Negi decided to feature chicken made with smoked clove, a common spice in Northern Indian dishes, which he grew up eating.

And while the Dahi Ke Kebab is another popular dish in India, Negi mentioned that it is rare to find an Indian restaurant in the States that offers these hung-curd patties.

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