Indian cuisine isn’t all spice, heat, repeat. Nimbu Indian Grill in Bellmore takes fast-casual dining to new heights while still highlighting authenticity.
“Right now people think of Indian food as sit-down, fine dining with heavy and spicy plates,” said owner Manny Sahni, who opened the eatery with business partner Subir Oberoi in August. “We want to take that away and make them understand it’s actually healthy and doesn’t have to be spicy food.”
Sahni has made a point of using antibiotic-and hormone-free meat coupled with authentic preparation techniques like two-phase marination processes that enhance the flavor.
“Our lamb is first drained of fat and then marinated with ginger garlic. It sits for a day and is then marinated with yogurt and cream. If the ginger garlic was done the same day it [would not] soak throughout the meat. The way we do it makes the lamb extremely tender.”
None of the meats at Nimbu carry the spice; all the heat lies within the sauce. Guests can choose from five handmade options that control the thermostat. Like its name implies, the red chili sauce ignites the fire with a little help from minced chili peppers. The tikka masala is on the milder side, dressed with garam masala and cinnamon for a sweeter finish.
All the choices from the grill come on a base of salad, basmati rice or roti rolls. Sahni recommended the Tandoori chicken marinated in yogurt, roasted whole spices, ginger, garlic and Indian herbs with the tikka masala sauce. For vegetarian lovers, the daal made with black lentils simmered with garlic and ginger has been an early favorite.
“It takes eight hours to cook. The lentils are soaked in water overnight and then mixed with onions and different masalas. It simmers like that for five hours at very low temperatures to ensure all the juices get absorbed otherwise it is undercooked.”
Hidden from the menu, Nimbu also offers roasted potatoes to appease the growing vegetarian audience. Further vegetarian options are being crafted, but the restaurant is still mum on the recipes.
Sahni and Oberoi are discussing future Long Island establishments in hopes that the “do it yourself” mentality will thrive.
“We want to change the stereotype of Indian food and the way people eat it.”
There are no rules with Indian cuisine, anymore.