Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Punjabi butter chicken high on New York street food charts


New York may be studded with Michelin-starred restaurants, but there is something more that makes this city a paradise for food aficionados.The scores of street food spread across the city.

Run by a quite a few Punjabi expats, these sunshineyellow food carts are offering authentic Punjabi chicken-tikka, butter chicken and tandoori-murg, thousands of miles away from the land which is world famous for this fare. Not only this, many of the food cart owners have customized their entire menu to meet Punjabis’ taste.

“Visibly Punjabis outnumber any other expat community on the streets of New York. Therefore, business-wise it ensures very good ROI (return on investment) if our products are tailor-made to suit their taste buds. I have nothing to do with Punjab, but my Punjabi chicken-tikaa is famous in the whole New York and I have a loyal clientele of both walk-ins and takeaway,” said Julien Javier from Mexico City who mans a food cart on the Sixth Avenue, in New York’s Manhattan.

Paramjit Singh, a native of Nabha village in Patiala district, who won the US g reen card lottery and moved to New York with his family in 1995, said, “Punjabis are fond of well-cooked food, marinated well with an assortment of spices.Therefore depending on the order, we offer chicken and lamb made in true Punjabi style. We are also planning to add “Amritsari naan and chole” to our menu.”

“Even to New York’s iconic hot dog, ring-shaped bagels and roasted peanuts, we have added a tinge of Punjabi tadka. It’s like running a business in mini-Punjab in the heart of Manhattan,” said Singh, who is staying in Flushing area, which is dominated by Punjabi community.

Roadside food carts is one of the most economical options to dine out for local residents as well as for tourists. Variety of mouth-watering dishes; ranging from hot dogs, tandoori-chicken, Punjabi naans, creamy curries, lamb-briyani, bagels, falafel, kababs, dumplings and frozen yoghurt delicacies are available at these carts.

For 42-year-old Supreet Sehgal, a native of Jalandhar, running his food cart gives him a sense of freedom and entrepreneurship.He had reached New York in 2002 after illegally crossing the Canadian border and is currently operating his cart at 39th Street.

“I had worked at the docks for nearly 12 years before getting the US Green Card. During that period, I worked at meagre wages and stayed indoors most of the time. Now, I am running my own food cart and offering the best Punjabi street food. It is satisfying, both monetarily and psychologically,” he added.

These food carts are satiating the food cravings of Punjabi expats even in neighboring districts.

Saurabh Nanda (35), a pharmaceutical professional from Amritsar and a resident of New Jersey , said, he came to New York every weekend, specially to enjoy some street food made of chicken. It gives him the feeling of being at home, and eating out in the bylanes of Amritsar.”

Source: Times of India

Recommended for you