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Bhujia: Barometer of an Indian restaurant?

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Bhujia: Barometer of an Indian restaurant?

Andy Erdman | May 4, 2004 04:11 PM

Why Bhujia?

Not just because this delectable dish is a favorite of Indian food mavens (including yours truly). But moreover because Bhujia is as good a barometer as I have found for the overall quality and tastiness of a given Indian joint's fare. The equivalent in Japanese cuisine, I have found, is the Salmon Skin Roll.

Therefore: A good Bhujia -- which is a fried, tangly wad of onions and spices -- should be dark red or crimson on the outside. Said outside should be crispy, ever-so-slightly chewy at the oily edges, and have a deep, toasted essence, almost but not quite verging on vaguely burnt. Contrarily, the inside should be pinkish red, moist, and have the texture of shredded vegetables -- a little like a slightly undercooked potato latke.

Be wary of Bhujia that are made from globs of powder-based mix (shame on you, Jackson Diner!). These are often orange-brown in color, drier on the inside, and manifest greater uniformity in texture and taste from within and without.

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