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Some Riches @ Ghareeb Nawaz [pics]

Some Riches @ Ghareeb Nawaz [pics]
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  • Some Riches @ Ghareeb Nawaz [pics]

    Post #1 - October 17th, 2005, 10:47 am
    Post #1 - October 17th, 2005, 10:47 am Post #1 - October 17th, 2005, 10:47 am
    Ghareeb Nawaz

    There have been a few mentions of Ghareeb Nawaz, interspersed in various threads, but I thought it deserved a post/thread to itself. Ghareeb Nawaz (GN) is much further East than most other Indian and Pakistani restaurants on Devon, and over the past few years I have driven past GN many many times, always wondering about it.
    Image
    Having tried HH earlier this Summer, I thought I'd try GN. What a pleasant surprise it was! I've been back a few times (which is more than I can say about many other Indian restaurants - though I'll admit I don't eat Indian food out very often and haven't sampled the bewildering plethora of eateries on and around Devon).

    It was the mention of GN in the HH thread that prompted our first visit - mainly for comparison, as GN too seemed to offer Hyderabad style Muslim food. While we enjoyed a couple of dinners at HH, what struck us the first time at GN was the more expansive menu. It seemed also less of a 'cabbie joint', though it isn't a fancy place either. It claims to be 'homestyle' and that is more or less a good descriptor. Ghareeb Nawaz or "Benefactor of the Poor" is from the title of a saint (mentioned here by c8w), and certainly this place is kind on the wallet. The consistency and quality of the food however is for me the main draw.


    Upon entering, one queues in front of the counter where the order is placed.
    Image Image
    The menu is posted in multiple places on laminated sheets, either in blue or red. I realized the last time I was there that for deciding on dishes the red menu sheets are more convenient as each sheet lists either chicken, meat or 'veggy' dishes. (This realization dawned :idea: when I saw the words, "Chicken dishes," "Meat dishes" and "Veggy dishes" typed atop respective sheets). In addition, there are pictures of some of the dishes behind the counter.

    The parathas and rotis/chapatis which are large flat unleavened handmade 'breads' are wonderfully satisfying. The parathas are similar to the rotis except that the parathas are lightly fried, whereas the rotis (or chapatis) are toasted on the griddle. They do have naan which has looked good but I've never ordered, preferring to go with two parathas. A couple of parathas each with a couple of dishes split between two people is a good start.

    A2fay and I really enjoyed the palak chicken which is chicken cooked with spinach, as well as the mirch ka salan. The Hyderabadi specialty mirch ka salan is a 'curry' with chili pepper - in this case they use banana or cubanelle peppers. The slight tang of the yogurt based gravy with a hint of peanut matches great with the sweetish flesh of the cooked pepper. Before I ordered I thought it might have jalapeños, but this version was wonderful. On a previous occasion, we had the baghare baingan, which has the tiny indian eggplants (baingan) in the same gravy base. We found the eggplants to be a little too deepfried and robbed of their flavor. The mirch ka salan was much better.
    Mirch ka salan (foreground)
    Image

    I will mention here that some of the gravy dishes have an unnecessary amount of oil in them; unnecessary for service, that is. In some Indian/Pakistani cooking, particularly Muslim and Punjabi dishes (note that the 'Punjab' region straddles the Indo-Pak border) - a fair amount of oil is used. Typically this fat is required to fry the spices and gravy base (masala), and separates once the masala is cooked, after which it can be drained so that the dish itself is not full of fat. I usually just spoon off the excess oil. I'll also add that what I liked about the dishes at GN, compared to similar dishes at some other places, is that they weren't too rich or overspiced and that the spices seemed cooked through so that I didn't feel uneasy or unsettled afterwards.

    Another great dish was the dal gosht** - lamb cooked with yellow lentils. The lamb was tender and the dal had absorbed the flavor from the lamb and spices. With torn off pieces of paratha (don't be shy to use your fingers) to soak up the dal, this was an invigorating repast.
    dal gosht, palak chicken and parathas
    Image

    We've also really enjoyed the Lamb Biriyani. This is a simple satisfying meal in itself.
    Image

    The first time we were there, I noticed GN offered three karela (bitter gourd; see below) dishes. I was quite intrigued, as this is a bitter vegetable that I haven't seen on many menus. We do occasionally make it at home, in some dishes - although many people (my age) I know can't stand it. ("old people's food?":wink:). We tried the karela masala. It was, actually, quite good in a homely way. The karela was sliced and well prepared so that there was an edge of characteristic bitterness without it being overpowering. However one order was a bit too much for the two of us; split three or four ways it would be a good side. That particular dinner we also had rotis and the achari gosht, probably why the whole meal had a homely feel to it. Achari gosht translates to 'pickle' meat, and the dish usually has the flavor profile of spiced Indian 'pickle'. I say "usually," because that night what we got was a very mild lamb curry, without the particular sourness of achar. I had initially asked for the lamb khorma, but was told that it was not available - the achari gosht was suggested instead as a curry or gravy dish. The achari gosht wasn't spectacular, but simple and satisfying.
    karela masala and achar gosht
    Image

    Sweets or desserts at GN are possibly outsourced. They are stacked in small plastic containers on the counter. These are not particularly good. I tried the dabal ka meetha* which I didn't care for too much - the version at HH was much better. Their kheer (a sweet thickened milk reduction with semolina in it) wasn't too good either. The payesh or sevian (a sweetened milk with vermicelli) which we got (gratis?) once when we ordered biriyani was however very good. I'm not sure if that was something just given that day. or if it accompanies the 'biriyani plate' (though we got more bowls of sevian than the number of biriyani plates we ordered).
    sevian (pictured with mirch ka salan, palak chicken and dal gosht)
    Image

    Ghareeb Nawaz is open fairly early compared to other places on Devon. Ideal for breakfast before grocery shopping (never good on an empty stomach). On the drive to Devon thinking about the egg paratha, my mind was filled with thoughts of a paratha where the egg is fried on and with the paratha, a moghlai paratha. What I got when I ordered the egg paratha was a plate with one paratha, indian style omlette** with a piece of mango pickle. Not quite what I had in mind, but nevertheless it was good and filing. The halwa puri had three scrumptious, if a little greasy, puris - a flaky crisp fried wheat 'bread', some chana along with a mild and lightly spiced 'curry' with potatoes and daikon that was very good, and also sweet sooji (semolina; cream of wheat) halwa that was excellent. The halwa by itself was rather sweet (fine by me), but together with the (savory) flaky puri totally satisfied A2fays craving for something pastryish that morning. A hearty breakfast that carried us through that morning and under five bucks total!
    Egg paratha & Halwa puri
    Image Image

    Ghareeb Nawaz has become an inexpensive, quick and consistently good Indian fix for me. They do a brisk takeout business, and if we lived closer we'd probably outsource more 'homestyle' food too.

    Ghareeb Nawaz
    2032 W. Devon Avenue,
    Chicago, IL
    773-761-5300

    Menu
    Image Image

    «««««»»»»»»
    Glossary & Notes:
    • achar = pickle
    • aloo = potato
    • baigan, baingan = eggplant
    • bhendi = okra
    • chana = garbanzo, chick peas
    • dahi (ki kadi) = (curry of) yogurt. There are various versions of depending on region. Typically 'kadi' is more N. Indian in style contains seasoned 'dumplings' (pakoras) of besan (chickpea flour) soaking in a mildly spiced and turmeric yellow yogurt gravy. see pic of HH version (but may also be besan dumplings, not "wheat gluten" ?)
    • gosht = meat (lamb)***
    • karela = bitter gourd (pictured here*) which is different from the bitter melon (pictured here) used in chinese cooking. Both taste bitter.
    • kheema = minced (i.e., ground) meat
    • khorma, korma, kurma = curry usually (but not necessarily) containing coconut. S. Indian kurmas will have coconut - either coconut milk or more often (fried) grated/paste coconut.
    • mirch = chili (pepper)
    • palak = spinach


      *dabal ka meetha = sweet of dabal, dabel or double. White bread fried and soaked in a thickened sweet milk syrup. The name dabal or double (both pronounced like the latter) refers to the bread which is called (in Hyderabad at least) "Double roti" or "Double ka roti." Roti is the unleavened, handmade griddle cooked 'bread' (like the Mexican tortilla), double ka roti is the 'Western' white loaf bread. The name may have origins in the leavening process (from two risings?), a friend and I surmised More on dkm in the HH thread

      **Indian style omlette, (similar to the Thai style omlette) is simply a lightly beaten well fried egg, not the soft fluffy just cooked French type. I tend to refer to the Indian style omlette, as in most Indian vernaculars, as a "Mamlette" (pronounced MAAM (to rhyme with farm) + let; alternately: 'momlette') :)

      ***Generally gosht (i.e. meat) in India would be goat (usually incorrectly referred to as "mutton" in India) discussed here. Kid is rare, lamb would be more prevalent in Kasmir. I think the availability of lamb here may be greater than that of goat, and given the greater tenderness, lamb is typically used in a greater proportion of restaurants (here).

      kabab, sheek, shammi, chapli: 'Sheek' is the skewer, so this is kabab that is skewered and grilled. It is usually spiced ground meat formed into a kabab or sausage around a skewer. Shammi kabab is typically ground meat mixed with some ground dals and spices and fried as a patty. Chapli (adjectival form of chappal = slipper) kabab is so called from its elongated form that resembles a slipper. This too is a spiced ground meat fried patty of a kabab.
  • Post #2 - October 17th, 2005, 11:15 am
    Post #2 - October 17th, 2005, 11:15 am Post #2 - October 17th, 2005, 11:15 am
    Sazerac, thanks.

    GN is my single favorite place on Devon, though my understanding of the cuisine is limited. Some reasons: easy parking, including in the service station lot next door; the chili chicken boti paratha is my favorite sandwich on devon and it costs like two bucks; GN is open very late; very nice staff; and the sweet pan vendor is a genius.
  • Post #3 - October 17th, 2005, 2:04 pm
    Post #3 - October 17th, 2005, 2:04 pm Post #3 - October 17th, 2005, 2:04 pm
    I just went to Ghareeb Nawaz for the first time last Wednesday on my way home from class. For nearly three hours I'm listening to the class lecture on the shifting from capitalism to consumerism, and all I could think about was consuming something delicious and preferably from the subcontinent.

    I had a craving, there was a parking spot, I went in. I had the chicken palak, 3 pieces of naan, and three vegetable samosas, which came to $5.99. After I accidentally ate all three samosas, there wasn't much room for the chicken and naan, but I had a little taste and saved the rest for lunch the next day. I thought it was all excellent, but did notice that there was a bit too much oil for my taste. Also, while I appreciate the generous spices, I bit into a completely full cardamom pod, which was a little unpleasant and unexpected.

    In any case, I'm looking forward to returning and plan to do so often.
  • Post #4 - October 17th, 2005, 6:23 pm
    Post #4 - October 17th, 2005, 6:23 pm Post #4 - October 17th, 2005, 6:23 pm
    HI,

    I was at Ghareeb Nawaz last April at the recommendation of Collen Sen*, who wrote the book Food Culture in India. This is her favored place to eat on Devon Avenue.

    I arrived around 10:30 PM feeling tired, not realizing I was coming down with bronchitis, and hungry. I ask for recommendations and followed their direction not really sure where to begin.

    While I was waiting for my food, I strolled around the place where I found a calendar with a bit more information than usual. It had the timings for planning daily prayers:

    Image

    Just around the corner was a room fitted with oriental rugs pointing toward Mecca:

    Image

    My meal was substantial with most of going home for lunch the next day. I not only had Lamb Biryani as Sazerac pictured above, I also had Naan with a braised meat, which I have forgotten:

    Image

    Yes, I was by myself. I suspect the order taker gave me an either/or and in the fog of illness I simply took both! What is clear as a bell was my selection of Pakcola with the seductive description of "Ice cream soda."

    Image

    Totally lovable if you grew up with it and totally awful to me who did not grow up with it. As much as I like Limca, I think my one taste of Pakola suffices a lifetime.

    Thanks Sazerac for the detailed and information filled post with lots and lots of background information.

    *Colleen Sen will speak for the Chicago Foodways Roundtable in January on the Jains.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #5 - October 17th, 2005, 8:54 pm
    Post #5 - October 17th, 2005, 8:54 pm Post #5 - October 17th, 2005, 8:54 pm
    Thanks to sazerac for yet another illuminating (and truly informative) review. It is also one I am not only happy but eager to second. Upon his recommendation, I toddled over one day several months ago after my shopping on Devon was finished. Suffice to say, I returned several times in short order. I won’t go through a dish-by-dish recounting except to comment that virtually eve-rything I have had on my multiple visits been been good. Honesty compels me to concur with his specific criticism regarding the use of oil. I really enjoyed the mirch ka salan (ba-nana/cubanella peppers in “gravy”) but would have enjoyed them even more were it not for the quarter-inch-thick pool of oil on the surface. The dal and the chicken korma were both excellent, no qualifiers necessary. The naan, which I prefer to paratha (which I generally find a little greasy for my fastidious tastes), is excellent as well. I have also had lamb there and several va-rieties of samosa. All to be commended, the more so given the remarkably cheap prices. I would be there more often if I could arrange it. As it is, I almost always consider it a real option when I am up on Devon. The combination of homey food (albeit in vaguely cafeteria-like sur-roundings) and downright cheap prices make for a hard-to-resist combination.

    People-watching there is fascinating as well. I have more than once been interested to see immi-grant families of African and Mexican origins come in and march right up to the counter, fully knowledgeable of precisely what they want and able to feed their large families—all in tow—very reasonably with good, high-quality food. I don’t know what my prejudice was but, for some reason, I imagined that immigrant families from one country would not patronize ethnic restaurants of another ethnicity. Perhaps I imagined that they would eat only what they knew best and felt most familiar with. Whatever the reason, I once entertained that foolish belief. I have been fully disabused of that notion. And it is a pleasure to see that they are learning about Indian cuisine with food that is worthy of the name (unlike my recent, earth-shatteringly-bad turmeric-laden “Indian” meal in Montreal).

    To the extent that further reminiscences occur, I will edit and and to this post. For now, suffice to say, sazerac’s post is spot-on and his recommendation is to be followed. I find it hard to imagine better subcontinent food for less.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #6 - October 17th, 2005, 9:35 pm
    Post #6 - October 17th, 2005, 9:35 pm Post #6 - October 17th, 2005, 9:35 pm
    Here's a hearty me too to the OP. GN has been my Go-To place for late night drinking/late afternoon/most any time of the day cheap eats.

    My faves are:

    aloo palak (potato with spinach)

    Gyros boti paratha (imho best way to serve gyros meat)

    chilli chicken paratha ( I had this for the first time last week and I was blown away, it is far better than the std. chicken boti paratha.)

    Chicken Quorma


    OK now I'm hungry, got home less than an hour ago and still have to go move the truck, it's time for a stop at GN! Thanks!
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #7 - October 18th, 2005, 8:37 am
    Post #7 - October 18th, 2005, 8:37 am Post #7 - October 18th, 2005, 8:37 am
    Sazerac:

    Many thanks for another very informative post.

    A couple of very brief comments...

    sazerac wrote:**Indian style omlette, (similar to the Thai style omlette) is simply a lightly beaten well fried egg, not the soft fluffy just cooked French type. I tend to refer to the Indian style omlette, as in most Indian vernaculars, as a "Mamlette" (pronounced MAAM (to rhyme with farm) + let; alternately: 'momlette') :)

    [bold emphasis added]

    maam rhyming with 'farm'... The latter pronounced Brooklynese style? :)

    ***Generally gosht (i.e. meat) in India would be goat (usually incorrectly referred to as "mutton" in India) discussed here. Kid is rare, lamb would be more prevalent in Kasmir. I think the availability of lamb here may be greater than that of goat, and given the greater tenderness, lamb is typically used in a greater proportion of restaurants (here).

    [bold emphasis added]

    I've said this before (and at my age, I'm allowed to repeat myself a little) but I've heard that there is far more goat sold in Chicago than there is goat slaughtered. Mutton is allegedly commonly sold as goat. I'd like to look into this further but am inclined to believe my source (ex meat-packer). Do you or does anyone else have a sense of whether this substitution occurs much up on Devon? My informant may have been speaking universally, as it were, though it is also possible he had the practices of Mexican restaurants more in mind.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #8 - October 18th, 2005, 8:55 am
    Post #8 - October 18th, 2005, 8:55 am Post #8 - October 18th, 2005, 8:55 am
    Well, remember what I just posted about Khan BBQ last week, where we couldn't help but think that what we had was lamb, not goat.
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  • Post #9 - October 18th, 2005, 9:33 am
    Post #9 - October 18th, 2005, 9:33 am Post #9 - October 18th, 2005, 9:33 am
    Mike G wrote:Well, remember what I just posted about Khan BBQ last week, where we couldn't help but think that what we had was lamb, not goat.


    Yes, now that you mention it... Sometimes I forget things... Here's a link...

    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=46836#46836

    By the way, have I mentioned that an ex-meat-packer friend...

    :shock: :) :twisted: :wink: etc.

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #10 - October 18th, 2005, 9:46 am
    Post #10 - October 18th, 2005, 9:46 am Post #10 - October 18th, 2005, 9:46 am
    And Antonius, if I wanted to take the children to see a komodo dragon, where would I go?
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  • Post #11 - October 18th, 2005, 9:53 am
    Post #11 - October 18th, 2005, 9:53 am Post #11 - October 18th, 2005, 9:53 am
    Mike G wrote:Well, remember what I just posted about Khan BBQ last week, where we couldn't help but think that what we had was lamb, not goat.


    At GN, some dishes specify lamb (lamb khorma, lamb biriyani), and some say 'gosht' (dal gosht). The dal gosht I had most certainly contained lamb - tender and pink in the center. I do think that if lamb was more commonly available in India, it would replace the tougher goat in most preparations. As I mentioned kid is rare, mainly because it is makes less economic sense to the butchers. Also all but disappeared (in Bengal where it is/was a delicacy) is kashi-r mangsho (mangsho=meat; kashi = castrated goat).

    Antonious wrote:maam rhyming with 'farm'... The latter pronounced Brooklynese style? :)


    Yes, sort of. I just meant the long 'a' sound. I didn't spell it 'mamlette' and use 'mam' as that would tend to get pronounced to rhyme with bam or pam. It should rhyme with 'arm' or 'alm' (with silent 'r' or el). Maybe you can help me out with this linguistic explantion...
  • Post #12 - October 18th, 2005, 10:10 am
    Post #12 - October 18th, 2005, 10:10 am Post #12 - October 18th, 2005, 10:10 am
    Mike G wrote:And Antonius, if I wanted to take the children to see a komodo dragon, where would I go?


    Uh oh. I spent a lot of time in Upper Montclair at one point in my life. Could there be something in the water?

    Now, do komodos prefer goat or mutton?

    ***

    sazerac wrote:
    Antonious wrote:maam rhyming with 'farm'... The latter pronounced Brooklynese style? :)


    Yes, sort of. I just meant the long 'a' sound. I didn't spell it 'mamlette' and use 'mam' as that would tend to get pronounced to rhyme with bam or pam. It should rhyme with 'arm' or 'alm' (with silent 'r' or el). Maybe you can help me out with this linguistic explantion...


    Your explanation was clear enough; it just seems funny from an American perspective to see someone saying 'maam' rhymes with 'farm', since the necessary pronunciation of the latter to make the rhyme is regional and more or less stigmatised. From a British perspective, of course, it's the other way around; r-lessness in this sort of a word is standard and r-fullness is associated with some regional and more or less stigmatised accents.

    The [a] vowel for Am. Eng. speakers is usually invoked by reference to the vowel of the first syllable of 'father', though for most speakers the same vowel turns up more commonly with an <o> spelling (e.g., mom, tom, pod, cod etc.

    Antoni[o]us
    :)
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #13 - October 18th, 2005, 12:41 pm
    Post #13 - October 18th, 2005, 12:41 pm Post #13 - October 18th, 2005, 12:41 pm
    Antonius wrote:Your explanation was clear enough; it just seems funny from an American perspective to see someone saying 'maam' rhymes with 'farm'


    Actually, I wrote "to rhyme with farm" (as opposed to "rhymes with farm") - first thing that came to mind. Your example of 'a' in 'father' is better. As for "American perspective," before coming to Chicago, I spent some time in Alabama so I'm pretty messed up :)

    Just a note on 'maamlette' - that was tongue-in-cheek. In India, speaking in English, I'd ask for an "Omlette", but speaking in the local dialect (most places), I'd say "Mamlette" or "Momlette". Simply a change in accent (as maybe Aaam-layt in Alabama?)


    Gypsy Boy wrote:The naan, which I prefer to paratha (which I generally find a little greasy for my fastidious tastes), is excellent as well.


    The paratha is fried, but for that reason becomes a special treat from the everyday roti/chapati which is almost the same except that it is griddle toasted. Similar to the difference between bread toasted, and buttered and then pan/grill toasted.
    Last edited by sazerac on October 18th, 2005, 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #14 - October 18th, 2005, 1:03 pm
    Post #14 - October 18th, 2005, 1:03 pm Post #14 - October 18th, 2005, 1:03 pm
    sazerac wrote: As for "American perspective," before coming to Chicago, I spent some time in Alabama so I'm pretty messed up :)


    That's South India, no?

    :P
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #15 - October 18th, 2005, 2:37 pm
    Post #15 - October 18th, 2005, 2:37 pm Post #15 - October 18th, 2005, 2:37 pm
    Mike G wrote:Well, remember what I just posted about Khan BBQ last week, where we couldn't help but think that what we had was lamb, not goat.


    At GN, some dishes specify lamb (lamb khorma, lamb biriyani), and some say 'gosht' (dal gosht). The dal gosht I had most certainly contained lamb - tender and pink in the center.


    Thats also maybe because those are sort of more "common" names - that is,
    most restaurants have "Lamb Biryani" on their menu, so it isnt something
    that would throw the reader. OTOH, Daal Gosh is Daal Gosh, an Indian
    name that stays the same on any menu - if you said "Daal Lamb" I dont think
    anyone would order it :-)

    I do think that if lamb was more commonly available in India, it would replace the tougher goat in most preparations. As I mentioned kid is rare, mainly because it is makes less economic sense to the butchers. Also all but disappeared (in Bengal where it is/was a delicacy) is kashi-r mangsho (mangsho=meat; kashi = castrated goat).


    I dont agree - this is an old argument between zim and me :-) I think lamb is
    just ok, I greatly prefer goat meat. And especially in Indian dishes, IMHO
    goat meat works *much* better than lamb - which just doesnt taste very
    good to me. I know this isnt just me either - several people I know prefer
    biryani from Usmaniya than most other places, for example, because
    they are one of the few who actually have a "Goat Biryani" on their
    menu. Lamb biryani, to me, just doesnt taste as good.

    And it isnt just in briyanis either - I think goat goes better in curries too (thus
    I do enjoy the Carribean "Curry Goat" as well). There are different dishes
    that maybe go better with different meats - Nehari, for example, is best in
    India when cooked with Buffalo Meat, it wouldnt be the same if cooked
    with goat or lamb (or, God Forbid, Chicken - as some have started to do
    lately).

    IMHO Goat is a meat that doesnt work particularly well on the grill - it just
    doesnt taste very good, to me, when BBQed etc. However, if you have
    spices added in a curry, or in a biryani etc, IMHO it is the best form of meat
    there is. Just a matter of personal taste of course - but I do know a lot
    of people feel that way.

    BTW, in re the Khan BBQ comment made earlier - I personally think Khan does
    only the dry grilled dishes well, and so dont often try the others. However,
    I *have* tried a couple of gravy dishes in the past - and while I didnt think
    much of them, the spices and cooking wasnt exactly great, it *was* goat
    meat used in the dish on that day (and very well-cooked goat meat at
    that - I remember commenting that the goat meat was well cooked and
    tasted fine by itself, but the gravy was sort of ruining it; enough so that
    I ate quite a few of the pieces of goat meat just by their lonesome at the
    end, after letting most of the gravy drip off). To me the best dishes at
    Khan are probablyt he Chicken Boti and the Chapli Kabab, those are the
    ones I have most often - and neither are goat-meat. Thus, if he has quit
    using goat lately, I probably havent noticed :-)

    c8w
  • Post #16 - October 18th, 2005, 3:15 pm
    Post #16 - October 18th, 2005, 3:15 pm Post #16 - October 18th, 2005, 3:15 pm
    There have been a few mentions of Ghareeb Nawaz, interspersed in various threads, but I thought it deserved a post/thread to itself. Ghareeb Nawaz (GN) is much further East than most other Indian and Pakistani restaurants on Devon, and over the past few years I have driven past GN many many times, always wondering about it.


    Ha! I have been going to GN, off and on, for a long time now - its been around for
    a good decade or so I think. Good for its sort of thing IMHO - cheap and decent
    (but very very oily) food IMHO.

    Having tried HH earlier this Summer, I thought I'd try GN. What a pleasant surprise it was! I've been back a few times (which is more than I can say about many other Indian restaurants - though I'll admit I don't eat Indian food out very often and haven't sampled the bewildering plethora of eateries on and around Devon).


    In my opinion there are a few places that are often better than GN - or at least
    as good - of its type. But few (or none probably) are cheaper or as
    convenient. And GN is good for its sort of stuff IMHO.


    It was the mention of GN in the HH thread that prompted our first visit - mainly for comparison, as GN too seemed to offer Hyderabad style Muslim food. While we enjoyed a couple of dinners at HH, what struck us the first time at GN was the more expansive menu. It seemed also less of a 'cabbie joint', though it isn't a fancy place either. It claims


    Id say GN is more Pakistani, while HH is purely Hyderabadi. The clientele is
    also sometimes similar - there are cabbies that frequent both places (more
    so at HH than GN), but it is mostly the Pakistani cabies that go to GN I think.
    HH is more diverse, a combination of some Pakistani and mosty Hyderabadi
    cabbies, however. GN has a much bigger menu, is more of a cabbie+ place
    (thus some families etc, and not open all night anymore I dont think)... and
    cheaper too. With a much bigger menu as you said - including a few
    veggie options, of which HH has precisely none :-)



    A2fay and I really enjoyed the palak chicken which is chicken cooked with spinach, as well as the mirch ka salan. The Hyderabadi specialty mirch ka salan is a 'curry' with chili pepper - in this case they use banana or cubanelle peppers. The slight tang of the yogurt based gravy with a hint of peanut matches great with the sweetish flesh of the cooked pepper. Before I ordered I thought it might have jalapeños, but this version was


    Havent tried their palak-chicken. Am not the biggest fan of mirchi ka salan anyway,
    but have tried that - the HH version is probably better IMHO. However, HH has
    its usual limitations - mirchi ka salan is probably made only once or twice a
    week (HH has only like 3/4 dishes that are made every day of hte week; the
    rest are all made on different days, once or twice a week).


    Another great dish was the dal gosht** - lamb cooked with yellow lentils. The lamb was tender and the dal had absorbed the flavor from the lamb and spices. With torn off pieces of paratha (don't be shy to use your fingers) to soak up the dal, this was an invigorating repast.


    The daal ghost is decent at GN IMHO - but there are better on Devon. I think
    JK Kabab House has a very good version - not sure its made everday or is
    a special, but it was one of the better ones on Devon when I had it. Not nearly
    as reasonable (price-wise) as GN however - which is the case when comparing
    GN to any other place, really :-) Not too many places make Daal Ghost however,
    it shows up only on a few menus.
    We've also really enjoyed the Lamb Biriyani. This is a simple satisfying meal in itself.


    GN's biryani is very famous BTW - famous all over. I met these guys from St Louis,
    in Milwaukee last year - they were driving home, thus driving past Chicago (on
    the 94) and down to St Louis. They dont know Chicago at all... but were going
    to stop in for dinner, for "biryani at Gareeb Nawaz"! Thats the one dish at one
    place they had heard of :-)

    Me, I think GN has a fine biryani - one of the better ones around.It is a tasty
    biryani. However, because it is cheap, they skimp on the meat - nowhere
    near enough meat IMHO (a good biryani should have as much or more
    meat as it has rice). That is the one complaint I had with it, and it is a serious
    complaint. Now, I think Usmaniya has the best biryani in town - GN is cheaper,
    but could be as good or better if it had more meat IMHO.


    Sweets or desserts at GN are possibly outsourced. They are stacked in small plastic containers on the counter. These are not particularly good. I tried the dabal ka meetha* which I didn't care for too much - the version at HH was much better. Their kheer (a


    Quite definitely outsourced I think - HHs is better, but IMHO Daata Durbar's
    Dabal Ka Meetha was better than HH's. None were *great* however - all
    probably a bit too sweet. DD's also had the best Haleem of the lot in the
    past (though I havent tried it so far this Ramzan).



    Ghareeb Nawaz is open fairly early compared to other places on Devon. Ideal for breakfast before grocery shopping (never good on an empty stomach). On the drive to Devon thinking about the egg paratha, my mind was filled with thoughts of a paratha where the egg is fried on and with the paratha, a moghlai paratha. What I got when I ordered the egg paratha was a plate with one paratha, indian style omlette** with a piece of mango pickle. Not quite what I had in mind, but nevertheless it was good and


    Hum. Egg-paratha, anytime Ive seen in it Chicago, has *always* been an omlette
    and paratha BTW - its the standard. Also what I expected it to be, actually, so
    was never really surprised. I have sometimes ordered it to go - and theyve
    done the great "two-parathas-wrapped-omlette" thing, in foil .Also "unda
    paratha" in some places... but not as good as the "baida roti" in India :-)



    filing. The halwa puri had three scrumptious, if a little greasy, puris - a flaky crisp fried wheat 'bread', some chana along with a mild and lightly spiced 'curry' with potatoes and daikon that was very good, and also sweet sooji (semolina; cream of wheat) halwa that was excellent. The halwa by itself was rather sweet (fine by me), but together with the (savory) flaky puri totally satisfied A2fays craving for something pastryish that morning. A hearty breakfast that carried us through that morning and under five bucks total!


    Ah,t he halwa-puri breakfast. Excellent, and cheap, no matter where you go on
    Devon. I suggest you try the one at Tahoora, it is like 3.50 and excellent - IMHO
    better than GN's (and about the same price I think). Tahoora doesnt have the
    egg-paratha though, I dont think. Also hear there is a fine Halwa-Puri breakfast
    at King Sweets (Tahoora's is famous however, the place is packed on weekend
    mornings for their halwa-puri breakfast). Exactly the same items too, except
    Tahoora's also has some aloo alogn with the chana, halwa etc.

    Ghareeb Nawaz has become an inexpensive, quick and consistently good Indian fix for me. They do a brisk takeout business, and if we lived closer we'd probably outsource more 'homestyle' food too.


    I agree mostly - its cheap and decent. I wouldnt go as far as "good" - a lot of
    places do most of the items better IMHO - but none do it as cheaply, or as
    conveniently (time-wise, parking-wise, traffic-wise, open-late-wise etc).



    **Indian style omlette, (similar to the Thai style omlette) is simply a lightly beaten well fried egg, not the soft fluffy just cooked French type. I tend to refer to the Indian style omlette, as in most Indian vernaculars, as a "Mamlette" (pronounced MAAM (to rhyme with farm) + let; alternately: 'momlette') :)


    Yes - though the Indian omlette also has stuff in it. Pepper, salt, some spicy
    stuff sometimes, onions, pieces of chili etc. I sometimes also add cheese
    to it (and maybe some meat too :-)

    c8w
  • Post #17 - October 18th, 2005, 3:26 pm
    Post #17 - October 18th, 2005, 3:26 pm Post #17 - October 18th, 2005, 3:26 pm
    c8w wrote:I dont agree - this is an old argument between zim and me :-) I think lamb is
    just ok, I greatly prefer goat meat. And especially in Indian dishes, IMHO
    goat meat works *much* better than lamb - which just doesnt taste very
    good to me. I know this isnt just me either - several people I know prefer
    biryani from Usmaniya than most other places, for example, because
    they are one of the few who actually have a "Goat Biryani" on their
    menu. Lamb biryani, to me, just doesnt taste as good.

    And it isnt just in briyanis either - I think goat goes better in curries too (thus
    I do enjoy the Carribean "Curry Goat" as well). There are different dishes
    that maybe go better with different meats - Nehari, for example, is best in
    India when cooked with Buffalo Meat, it wouldnt be the same if cooked
    with goat or lamb (or, God Forbid, Chicken - as some have started to do
    lately).

    IMHO Goat is a meat that doesnt work particularly well on the grill - it just
    doesnt taste very good, to me, when BBQed etc. However, if you have
    spices added in a curry, or in a biryani etc, IMHO it is the best form of meat
    there is. Just a matter of personal taste of course - but I do know a lot
    of people feel that way.


    I'll take up the argument too :) Note, however, that I didn't say lamb could replace goat in all dishes. I think it depends on the manner of cooking. Generally speaking, goat is slightly tougher (of course, this would also vary with the cut of meat) - so would be better in longer cooked dishes, especially some curries. As for Nehari - specific dishes associated with a certain meat will always taste 'different' if cooked with something else (or even the same 'meat' if one starts to talk about the animals diet). For 'not long cooked' dishes, where you are looking for tender succulent meat, lamb is a great (if not better) substitute. I'm not saying you should like lamb, just arguing :D

    As for goat not working well on the grill, maybe GWiv will take you on... :wink:

    c8w, thanks for your comments regarding other places on Devon. I don't eat Indian food out very often, and my experience on Devon is limited. GN has been consistently good - reason enough for me to stick with it. I'm sure there are a bunch of other similar places, but I tend to be not very adventurous about food that I know about (if that makes sense).

    A long time ago, someone mentioned Ghaseeta Khan, but the last couple of times I've been to Devon it seemed shut down.
  • Post #18 - October 18th, 2005, 6:46 pm
    Post #18 - October 18th, 2005, 6:46 pm Post #18 - October 18th, 2005, 6:46 pm
    Sazerac,

    Ghareeb Nawaz is one of my favorites as well, though lately I've been going to Hyderabad or Khan BBQ. Though after reading your post I suddenly have a hankering for Frontier Chicken and Biriyani at GN. Nice pictures.

    Have you been to Shan on Sheridan? I like the place, but have not been in well over a year.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Last edited by G Wiv on October 18th, 2005, 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - October 18th, 2005, 7:11 pm
    Post #19 - October 18th, 2005, 7:11 pm Post #19 - October 18th, 2005, 7:11 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Have you been to Shan on Sheridan? I like the place, but have not been in well over a year.


    I hope to be there soon. I remember seeing your posts indicating their brain masala was good, any other recommendations?

    This may be an apppropriate thread to ask where to find excellent butter chicken (chicken makhani or makhani chooze). It is probably the classic Punjabi dish. It requires great Tandoori chicken, for starters, which is then finished in a mildly sweet but spicy gingery tomato and cream gravy with the redolence of fenugreek. The balance of flavors is quite critical. I've had fantastic 'benchmark' versions, so I tend to avoid ordering it for fear of disappointment. I haven't tried it at GN. I did try it at Baba palace and was terribly disappointed. The event of note at baba palace - me ordering in the best and most polite Hindi I could muster (just to try and keep in practice) and then the guy behind the counter, speaks into his microphone, "Tres naan, tres naan!" :D
  • Post #20 - October 19th, 2005, 10:12 am
    Post #20 - October 19th, 2005, 10:12 am Post #20 - October 19th, 2005, 10:12 am
    When I was there a week ago, I didn't see it anywhere on the menus (it's my favorite too), so I asked, and he told me they didn't have chicken makhani "today." I'm not sure if that means he does make it some days.
  • Post #21 - October 19th, 2005, 11:00 am
    Post #21 - October 19th, 2005, 11:00 am Post #21 - October 19th, 2005, 11:00 am
    girlmoxie wrote:When I was there a week ago, I didn't see it anywhere on the menus (it's my favorite too), so I asked, and he told me they didn't have chicken makhani "today." I'm not sure if that means he does make it some days.


    They have it on their menu as "Butter chicken," although as with some other items, they only make it certain days. I haven't tried it. Incidentally, Makhan (pronounced muck + KHun (to rhyme with stun) = butter (Hindi).
  • Post #22 - October 19th, 2005, 12:13 pm
    Post #22 - October 19th, 2005, 12:13 pm Post #22 - October 19th, 2005, 12:13 pm
    There's a fair amount of stuff I sort of want to comment on in this thread but rather than drawing out each quote, I'll just kind of list them in order, hopefully that's not too confusing.

    In general, my feelings about ghareeb nhawaz echo those of c8w's which I think I've mentioned before - the main draw is the price. But the food is decent enough if you factor that price in to make it relatively worthwhile.

    As far as the biryani goes, I've always thought the slightly more expensive hyderabadi places were a better bet than GN

    dal gosht - I had a very good one some time ago at Pakwan (west of western, just north of devon on I think maplewood?)

    Mirch ka salan - I do like this and do agree that HH's is better

    gaseeta khan (which was eaten at on the westernathon) was mentioned as being closed by sazerac, I think its open, but under new management if a recent sign out front is any indication

    goat/lamb issue - Rather than rehash some older discussion with c8w, I'll just repeat the impression that I've been given by all the kashmiris I know - Goat's OK when you can't afford lamb. At least there (where both are pretty available) lamb is by far preferred, both for long cooked dishes as well as grills, remember however that the lamb there tends to be both scrawnier and tastier, also there are very specific cuts used for dishes which generally aren't used much here. I do know and respect that goat is far more common in other portions of the subcontinent.

    Chicken makhani/butter chicken. Can't say I really know of a very good one around, though its not something I generally order. To me I usually find it oversauced (and overcreamed) and a fairly easy use of dried out leftover tandoori. Not at all like what you might get in some of the more famous places in delhi. You're right though that its become the archetypical punjabi dish - witness it being used to to title the book "Butter Chicken in Ludhiana", though from that book it would seem that its not often made well even in India

    Oh, yeah - Shaan's brain masala is wonderful, definitely worth having.
  • Post #23 - October 19th, 2005, 2:16 pm
    Post #23 - October 19th, 2005, 2:16 pm Post #23 - October 19th, 2005, 2:16 pm
    Just thought I'd add my thoughts on Lamb/Goat.

    In my family, goat is always the preferred choice for the staples of slow-cooked Pakistani cooking, like Alou-Goshth. In fact, I don't think we ever used lamb, instead, when we didn't have goat meat, we'd use beef stew bones or something of that nature.

    Probably partially about price, but also about familiarity and size, as has been mentioned.

    As to Gareeb Nawaz, I used to meet my father and one of his friends (recently deceased) here for lunch when they were in town doing rug business or just in town to get good groceries and meat. I have fond memories and I think they do a lot of things well. The prices are amazing. You could feed an enormous family for $25-$30.

    I generally ordered basics, like Daal, Chapli Kaboobs or fried chicken. And I do return from time-to-time.
  • Post #24 - October 24th, 2005, 1:01 am
    Post #24 - October 24th, 2005, 1:01 am Post #24 - October 24th, 2005, 1:01 am
    I made it up out to GN on Friday night after reading this thread. I was a bit underwhelmed. I agree, the Lamb Biryani and the Daal Gosht were good. Frankly the crispiness of the Aloo Samosa was also a nice contrast to the soft broken down steaming in their own juices variety at a lot of places.

    That being said, everything else was kind of overwhelming. First let me say I am not afraid of a few bones. The problem was that in most of my dishes the bones were so fragmented, that it was borderline health hazard...very possible to swallow or choke on.

    The Sheek Kababs were over cumined, underbrowned, and just kind of dull. I much prefer kababs from Khan BBQ.

    The palak chicken was very bland and no spinach taste at all.

    I would check out a bunch of other places first before coming back.
  • Post #25 - June 14th, 2006, 9:43 am
    Post #25 - June 14th, 2006, 9:43 am Post #25 - June 14th, 2006, 9:43 am
    JeffB wrote:... GN is open very late; very nice staff; and the sweet pan vendor is a genius.


    I have not seen a sweet paan vendor near Ghareeb Nawaz. Where exactly is it?
  • Post #26 - January 17th, 2007, 10:54 pm
    Post #26 - January 17th, 2007, 10:54 pm Post #26 - January 17th, 2007, 10:54 pm
    JeffB wrote:GN is my single favorite place on Devon, though my understanding of the cuisine is limited. Some reasons: easy parking, including in the service station lot next door; the chili chicken boti paratha is my favorite sandwich on devon and it costs like two bucks; GN is open very late; very nice staff; and the sweet pan vendor is a genius.

    Jeff,

    Late response on my part, but are you thinking of a different restaurant than Ghareeb Nawaz?

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #27 - January 19th, 2007, 1:46 pm
    Post #27 - January 19th, 2007, 1:46 pm Post #27 - January 19th, 2007, 1:46 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    JeffB wrote:GN is my single favorite place on Devon, though my understanding of the cuisine is limited. Some reasons: easy parking, including in the service station lot next door; the chili chicken boti paratha is my favorite sandwich on devon and it costs like two bucks; GN is open very late; very nice staff; and the sweet pan vendor is a genius.

    Jeff,

    Late response on my part, but are you thinking of a different restaurant than Ghareeb Nawaz?

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    A service station lot next door... sounds like -- Hyderabad House, maybe? Don't know about the availability of chili chicken boti paratha at HH, however, so maybe the description is a hybrid of more than one particular Devon-based establishment (which probably includes GN, judging by the prices).

    Just speculating,
    Dan
  • Post #28 - January 8th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    Post #28 - January 8th, 2008, 4:23 pm Post #28 - January 8th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    I just wanted to preference this post with a note that I don't typically post--usually I just use this site as a reference. I feel compelled to write here because I feel people are missing the things that make this place really shine.

    sazerac wrote:This may be an apppropriate thread to ask where to find excellent butter chicken (chicken makhani or makhani chooze). It is probably the classic Punjabi dish.


    Funny you should ask, because butter chicken has been one of the most consistently excellent things I've eaten at GN. There's is succulent and creamy and quite memorable.

    Also consistently good is the bhendi masala. The ginger beautifully seals the marriage between okra and spice.

    The baigan can be good, but I will agree with sazerac that it's quality is not so consistent. The thing about GN is that they cook in large vats and they are quite popular: the food is thus typically pretty fresh, but cooking in big batches, it can be off some days. If you didn't like the eggplant one day, my advice would be to try it another. It can be a little bitter, but that charred/bitter flavor is one of the things that brings me back again and again and again.

    On another note, does anyone have a good spot for paan on devon? I've tried a few places with varying levels of success...nothing to really write home about, though. I would be interested in making a list, checking it twice, and coming up with the places to go....anyone takers on the project?

    sincerely,
    gabe
  • Post #29 - January 8th, 2008, 10:53 pm
    Post #29 - January 8th, 2008, 10:53 pm Post #29 - January 8th, 2008, 10:53 pm
    eulerianpath wrote:I just wanted to preference this post with a note that I don't typically post--usually I just use this site as a reference. I feel compelled to write here because I feel people are missing the things that make this place really shine.


    Gabe-

    Thanks for posting. Hope to hear more from you! Mr. X and I have had some good meals from GN, but haven't been for a while. Some butter chicken might be the ticket to get us there.

    -Mary
  • Post #30 - February 11th, 2008, 2:58 am
    Post #30 - February 11th, 2008, 2:58 am Post #30 - February 11th, 2008, 2:58 am
    This place is my go-to for takeout Indian. Their biriyani is the best I've had on Devon or in New York. Makhani, I've had better. Surprisingly, the palak aloo is amazing. I recommend that for a veggie side over anything else to kind of lighten your palate a little bit and make you feel like you're not destroying your body as is the norm with Indian food.

    As for the biriyani lacking meat, go boneless for 1.50 more and it's loaded with delicious tender pieces. I usually go with the enticingly red chili chicken biriyani for the extra kick.

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