Casserole Call: Tadka

Get Your Goat

By
From the October 20, 2011 edition

Gosht Biryani ($14),

The draw: A nowhere-else-in-Columbus, feeds-the-whole-table, baaad-to-the-bone, spicy and exotic goat meat and basmati rice dish

Dig in: Upscale/casual chains (even tiny ones) aren’t exactly my thing, but I gladly make the exception for Tadka’s cliche-shattering and mouth-walloping Indian food. Take, for instance, this (pilaf-like) biryani. Billowing bewitching scents from the East, it arrives in a massive but handsome, hammer-spotted copper pot thoughtfully topped with a floppy turban of baked-on bread. Underneath this hearty pastry shell is a steaming, hot-as-Mumbai-on-a-summer-afternoon casserole of fragrant rice oven-married to bone-in goat hunks. The heady couple is wed by aromatic spice-trade flavors such as cloves, mace, (rose-like) kewra, anise, a fiery “mixed pickly” curry paste plus cooling-off bits of mint. On the side is a rich, thick and tangy raita yogurt sauce jacked up on chaat masala (a sort of wild and egg-hinting chili powder) that simultaneously aids the cooling-off process while also fanning the spicy flames.