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The story behind the magnificent flavors and aroma at this restaurant goes back well before the establishment of Basera. Indian brothers Anil Kumar and Joginder Pal came all the way from Punjab to the shores of New York City, bringing with them a desire to share their unique food and culture with the world. They also brought with them years and years of experience as chefs. With most of the crew originating from either Delhi or Punjab, Basera is home to some of the finest, most enigmatic North Indian delicacies. Today Basera continues to thrive under the guidance of Anil and Joginder’s sons, Aneesh Kumar and Raj Kumar.
The grand size and open feel of Basera ensures a comfortable, laid back experience. The relaxed vibe offer an ideal escape from the hustle bustle on the 9th Avenue trail. It therefore makes sense that “Basera” quite literally means “shelter” in Hindi. The low lighting only takes effect at night as the natural sunlight throughout the day makes way for a gleaming atmosphere. This ensures for a completely different experience in regard to the mood and vibe for lunch and dinner. With traditional Indian music, ceiling fans and pictures on the wall, there is a strong cultural feel to the restaurant.
The overdose of bold flavors and aroma at Basera is second to none. Several factors contribute to Basera’s ever-present name amongst the best stops for Indian food throughout the city. The Tandoori (traditional Indian grill/oven) specialties are some of chef Lakhwinder Singh’s signature dishes, especially the Tandoori Chicken. Moist and juicy, Singh’s chicken preparation is unique. His technique allows the natural flavors of the chicken to penetrate through the meat without sacrificing on tenderness.
Apart from the more well known and extremely popular Chicken Tikka Masala, there are other must try offerings on Basera’s menu. The Chettinad Chicken, a thick-curried, peppery South Indian delicacy (and the only one on the menu) is highly recommended by the Basera crew and will spice up your day. Though, they don’t have to as all dishes at Basera can be spiced to order. Cooked with fresh onions, peppers and tomatoes, the Chicken Jalfrezi is another specialty dish at Basera. Served in a thick, hot tomato curry sauce, this dish simply must be accompanied with either a buttery Naan (traditional oven-baked flatbread) or Basera’s signature Basmati Rice. In addition there is no shortage of scrumptious delicacies for the vegetarians as well, such as the Paneer Makhani - cubes of the‘Indian cottage cheese’ (paneer) in a tomato fenugreek sauce. The hot and sweet flavors are blended together perfectly, with the paneer so soft it melts on the tongue.
The service is quick and speedy at Basera, without taking any quality away from the food. Suitable for customers with all levels of spice tolerance, waiters ask customers how spicy they want their dish prepared while ordering. The staff is friendly and always on high alert to their customers demands, even on extremely busy days.