Haleem just looks like a plate of refried beans. It is, sort of—it’s a purée of beans, mixed with finely shredded beef. But a bite “reveals the subtlety and slow build up of spices and flavors that can ignite a romance with Food,” says exilekiss. There’s the soft, earthy aroma of wheat grains and lentils, combined with ginger, garlic, chile, and cilantro. It tastes like autumn, says exilekiss.
We’re at Al-Watan Halal, a Pakistani restaurant. The core of the experience here is the garlic naan, fragrant and freshly cooked in the tandoor oven.
The tala gosht—beef in mild spices—is the opposite of that haleem: wild, explosive, bursting with fresh black pepper, cilantro, ginger, and burning chile. It’s an “enriching and invigorating” flavor, says exilekiss. Goat karahi sauce is just as addictive, with a distinct garam masala flavor.
The mixed tandoor plate is delicious. Tandoor chicken has an unusual and personal blend of spices from Chef Mumtaz. The highlight: freshly minced beef, combined with onion, coriander, spices, and different chiles. The multiple types of chiles creates a staggered, spicy burn.
And the nehari—spicy beef shank curry—has an initial blast of heat, giving way to a harmony of onion, ginger, coriander, and tamarind.
The nearby Al-Noor also makes a terrific nehari, says New Trial.
Al-Watan Halal Restaurant [South LA]
13619 Inglewood Avenue, Hawthorne
Al-Noor [South LA]
15112 Inglewood Avenue, Lawndale