Dish of the week: Bindaas’ dahi papdi chaat

Media Credit: Sarah Urtz | Assistant Photo Editor

The dahi papdi chaat ($8) is based with crackers and topped with potatoes, chickpea noodles, pomegranate seeds and a sweet and spicy sauce.

Bindaas serves up traditional Indian street food with an upscale flare.

Located in The Shops at 2000 Penn, Bindaas is a University dining partner with dim orange lighting fixtures and spacious seating with views of the restaurant’s kitchen. Students can use their GWorld cards to indulge in a range of tasty Indian bites like pao and lentil pancakes.

The Foggy Bottom location opened its doors in November 2017, following a successful 2016 debut of the flagship Bindaas in Cleveland Park.

The restaurant’s authentic dishes are elevated by the restaurant’s ambiance. Each round table and booth is lit with candles, and the exposed brick walls are covered in blue and white tiles, accents of wood and wicker and eccentric art.

Bindaas’ white marble bar and hightop seating is surrounded by an open kitchen where customers can watch their dishes being prepared. The restaurant offers an all-day menu with small plates, wraps and kebabs.

The chaat, savory small plate, portion of the all-day menu dishes out small plates to start your meal. The “Gunpowder” fries ($5), named for its spicy kick, are seasoned with red chili and lentil powder and served with a housemade spicy ketchup. Another small plate for sharing is cauliflower pakora ($10) made with chaat masala and pickled onion chutney.

But if you’re going to try a chaat dish, you can’t miss out on the dahi papdi chaat ($8).

The dish is made up of small, circular crackers topped with soft potatoes, crunchy chickpea noodles, pomegranate seeds and a sweet and spicy sauce. Each plate of chaat comes with six of these bite-sized loaded papdi crackers and can be served as a sharable appetizer.

Boiled potatoes spiced with masala powder top these crackers and are covered with a tangy yogurt sauce. A sweet and spicy tamarind sauce is drizzled over the dish. Sev – crunchy tumeric chickpea noodles – pomegranate seeds and cilantro garnish these addicting bites for added texture and brightness.

Each cracker is best enjoyed in one bite. The crisp and salty cracker contrasts the soft potato mixture, and the medley of sev, pomegranate and cilantro mingles harmoniously with the creamy yogurt and sticky tamarind sauce. The dish will have you scraping your plate for every last swipe of savory sauce.

Share the dish with the table before you indulge in some of the restaurant’s bigger dishes like the paneer tawa masala curry ($12), a creamy masala spiced stew with bites of fresh vegetables and salty chunks of fresh paneer on top of aromatic jasmine rice, or the kheema pao ($13), a spiced lamb dish served with hot green chiles and warm, soft pao.

Be sure to order one of their signature cocktails like the “Curried Away” cocktail ($12) with Old Raj gin, house-made tonic, lemon, ginger and egg white. For dessert, try the sticky toffee pudding ($8) made with cardamom ice cream, raspberry coulis and mint or the kulfi ($8) which includes rose sabayon custard, saffron and sweet noodles.

Whether you want to enjoy snacks like chaat or sip on a Bindaas signature cocktail at its marble countertop bar, Bindaas offers an attractive dining venue with impressive Indian dishes.

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