Maharaja in Jackson Heights, celebrated for chaat and sweets, also lays out some fine hot vegetarian dishes, including first-rate palak paneer (Indian cheese with spinach). But E Eto is seduced by its lemon rice–something of a cross between biryani and a Persian polo rice dish, deeply aromatic yet not overpowered by spice. “I’ve never seen that before on another menu,” he adds, “and it seemed interesting. Was it ever.”
Another worthwhile bite: special naan with dried cherries. “An interesting surprise for your palate,” E Eto promises.
Maharaja Sweets and Snacks [Jackson Heights]
73-10 37th Ave., between 73rd and 74th Sts., Jackson Heights, Queens