Thursday, January 14, 2010
"Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding" and Tandoor
The dishes are creamy; you have your masalas and
palaks. The food appears as a formless mush of forrest colors on the plate after scooping it out. Like speed dating we gobbled as much as we could in the short span of time alotted to us. The Tandoor chicken reminds Mendez of Jamaican jerk. The appearance could not be more different, but the delicate smokey taste is identical. Both the kidney bean palak and a vegetable roll were excellent. Other colorful mush contained cheese cubes, lamb, and chicken.
The problem with Tandoor's buffet is the food feels interchangable. Similiar colors, consistencies, and in some cases, even taste would confuse the most gifted buffet Sahib in identifying specific dishes. To confuse the diner further the item tags in front of the individual hot plates were out of order. Not that names matter to those unfamiliar with the food or language.
One cannot begin to describe, identify, define, or imagine the great sub-continent of India on these simple cyber pages. Centuries of conquerors and influence melded with cultural borrowings and mashing have rendered India a delightful chutney.
On the other hand, the buffet in its simplicity can be fully imagined. What is a buffet other than sinful gluttony? A conquest of pleasure regardless to consequence of waistline or airborne illness? A race to either the emergency room or fiery torment? Nay. Rethink your progression of thought, nibbler: The buffet is the most ordained of eating styles. Japanese styled barefooted floor seating ignores both hard working carpenter and cobbler, unfairly favoring the broom weaver. Family style smörgåsbords, with their passing of dishes with dripping sauces and unguided spoons have made victims of Oxfords and table cloths alike. Where alternate eating styles are waste: the buffet is thrift. In the dominant Asian buffets of New Haven, the all-you-can-eat option is less expensive than the finite single plate. If cleanliness is Godliness, then to scrape and clean one plate is not enough. Cleanliness must be extended to several plates, courses, and even warm metal serving vessels.
Most importantly, one must eat for the Indians who cannot. Eat and taste using our common English tongue, Sahib, the buffet is to live.
The Clay Oven
1226 Chapel Street