Under the tutelage of chef-owner Mohammad Akbar, the homestyle eatery serves about 400 meals of his brand of Indian-Pakistan cuisine to an adoring clientele every day. Such volume is a testament to Naan n Curry offering excellent value to a loyal customer base.
Over the years, Mohammad has imparted his love of food, family and God into every dish. He uses top-flight ingredients, from halal meats to U13 shrimp. Every item is made from scratch.
After immigrating to the United States in 2004 as an IT engineer, Mohammad soon began working in his wife’s family’s restaurants in San Francisco. When Naan N Curry opened, Mohammad was already an accomplished chef. Over the years, this has served him well as the consistent quality of his food has always stood out.
It’s in the sauce
Although they have a large menu, basic sauces provide the foundation for everything served. Most dishes come from the owners’ native Lahore, Pakistan, and nearby India. This includes:
Garam Masala Curry: Masala, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, mace, cumin and nutmeg provide a spicy mixture that enhances different add-ons.
Palak Paneer: The North Indian spinach-based sauce with cottage cheese is medium spicy, going well with lamb, chicken and vegetarian fare.
Karachi Style: Ginger and tomato mixed with masala.
Vindaloo: This South India style sauce is the hottest one the restaurant offers, recommended for those with strong stomachs.
Mohammad uses a Tandoori marinade for seasoning different proteins and vegetables. It includes coconut milk combined with masala, ginger, lemon juice and other spices. After leaving them in this mixture for up to 24 hours, he cooks lamb, seafood, beef and chicken in a clay oven. The finished product helps separate Naan n Curry from many Indian restaurants that grill their Tandoori selections.
Balancing the spicy curry items on the menu, Mohammed offers a house-made naan flatbread that soaks up the flavors of their exotic offerings. Although the 10-plus inch diameter seems large, I usually allocate a piece of their garlic or onion naan for each diner at my table.
Another dish which is a must for most patrons is Mohammad’s unique basmati rice that pairs well with moderate highly spiced curry flavors. With hints of cinnamon, black cardamom, cumin and bay leaves, it does not overwhelm the palate. The basmati rice is a huge portion, thus can be easily shared at the table.
Other side dishes include stuffed samosa pastries, which consist of two turnovers filled with potatoes, green peas and spices. In addition, one can enjoy a small tomato/onion salad with main courses.
While Naan n Curry has a limited dessert menu, their rice pudding (Kheer) or caramelized milk dumplings (Gulab Jamun) would be a fitting way to finish a meal. They also feature a tasty mango Lassi drink consisting of fruit, yogurt, milk and a hint of cardamom.
For new customers who might be apprehensive about partaking in spicy foods, each dish is prepared to order – so the seasoning can be adjusted for individual tastes.
Contributing to the family-style atmosphere of Naan n Curry, they offer self-service free Chai to their clients. This hot black tea mixed with milk goes well with the cuisine.
To reduce expenses, they don’t provide table service. Customers place and pay for orders at the front counter and receive a numbered flag. When the food is ready, the staff brings it to the table.
Naan n Curry is at 2068 Salvio St. adjacent to Todos Santos Park in Concord. The restaurant is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Reach them at 925-825-6226 or at naancurryconcord.com.