Fried chicken at the Rowdy Rooster in Midtown | Neighborhood Eats

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Fried chicken at the Rowdy Rooster in Midtown
The Mornings @ 10 team talks about this week's Neighborhood Eats.

MIDTOWN (WABC) -- Fried chicken is a global comfort food, from southern flavors to Korean styles, but have you ever heard of Indian fried chicken?

This week's Neighborhood Eats takes you to the Rowdy Rooster in Midtown.

"Fried chicken has been a very big part of our food culture," said Chintan Kiran Pandya, Chef, partner, and owner. "It has defined an entire food category by itself."

The chef says they have incorporated it in to their travel.

"So every city that we go to for work, first we make a list of all the fried chickens we're supposed to eat there," Pandya said. "Literally, I'm not joking this has been going on since 2017 when we started working."

So Pandya has tried a lot of fried food!

"One thing really key about Indian food is that a lot of food that you eat is actually marinated. It's marinated, always, like even if you eat kabobs, they're marinated a day out," Pandya said.

They use yogurt, a spice chili blend, and garam masala.

"Garam masala basically means in literal sense hot spice. But technically it's a blend of spice and the best part about this garam masala is that every household in India will have their own recipe at home," Pandya said. "So we have a little rowdy and a big rowdy. The little rowdy is the pav which is my favorite because that bread is very unique."

It's a soft bread with just a little bit of sweetness. They toast it with butter.

"It's just a fun product. When you eat it like there's this mint chutney, some pickled onions, there's a yogurt sauce which is flavored with sesame," Pandya said.

Level two is, "The bun, is buttered and then you have this fried chicken with level two spice, you have sesame yogurt, mint chutney, pickled onions, and it's just a flavorful sandwich," he said.

The chili chicken sandwich meantime, "It's a fried chicken, goes in the chili sauce, we call it a chili chicken sauce. And then there's some fresh onions on top of it on the same pav bun."

The recipes are the recipes and they don't alter them which can upset some customers, but they usually end up happy in the end.

"If you go to any Indian restaurant and say you want a certain dish like less spicy, more spicy, medium spicy, we don't do anything like that. So people get upset with us when they walk in and they're like oh I want it less spicy, I'm like we don't do that. And somebody said I want more spicy, we still don't do that," he said. "We give you the food in which I think is the best way to give you this product."

He is proud of the restaurant and the amazing menu items they make each day.

"What is the purpose of doing something, what is the purpose of cooking this food in this country that, or in the City of New York if it's not going to be something that we are proud of. So, it was more about being proud of our own culture and cuisine," Pandya said.

You can visit the Rowdy Rooster at their Manhattan locations in Midtown and East Village.


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