Food & Drink

I've Got Beef With Indian Food

It Starts With Achaar and Ends With Raita

By Hadley Tomicki ·

The entire system by which we order Indian food appears to have broken down in the new century. 

It used to be that you’d sit down at an Indian restaurant and your table would already have essential condiments like achaar, hari chutney and tamarind chutney awaiting your meal. And if you wanted some kheera raita, by god they’d bring you a little kheera raita on the side, no cost, because eating a spicy meal without raita was collectively understood to be a fool’s errand.

But now, all of a sudden, we’re expected to order all of these things individually on the side.  So now, you order your main dishes and appetizers like a normal person, then have to do an unholy shitload of math just to eat some fucking Indian food right.

You have to order your naan separately, figure out whether the rice for two upsell might actually be enough for two. Then you’re expected to add your additional orders for achaar, hari chutney, tamarind chutney and raita. It's enough to make you want to throw up your hands and just go full-thali.

In the end, you end up spending $50 for two servings of shahi paneer and a sprinkling of chaat, with barely enough naan for more than two scoops of food. You also get four random pieces of achaar in a plastic cup and a scant, sticky half-ounce of tamarind chutney. I’m not sure anyone’s even making hari chutney in this country anymore.

 You also literally receive an entire paint bucket brimming with raita that winds up sitting in your fridge for two weeks until someone finally throws it away or secretly drinks it. This absolute mess of a situation must be ironed out, Indian food. And soon. Yes, preferably soon.

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

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