Neighborhood Eats at Adda Indian Canteen

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- 'Adda' means 'meeting spot,' and 'Canteen' refers to a spot for affordable food. Put them together for Adda Indian Canteen, and it's the kind of place Chef Chintan Pandya is going for.

Adda Indian Canteen is a place that appeals to the students and people who work in the area, and in the evenings, Chef Pandya hopes it is a destination spot.

"We are trying to create a food that's at the level of a top-tier restaurant, but serve it at an affordable price, and that's one of the reasons we are in Long Island City, because we can make this model sustainable," says Pandya.

Students' lunches are $7, and most entrees run only a few dollars more.

The menu includes Dilli Pakodi Chaat, Chili Paneer Tikka, Masala fried chicken, a layered Biryani and a fresh take on Saag Paneer.

Chicken Biryani by Chef Chintan Pandya from Adda

8 Tbsp. Yogurt
1 Tbsp.Green chile
Tbsp. Ginger
1 Tbsp. Mint
4-5 thinly sliced onions

1 1/2 cups cream
2 pounds of boneless chicken
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cloves
1 cinnamon stick
6 ounces of clarified butter
1 tsp. mace
2 Tbsp. Jeera black
1 tsp saffron
2 Tbsp. green cardamom powder

1 tsp mace powder
1 lb basamati rice
2 Tbsp. rooh kewra (liquid)
Salt to taste
3 ounces of oil
2 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1 tsp.

Clean and cut the chicken. Heat oil, whole spices in a handi and let them crackle. Add onion and cook till light golden color. Add chicken and sauté nicely. Then add turmeric, green chilies, coriander powder, salt and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add ginger , garlic paste and saute again for another 5 minutes. Add yogurt and saute till oil separates. Add stock and cook further. Once the chicken is cooked 75%, discard whole spices. Add cream, saffron, cardamom and mace powder (strain) and cook further till meat is tender. Soak the rice for half an hour. Boil water and cook the rice to 60% and strain. Now layer the rice and chicken in a copper pot with fried onion, ginger julienne, green chilly julienne, chopped coriander, and chopped mint. Top it with saffron, cream, ghee, cardamom and mace powder. Cover with the naan dough and bake it. Serve it with raita.

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