Indian food enthusiasts in Berkeley, Albany and El Cerrito have a new go-to in Hamro Aangan, a relatively new Indo-Nepalese restaurant separated from the U.C. campus by several miles of the actual city of Berkeley. A meal here is worth the trip, by bus or by car, for pretty much anyone interested in serious flavor. Aangan’s tikka masala, heavier on spice than cream, is easily my favorite in the city, and saffron-brushed biryani hits the table in epic portions.
Even better is “Sev Batata Puri” ($5.99 for seven), a fantastic but unassuming South Indian selection from the appetizer menu. Aangan’s rendition of dahi puri (by far the most memorable snack of my trip to Lucknow, India), the dish starts with sev puri – crisp, hollowed rounds of fry bread resembling paper-thin pastry puffs. The irregular rounds are stuffed with potato, chickpea and light ribbons of tamarind chutney. The entire plate of puri are then dressed in raita, garnished with fresh cilantro, dusted with ground spices and sprinkled with extremely light sev. Taken cold, these one-pop precursors to curries and flat breads simultaneously serve the roles of refreshment and kindling for any appetite.
Hamro Aangan Indo-Nepalese Cuisine
856 San Pablo Ave.
Albany, CA 94706