Hemant Mathur

Haldi and Hemant MathurWhen I walked into the Curry Hill restaurant Haldi several weeks ago at dinner time I was surprised and a little giddy that the person who greeted me and my guests was Hemant Mathur.  Hemant and his business partners own six Indian restaurants in NYC, and I had serendipitously picked the right one, the spot where Hemant was overseeing the new menu.  In addition to earning a Michelin star at two previous spots in his career, Devi and Tulsi, I have been lucky to eat Hemant’s food when he was in the kitchens previously at Ama and Tamarind.

What better to do but ask him to order for us, which I did.  I am not certain what part of the meal I relished most, the seamless flow of one enticing and varied dish to another all based on three distinct culinary traditions of Kolkata-Bengali, Marwari, and Jewish, or the exclamations of pure happiness coming from my dining partners who had rarely, if ever, experienced this type of attention to tradition and modern preparation in an Indian meal.