Westchester hounds are taking a fresh look at Rani Mahal, whose Indian chow once won mixed marks. Recent reports suggest that the place has hit its stride. The mostly northern menu includes tender, delicately seasoned chicken or seekh (minced lamb) kebabs and chicken tikka sagwala in excellent spinach sauce. The same chicken tikka turns up minced and stuffed into a knockout naan. The lunch buffet, which some had found disappointingly sparse, is a satisfying and impressive spread, says rothchild. If you want the spicing cranked up, they’ll oblige, as in delicious lamb rogan josh, Shawn reports. “It’s nice to have a good Indian restaurant in the area,” she adds.
In other South Asian news, change is afoot at Westchester Groceries, a little market in Thornwood that also sells prepared foods. The food counter, if not the whole store, has changed hands and is now called Khan’s Indian Kitchen—but hounds say the chow is as good as ever. Look for fresh-baked naan, juicy and flavorful chicken tikka and tandoori fish, and tender goat garam masala, served as whole rib chops, not the common hacked-up version treacherously studded with shards of bone.
Beyond the food, you’ll find a slightly spiffed-up dining space and a setup better suited to English-speaking diners, including a new, easy-to-read menu.