The latest Indian cuisine to land in Manhattan comes from Chettinad, a corner of Tamil Nadu state at the country's southern tip. It's the prevailing taste at Anjappar, which opened early this year in Curry Hill. In a recent Chowhound discussion, fans describe powerfully spiced dishes made with care, distinguished by clear yet complex flavors.
One regional specialty is Chettinad chicken roast, a dry curry of tender meat on the bone, seasoned to slow-burn heat. Pan loves the extra dimension added by nicely caramelized onion. Chowhound knucklesandwich, who characterizes the food as "hot at the damp collar level," likes some other Chettinad dishes: poondu kolambu (garlic curry), mutton sukka varuval (braised goat), and parotta (griddled flatbread). Also recommended: delicious masala lassi, flavored with cumin and a shot of chile purée, and spot-on gulab jamun for dessert.
Anjappar, an outpost of a Chennai-based chain, also offers the North Indian–style curries that are more common around town. A taste of the chicken tikka masala suggests they're skippable, Pan says.
Anjappar [Kips Bay]
116 Lexington Avenue (near E. 28th Street), Manhattan
Photo by Mark Hokoda