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FOOD & DRINK

Comforting Indian and Pakistani Dishes for When You've Had a Bad Day and Need a Big Culinary Hug

Curry cuddles are a thing, you guys.
By Tamsin Salfrais
August 28, 2020
  shares

Comforting Indian and Pakistani Dishes for When You've Had a Bad Day and Need a Big Culinary Hug

Curry cuddles are a thing, you guys.
By Tamsin Salfrais
August 28, 2020
  shares

COMFORTING INDIAN AND PAKISTANI DISHES FOR WHEN YOU'VE HAD A BAD DAY AND NEED A BIG CULINARY HUG

in partnership with

Curry cuddles are a thing, you guys.

After a long, hard day, the last thing you want to do is cook, right? So many ingredients and so many measurements to contend with. Then comes the boiling pot, the whirring of the extractor fan, the mess — it's all too much. There is something super comforting about Indian and Pakistani cuisine; between the nourishing ingredients, creaminess and tantalising spice, it's the perfect remedy to a bad day. Thankfully, with DoorDash, you can get heart- and stomach-warming South Asian dishes delivered straight to your sofa. The only effort required on your part is to decide what to order, get some cutlery ready and put some pants on before you answer the door. Here, we'll get you started on the first part by suggesting some top-notch dishes from reliable, family-run restaurants all across Sydney. You're on your own with the pants though.

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    Turning tradition on its head is this Surry Hills restaurant’s thing. Don’t Tell Aunty sees the culinary excellence of Jessi Singh, whose restaurants span New York to Melbourne, culminate in innovative food from all corners of India, including street food, cross-regional curries and naan. Influences from other cuisines are also evident in dishes like the Chinese-style cauliflower doused in a sticky tomato chilli sauce, the nachos-like papadi chaat and the kebab with a spiced yoghurt croquette in a vibrant beetroot ginger sauce. It’s the Indian food you love, but with enough of twist you’ll forget all about that shocker of a day you just had.

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  • 9

    Whether it’s been a hard day at the office, or an evening longer than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Indian Home Diner is the go-to for vibrant flavours from 4pm to late into the evening. The casual diner delivers warming curries, pillowy naans, zingy mash potato (hello, coriander and spicy mint yoghurt sauce) and its signature Indian kebabs. Wrap yourself in the culinary hug of this innovative meal, as cheese, chicken or vegetable curry, in turn, is wrapped in a fluffy naan; it is a firm favourite with diners and packs an explosion of flavour.

    Image: Kimberley Low

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    If you’re after something a little more adventurous, Chatkazz is an unpretentious vegetarian fast food joint that serves up a whole lot of pizzazz. This greater western Sydney gem will delight all your senses with dosas, steamed rice cakes, urad dal (black lentil) doughnuts and even some Bombay-Chinese-style dishes. Yep, this is fusion street food at its most exciting, with dishes like paneer manchurian (deep-fried cottage cheese balls served in an Indo-Chinese gravy). Even the drinks offering is something to be celebrated: coffee and chai are, of course, on the menu, along with Indian sodas, lassis, juices and mocktails. Kalakhatta Mojito, anyone?

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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    For creative (yet casual) Indian cuisine, Masala Theory has you covered. While still respecting tradition, this Surry Hills spot’s menu also serves to add a fresh spin to Indian food, which should delight even the most travelled of tastebuds. The Indian take on the Canadian poutine is inspired, while the masala fish and chips and mango-smoked tandoori lamb chops, will have you picking your phone back up to order seconds (and thirds). And the signature dish — curry bombs — is a must-order, too. The taste is unrivalled; all dishes are crafted using fresh, healthy, and authentic ingredients.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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    Although the menu spans many regions of the sub-continent, Billu’s Indian Eatery specialises in south Indian cuisine. This includes dishing up dosas — rice flour pancakes stuffed with the filling of your choice, be it potatoes, spicy chicken or cottage cheese. Be sure to order the biryani, too. Whether you opt for prawn, vegetables or meat, it’s one not to miss. Nor is the tangy chilli lamb cutlets. For those who have specific dietary requirements, being unable to find a suitable meal can often be frustrating — and, when you’re having a bad day, it’ll only serve to make it worse. Thankfully, Billus Indian Eatery caters to most dietary requirements, including gluten-free and vegan options, all packed with incredible combinations of flavour.

    Images: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 5

    King Street staple Kammadhenu boasts delicious, aromatic dishes in south Indian, Sri Lankan and Malay styles. Whether you crave sweet or spicy, there’s something to suit all palates. Go hard with fiery Malaysian-style fish sambal and mop it up with buttery roti, or opt for Sri Lankan-style kothu roti with egg, chicken, lamb and prawn mixed through. Keen to try a bit of everything? Order a thali, a south Indian-style platter that comes loaded with chana curry, dhal, papadum, rice and sides.

    The snack game is strong here, too, with vadai (a savoury doughnut), egg bonda (a South Indian delicacy of hard-boiled eggs coated with chickpea batter and deep-fried) and pani puri all gracing the menu. Nasi goreng, a Malaysian classic, is the go-to if you’re feeling for something a little less curry-fuelled, but that still packs a punch when it comes to flavour.

    Images: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 4
    Shaahi Tandoori

    Shaahi Tandoori whips up tasty Pakistani fare, including punchy curries, rice dishes and an array of naans. Fan favourites include the vegetable biryani with raita (a yoghurt-style sauce) and the bold malabari chicken. And, to finish, what’s more comforting after a hard day than dessert? Round off your feast with Shaahi Tandoori’s gulab jamun, a solid milk-based sweet. If your partner is peckish too, Shaahi Tandoori offers a sizzling selection of meal deals, with a samosa, two curries, two plain naans, two servings of rice, a pappadum, mint chutney and soft drink. It says it’s for two-to-three people, but after a bad day, we think it sounds more like a challenge for one.

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    Hyderabad House serves up, by its own admission, a “right royal feast”. This western Sydney spot specialises in Indian and Indian-Chinese fusion dishes — think hot and sour chicken soup, prawn masala and dal tadka. It’s the type of food that’ll make you feel like you’ve been engulfed in a big cuddle. Its flagship dish is biryani, for which Hyderabad House follows the traditional cooking method. This involves sealing the pot’s edges with dough, allowing the steaming meat to cook in its own juices and flavour the rice. There is also a selection of Chinese-style rice dishes on the menu, featuring egg, schezuan sauce, vegetables and more.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagn

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    Student Biryani Auburn

    Don’t be fooled by its name: Student Biryani’s dishes stand the test of time and are enjoyable years after graduation. We may no longer have the stamina — or the alcohol tolerance — we once had as students, but on those days when you long for an eight-hour seminar instead of being knee-deep in deadlines and client meetings, you can seek solace here. This low-key eatery, which has another outpost in Surry Hills, is part of a hugely popular global chain that began in Pakistan way back in 1969.

    Unsurprisingly, the signature dish here is the biryani, which you can get with a can of drink for just $12, or you can add raita and a salad for an extra $4. If you’re feeding a flock, you can also get a bucket of the stuff to serve ten, plus zarda (sweet rice), two salads, two raita and two 1.25-litre soft drinks, for $90. Elsewhere on the menu, you’ll find traditional Pakistani-style curries — again with serving sizes up to a whopping 2.5 kilograms — alongside whole deep-fried fish and chargha (marinated chicken that is steamed and deep-fried).

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    From early afternoon to late at night, Maya da Dhaba dishes up fabulous Indian delicacies. Rediscover your favourite dishes, such as tikka masala or bhuna, or trial some of its signature items on the menu, such as a Goan-style fish curry and tandoori chicken. There are a plethora of vegetarian options, too. And not just the standard saag paneer (spinach and homemade cottage cheese) and dal tadka (yellow lentil curry). Branch out and sample the najuk kofta (cottage cheese croquettes, potatoes and cashews) and punjabi baingan (pan-fried baby eggplant with onions, tomato, chilli and coriander). You can also find comfort in side-dish carbs with the assorted bread basket, which is loaded with roti, garlic naan, aloo paratha, cheese naan and kashmiri naan.

    Image: Trent van der Jagt

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Take advantage of the $0 delivery fee on your first order and order your next meal via DoorDash here.

Top image: Masala Theory, Cassandra Hannagan

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