MasterChef contestant and fellow Brown in the South chef Farhan Momin serves of modern Indian fare. Here’s a look at some his best creations!
What is Chef Farhan Momin’s background?
Before he became a star chef, I tried some of his best dishes. Not your average millennial, I met him while he was still in school at nearby Emory University where he was completing his degree in neuroscience. His family owns a butcher shop in the same plaza, where he has spent some time working. Operating for years, he knows he can get quality locally sourced meats for his dishes from just doors away.
“I have been cooking since I was a young child and I began experimenting in the kitchen, combining my Indian heritage and my southern roots. I continued this passion into college where I study neuroscience by day and experiment in the kitchen by night.” – Farhan Momin
His now closed Tava Indian Bistro was not what you would expect from the Bombay-esque looking plaza where it was located. It is modern looking with faux wood walls and an overall minimalist style. It reflected Momin’s style, it’s more of East meets West. Beyond the decor, the Bihari Chicken wings, are covered with Indian spices, but obviously more American than Indian.
A foodie at heart, Farhan has had a passion for cooking for quite some time. He loves watching cooking shows and in fact, he came up with the Chora Chat (pictured above), an appetizer made with fried chickpeas, after being inspired by one of Alton Brown’s shows.
What are some of Farhan Momin’s best eats and drinks?
Non alcoholic drinks he served me were the Pistachio and Saffron Lassi, but the Nimboo Pani, sweet lemonade with a hint of cumin, was my favorite. Like offal? There’s Lamb brains and Lamb kidney on the menu too.
Again, instead of typical Indian curries served with bread (Naan), he creates sandwiches served with chips. See what I mean about that Americanized Indian food? Hands down one of his specials, the Nihari Sandwich a minced type of lamb was was the best thing I tried. And it’s not just the meat and seasoning. It’s the bread too. Farhan shared that he gets the bread from a special bakery, though he was rather tight-lipped about letting me on where it is sourced.
Other dishes, the Chicken Tikka Masala and Shrimp Katakat (a stir fried dish) were also incredibly well-executed but didn’t reach the same caliber as the Lamb dishes. Besides the lamb sandwich, a Pasanda, slow cooked on the Tava, was another favorite. Marinated in yogurt, it has a slightly bitter, yet pleasing taste.