At recently renovated Bollywood Masala in South Miami, customers come for the type of food served in an Indian home.
Enter the small narrow space, order and take a seat at a counter laminated with images of Bollywood movie stars and the Taj Mahal. The owners, Sundeep “Sandy” Chawla and his wife, Tina, ran boutiques in Toronto and Singapore before bringing their cuisine from Mumbai to Miami, where Tina is the chef.
Start With These Dishes
Order any of the street-style snacks or chaats. Try a samosa stuffed with minced beef and spinach or a vegetarian version with curried mashed potatoes. Papri is a jumble of fried dough chips mixed with diced potato, onions and yogurt, sprinkled with chaat masala, a blend of smoky black salt, tangy green mango powder and cumin. It’s topped with a tasty tamarind chutney and sev (crunchy chickpea flour).
The smashed samosa with chickpeas and onion is smothered in yogurt and tart-sweet tamarind chutney, garnished with sev. Or start with a grilled wholewheat paratha with mint chutney and raita (yogurt with cucumber). There’s also dal, a thick stew of mung beans and red lentils, spiced with cumin, ginger and garlic.
Share These Dishes
Biryani is a communal dish of basmati rice, steamed with spices and layered with a choice of lamb, goat, vegetables or chicken. Wraps come in paratha, a pita-like flatbread that’s great for sharing. There are plenty of different kinds of fillings: chicken masala with coconut milk, onions and spices; bright crimson chicken or lamb tikka; channa masala (chickpeas and potato) and paneer cheese in tomato sauce.
Butter chicken is a customer favorite with chicken tikka chunks simmered in creamy tomato sauce. Malai kofta are vegetarian meatballs. Fried dumplings made from crumbled paneer and mashed potato are pooled in a cashew sauce with ginger and tomato and cream. Thali are sampler trays with small bowls of various curries (vegetarian options are available), rice and bread.
Here’s a pro tip: The dosa, a type of Indian pancake made from a sourdough batter, are a secret, off-the-menu treat. Get one folded around spiced mashed potato freckled with nutty mustard seeds or chicken curry served with coconut chutney and spicy lentil and tomato soup.
Save Room for Dessert
Get the creamy kheer, a rice pudding studded with golden raisins and scented with cardamom and cinnamon.
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Address: 7400 SW 57th Avenue, Unit #4, Miami
Contact: 305-763-8185, bollywoodmasalamiami.com
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Prices: Snacks $2-$9, salads/soups $4-$10, wraps $7-$10, entrees $10-$18, desserts $5-$6
F.Y.I. Free parking in a lot, delivery available and catering offered (call ahead)