The sociology of Indian food in New York? Oh, Gray Lady, you giveth, and you taketh away. So high-brow, so fusty. Must we intellectualize everything?

Nonetheless, the article does highlight some faves for for a more “authentic” experience, like Saravanaas  (the American outpost of pan-India chain Hotel Saravana Bhavan), a place that definitely recalls weekly Sunday meals at Delhi’s HSB, which offers fast and friendly South Indian snacks and sweets. And it rightly steers you away from so-so chains like Cafe Spice and the offerings on Curry Hill.

The only other Indian food in NYC I’ve really enjoyed was a set meal from a nondescript cart near my office; at the juncture of Park Ave. and 53rd Street, you can get a damn good veg meal, including dal, rice, sabzi, and pickle (!!!), for $4. People who have accompanied me there have complained that the food is only subpar at best, but to me, it tastes most like middle-class India — unpretentious, filling, and lovingly home-cooked.

Still, your best bet is to go to Patel Brothers and stock up on supplies to make your own sabzi and rajma masala — at this Jackson Heights grocer, you can even get fresh paneer and MDH chunky chat masala, an appetizer of maharajas if there ever was one. And if you’re not that adventuresome, you can snatch Kurkure, the subcontinent’s answer to Cheetos, and gorge until your fingers are coated in an oily slick of spices.