New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Chola brings elevated Indian flavors to seafood lovers everywhere

From curried coconut fish to tandoori malai chicken, Chola satisfies any palette — including Martha Stewart’s.
Krish Dev
(Krish Dev for WSN)

Chola Coastal Indian Cuisine, an upscale Indian dining experience located in Midtown, serves up coastal classics with a modern twist. The restaurant offers a menu made with ingredients sourced from India’s coastal states — everywhere between Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. 

I started with a dish I’m already quite familiar with — rasam, a tangy tomato and lentil-based soup that originated in Southern India. Chola’s “Savitri Amma’s Rasam,” served in a personal-sized ramekin topped with vada, a savory fried snack, is a tribute to the family of the restaurant’s owners. However, the recipe was different from the homemade rasam I’m used to, which is typically a thinner, watery consistency. Chola’s was much thicker with an intense tomato taste, which reminded me of sambar, another South Indian lentil stew.  

A red-orange broth with green vegetables inside a white bowl with soup soon on a plate.
Savitri Amma’s Rasam. (Krish Dev for WSN)

Chola offers a wide selection of seafood appetizers, with my favorite being the Jhinga Koliwada shrimp, which comes from fishermen of the Koli tribe. A thick breadcrumb coating covers perfectly tender and seasoned shrimp that are then fried to a nice golden brown. The dish is served with tomato chutney that tempers the spice in the seasoning well.

Fried shrimp on a raised plate served with dipping sauce and vegetables. 4: Chicken served on a skillet with mango and onion.
Jhinga Koliwada shrimp. (Krish Dev for WSN)

The entrees were extensive, but there was one item that I couldn’t pass up: Martha Stewart’s Fav Murgh Malai. After visiting Chola, Martha Stewart became a Murgh Malai devotee — and so did I. I was expecting a classic chicken coated in a red spicy sauce cooked in a tandoor — a large clay oven used for roasting meat or flatbreads — that usually arrives on a sizzling platter, making an entire restaurant turn their heads. But “Martha Stewart’s Fav Murgh Malai” featured dark and white meat chicken marinated in a cream-based sauce and cooked in a tandoor. The meat was impeccably juicy and consistent with a great charr from the tandoor oven. I recommend eating it alongside the fresh red onion, adding a perfect pop of acidity and crunch to every bite. 

Chicken served on a skillet with mango and onion.
Martha Stewart’s Fav Murgh Malai. (Krish Dev for WSN)

One of Chola’s must-try dishes was Lata Shetty’s Kori Gassi — the restaurant’s take on coconut chicken curry. The spices used for this dish are sourced directly from India, making it incredibly special. The curry, which coated each piece of chicken, was velvety and smooth. While chicken and coconut are a common pairing in Indian cuisine, I was still impressed that the nuttiness of the coconut came through with each bite. Ditch the white rice for this entree and go straight for the garlic naan — it’s the perfect vehicle for scooping up bites of coconut curry and chicken. The sweetness of the coconut complements the traditional spices in red masala without overpowering it.   

A red curry topped with green leaves in a silver bowl on a white tablecloth.
Lata Shetty’s Kori Gassi. (Krish Dev for WSN)

Chola’s emphasis on coastal Indian food shines with its Goan Fish Curry. This dish is made with a spicy paste of red chili, coconut and tamarind that mellows out the palette. Similar to the chicken curry, the fish was covered in a coconut-based cream sauce giving the curry a thick and smooth texture throughout. The fish itself seemed to have been fried beforehand, creating a nice crust that was beautifully flakey and super light. I was particularly excited to see that the fish was cooked bone-in, adding a depth of flavor that is hard to achieve otherwise. I was also surprised with the familiar taste of tamarind which brought out an underrated element of tang and salt. 

A red curry topped with green leaves in a silver bowl on a white tablecloth.
Goan Fish Curry. (Krish Dev for WSN)

So, for something new or tried and true, Chola’s menu has it all. It brings the best of Indian flavors to seafood dishes from across India’s coastline. 

Contact Teresa Mettela at [email protected].

Leave a comment
About the Contributor
Krish Dev
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with friends, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.

Comments (0)

Comments that are deemed spam or hate speech by the moderators will be deleted.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *