Masala Loca

Over the weekend Angel and I got to attend a supperclub dinner hosted by Chitra and Sabra of Masala Loca. I’ve had the honor of hosting them as vendors at Greenpoint Food Market (may you rest in peace) as they shared delicious Indian tacos with the community. The dinner took place at Sabra’s house in Bed Stuy and we walked in to the welcoming scene of candles and bundles of fall flower bouquets, ladies clustered in groups chatting by the side table stocked with guest-brought wine bottles. On the walls were a series of photographs by Alana Lowe,  a mix and match of black & white and color images of the same rural scene very much not New York.

We sat down at one of two dining tables and introduced ourselves to a lovely couple, former architects, and shared the typical conversations surrounding jobs and real estate. The opening act of the dinner was a rich and filling Moong Dal Leek Soup with guajillo ghee, boondi, and fried spices. What I thought were sprinkles of corn as topping was actually boondi, which I’m learning is a praised Indian snack made from chickpea flour.

The main course was Poblano Chile stuffed with curried squash and kale, topped with Oxaca Cheese and was accompanied by tamarind rice, avocado slices, and chapati. It was a deliciously flavorful dish with all kinds of indistinguishable spices, I especially love the nutty rice topped with cashews. I love nuts in my rice. I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t choke on something spicy and did that embarrassing never-ending cough throughout the course of a good and solid 5 minutes.

I highly anticipated dessert as it included my current obsession, plantains. Angel and I fretted it would have been green plantains as opposed to the softer, sweeter, and more orgasmic maduros but it was to my relief, fried sweet plantains with vanilla ice cream and blackberry chile sauce. I never figured ice cream and plantains would go well together but the sweets in each paired peacefully and although the plantains weren’t as goeey as I like they were sweet enough to make that MmMMMmmmm thing happen.

It was a lovely evening altogether, a $35 meal well worth its price and we even got to go home with mini pumpkins as souvenirs. We didn’t get to see much of the hosts throughout the evening as they were laboring away in the kitchen as helping friends served each of our plates. They did peek out to introduce each plate which was cute.

In both attending and hosting supperclub dinners I experience the benefit of dining in such cozy environments but can also see the awkwardness of entering someone’s private home and sharing a meal with strangers whom more or less are friends of the host and you the curiously welcomed stranger. I don’t think it’s ever possible to host a supperclub dinner whose guests are completely unknown to the hosts. Maybe that should be a goal for my next round. Host a dinner to complete strangers and welcome them to my home and just hope for the best. I think it would be fun.

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