Rating: A+

Chola Interior

232 E 58th Street
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212-688-4619
Fax: 212-688-0347

Open Table Reservation:


Hours Open 7 Days a Week

Monday – Sunday
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm Dinner
Monday – Sunday
5:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Include rice, lentils and naan bread


Monday – Friday $13.95
Saturday & Sunday $13.95

Copyright 2009 by Punch In International Syndicate.



Review By Nancy Walman

Restaurateur and chef, Shiva Natarajan, is a veteran to the East Coast gourmet industry having opened seven highly regarded restaurants; Chola, Tadka and Dhaba in New York City, Chola, Malabar Hill and Bombay Bar & Grill in Connecticut, Jaipore Royal Indian Cuisine in Brewster New York and Bombay at the Black Swan Inn in Lee, Massachusetts.

Born and raised in Calcuta, Shiva fell in love with the art of cuisine by spending countless hours in the kitchen with his family, developing what would become his life-long passion for food. Following his high school education in Bombay, he left India to pursue his MBA at Pace University in New York City. After spending years traveling throughout India, experiencing many different cuisine styles of his native country, Shiva transported his expertise of Indian cuisine to the restaurant industry of New York City.

We recently revisited Chola, a small, upmarket and attractive restaurant offering eclectic Indian cuisine on a busy Saturday night and conclude that it remains one of the best small Indian restaurants in New York. Singular appetizers include “iddly,” a southern specialty of steamed lentil and rice patties and “uthappam,” a vegetable pancake.

Also, masala “dosai,” the magnificent crepe made with lentils and rice flour, wrapped around potatoes and a fiery chutney is a hard-to-find dish uptown.(See recipe below) For entrees, the standouts are a wonderful chicken in a mild sauce with raisins & nuts, a so-called “Staff” or home-style chicken curry on the bone, and shrimp, tamarind, coconut-tomato sauce, a Kerala specialty.

All variations of curries are wonderful (no two sauces taste alike), and it’s wise to experiment with the Chola signatures, such as roasted chicken tenders, raisins, bay leaf and cashew sauce and sautéed lamb pepper fry (Spicy) Everything is special, including some terrific vegetable dishes (three versions of dal), onion fritters, ginger, cumin infused tangy yogurt sauce and spiced potatoes, eggplant and cauliflower in mild spinach sauce. Don’t miss the succulent seafood and tandoor dishes, nor the Jeera Ghee Rice (aromatic basmati rice, cumin, coriander, onions and bay leaf) and garlic naan (white flour grilled bread).

Desserts, especially “kulfi,” (homemade ice cream) are some of the best around.and even the homemade lemon pickle at Chola is special. This pretty place well spaced tables and banquettes, walls lined with mirrors, and fresh flowers and flickering candles on each table features service that may be some of the most solicitous in town. And here is the rare Indian restaurant that knows how to make a perfect martini.

Mr. Natarajan has become the dean of Indian restaurateurs and has created a unique family of authentic, yet approachable Indian restaurants, without the pomp and pretension of some of his competitors. Chola is quite special and, fortunately for me, is in my neighborhood.

Chola Interior 2

CHOLA NY MENU (Prices & Dishes May Be Different)

Entrees served with rice and choice of naan or roti bread
Chicken Tikka
Tandoor-fired chicken tenders and northern spices 9.95
Chicken Malai Kabob
Skewered mild chicken tenders and creamy marinade 9.95
Chicken Tikka masala
Roasted chicken Tikka and creamy tomato sauce 9.95
Chicken chutneywalla
Curried mango chicken, mint and ginger 9.95
Chicken korma
Roasted chicken, raisins, bay leaf and cashew sauce 9.95
Lamb Saag
Spiced lamb, fenugreek, ginger and mild spinach sauce 9.95
Lamb Vindaloo
Spicy Goan specialty, potatoes, ginger and dry red chilies 9.95
Lamb Madras
Lamb, mustard seeds, coconut-onion sauce 9.95
shrimp balti
Shrimp, mushrooms, eggplant and fennel infused onion sauce 10.95
konju pappas
Shrimp, tamarind and coconut tomato sauce 10.95
Sautéed okra onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and ginger 8.95
aloo gobi
Spiced potatoes, cauliflower, cumin, ginger and fresh coriander 8.95
mattar paneer
Paneer cheese, green peas, cumin and creamy tomato sauce 8.95
saag Paneer
Paneer cheese and mild spinach sauce

Batter-fried eggplant, red onions, bell peppers, tangy flavor 8.95
Crisp turnovers, spiced potatoes, peas and cumin 5.95
Vegetable fritters 5.95
Fried potatoes, garlic, sweet and sour flavor 7.95
Batter-fried cauliflower, garlic and tangy flavor 7.95
Kurkuri Bhindi
Crispy okra, red onions, lime and chaat masala 8.95
Tamarind Eggplant
Eggplant, tamarind, chaat masala and fresh coriander 7.95
pudina paneer tikka
Grilled paneer cheese, bell peppers, onions and green masala 8.95
chola Veggie Basket
Mélange of vegetable fritters and samosa 8.95

Non-VegETArian Starters
roti canai
Crispy bread, with a side of coconut chicken curry 8.95
dhania chili chicken spicy
Batter-fried chicken, onions, garlic, green chilies and fresh coriander 8.95
Batter-fried chicken, onions, curry leaves and southern spices 8.95
Kalmi Kabob
Grilled chicken wings and northern spices 7.95
cochin lamb chops
Lamb chops, onions, garlic and southern spices 12.95
galouti Kabob
Cardamom flavored minced lamb patties 10.95
Bagari Jinga
Creamy tangy shrimp, mustard seeds and curry leaves 11.95
Era Varuval
Spiced shrimp, onions, tamarind and ginger 11.95
chola Kabob Basket Mélange of tandoor-fired kabobs 14.95

Rasam vadai (Spicy)
Clear lentil soup, tamarind with lentil donuts 5.95
Mulltigawny Soup
Purée of lentil soup and lemon 4.95

Chaat Bazaar
Bhel Puri
Puffed rice, potatoes, chickpeas, mint and tamarind chutnies 5.95
pani Puri
Crisp mint puri, stuffed with potato masala and tamarind water 6.95
Batata Sev Puri
Puri with potato, chickpeas, yogurt, tamarind and mint chutnies 6.95
Potato patties, chickpea masala, yogurt, tamarind and mint chutnies 7.95

iyer and iyengar’s
southern trolley
Popular starters from southern India
savitri amma’s idli Steamed rice and lentil patties 4.95
savitri medhu vadai Fried lentil donuts 4.95
Paper thin crepe, stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas
8.95 masala
9.95 mysore masala
uttapam Rice and lentil vegetable pancake 8.95

Tandoor Ka Khazana
Meats and seafood grilled in an earthen oven
Chicken Tandoori
Tandoor-fired chicken on the bone and northern spices 14.95
Chicken Tikka
Chicken tenders, tandoori spices and lemon 18.95
Chicken Malai Kabob
(Martha Stewart’s Favorite)
Mild chicken tenders, creamy marinade and saffron 18.95
Chicken barra Kabob
Tandoor-fired chicken, yogurt, cardamom and white pepper 18.95
boti kabob
Skewered cubes of tender lamb 22.95
Sheekh Kabob
Skewered minced lamb rolls and northern spices 18.95
Tabac Maz
Tandoor-fired brown lamb chops, mint and fresh coriander 24.95
Shrimp mast mast (spicy)
Tandoor-fired grilled shrimp, fresh coriander and green chilies 22.95
Shrimp Malai Kabob
Grilled shrimp, creamy marinade and saffron 22.95
pudina fish tikka
Grilled fish, green masala and lemon 21.95
chola Tandoori Basket
A mélange of our favorite kabobs 23.95

Keema Matar
Spiced minced lamb, green peas and fennel infused onion sauce 17.95
Kashmiri Rogan Josh
Spiced lamb, ginger, tomato-onion sauce 17.95
Lamb Saag
Spiced lamb, fenugreek, ginger and mild spinach sauce 18.95
Lamb Pasanda
Lamb, nuts, raisins and creamy cashew sauce 18.95
boti kabob masala
Roasted lamb cubes and creamy tomato sauce 18.95
staff goat curry
Baby goat on the bone, fresh ginger and onion-tomato sauce 22.95

Aunt Murli’s Chingri Malai
Calcutta-style shrimp, raisins, ginger and tomato-coconut sauce 22.95
Shrimp Kabob Masala
Grilled shrimp, fenugreek and creamy tomato sauce 22.95
fish tikka masala (SPICY)
Grilled fish, fenugreek and creamy tomato sauce 21.95
chili fish
Batter-fried fish, ginger, green chilies and garlic-soy flavor 21.95

Chicken Korma
Roasted tenders, raisins, bay leaf and cashew sauce 17.95
Chicken Tikka Masala
Roasted chicken tikka and creamy tomato sauce 17.95
Chicken Saag Tikka
Roasted chicken tikka, fenugreek, ginger and mild spinach sauce 17.95
Chicken Chutneywalla
Curried mango chicken, mint, coriander and ginger 17.95
dohi chicken
Chicken, onions, fresh coriander and yogurt 17.95
Chicken madkhni
Tandoori chicken strips, fenugreek and creamy tomato sauce 17.95
kaja chicken
Chicken tenders, black peppercorns and cashew infused onion sauce 17.95
staff chicken curry
Homestyle chicken curry on the bone 14.95

Southern Specialties
Lata Shetty’s Coondapur Chicken
Curried coconut chicken, potatoes, Mangalorean spices 17.95
Andhra Mirapakaj Kodi (Spicy)
Chicken, coconut, onions and curry leaves 17.95
Melagu Chicken Chettinad (Spicy)
Pepper chicken curry, from the house of Chettinad 17.95
chennai goat curry
Baby goat on the bone, curry leaves and southern spices 22.95
Lamb malabar
Curried coconut lamb, potatoes and Kerala spices 18.95
Lamb madras (Spicy)
Spicy lamb, mustard seeds, dry red chilies and coconut-onion sauce 18.95
Lamb Pepper Fry (Spicy)
Sautéed lamb, coconut, peppercorns and browned onions 18.95
Konju Pappas
Shrimp, tamarind, coconut-tomato sauce and a Kerala specialty 22.95
karaikhudi shrimp seeragam
Cumin flavored shrimp curry from the house of Karaikudi Chettiyars 22.95
kerala fish moilee
Grilled Chilean sea bass and lemon infused coconut sauce 23.95
savitri amma’s avial
Vegetables, yogurt sauce and southern spices 14.95
Bendekai Fry
Okra, onions, yogurt and mustard seeds 13.95
savitri amma’s more kozhambu
Okra, curry leaves and ginger infused yogurt sauce 13.95

low-fat stir-fried
kadai Sautéed onions, bell peppers, fenugreek and thick onion-tomato sauce
17.95 lamb
18.95 veg.
13.95 shrimp

jalfrezi Sautéed onions, bell peppers, ginger and tangy flavor
17.95 lamb
18.95 veg.
13.95 shrimp

balti Sautéed onions, mushrooms, eggplant and fennel infused onion-tomato sauce
17.95 lamb
18.95 veg.
13.95 shrimp

vindaloo (very spicy) A spicy Goan specialty, potatoes, ginger and dry red chilies
17.95 lamb
18.95 veg.
13.95 shrimp

phaal (very spicy) A popular Andlo-Indian spicy dish, green chilies, ginger and fresh coriander
17.95 lamb
18.95 veg.
13.95 shrimp

Naan (Martha Stewart’s Favorite) White flour grilled bread
3.95 Spiced Garlic
4.50 Spiced Onions
4.50 Fruit and Nuts

Tandoori Roti
Tandoor-fired non-fat whole wheat bread 3.50
Paratha (Multi-layered pan grilled bread)

Spiced Potato 4.50
Spiced cauliflower 4.50
Chappati Whole wheat thin bread, grilled on open fire 3.50
Poori Deep-fried puffed bread 3.50

Sabji Saag Malai
Spiced potatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, mild spinach sauce 13.95
Saag Paneer
Home-made paneer cheese, mild spinach sauce 13.95
tofu saag
Tofu, mild spinach sauce and ginger 13.95
Navratan Korma
Fresh vegetables, pineapple, raisins, nuts and creamy almond sauce 13.95
Malai Kofta
Vegetable balls, raisins, creamy almond sauce 14.95
Baingan Bharta
Roasted puréed eggplant, ginger, onions tomatoes and fresh coriander 13.95
punjabi kadhi
Onion fritters, ginger, cumin infused tangy yogurt sauce 13.95
Paneer Khurchan
Grated paneer cheese, onions, bell peppers and light creamy tomato sauce 14.95
vegetable masala
Vegetables, paneer cheese and creamy tomato sauce 14.95
mattar Paneer
Paneer cheese, green peas, cumin and creamy tomato sauce 13.95

No Yogurt or Animal Stock Used
tofu jalfrezi
Tofu, onions, bell peppers, tangy flavor 13.95
Channa Masala
Spiced chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic 12.95
Bhindi Masala (Martha Stewart’s Favorite)
Sautéed okra, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and ginger 14.95
Aloo Gobi
Spiced potatoes, cauliflower, cumin, ginger and fresh coriander 13.95
Aloo Baigan
Potatoes, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic 13.95
Bhuni Gobi Mattar
Cauliflower, green peas, tomatoes, onions and ginger 13.95

Dal Aur Chawaal
langarwali dal
Five lentils, tomatoes, fresh coriander and dry red chilies 10.95
Tadka Dal
Yellow lentils, cumin, ginger and fresh coriander 10.95
Dal Makhni
Black grain lentils, onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic 10.95
Jeera Ghee Rice
Aromatic basmati rice, cumin, coriander, onions and bay leaf 6.95
Coconut Rice
White rice, mustard seeds, fresh coconut, papad, dry chilies, curry leaves 8.95
Lemon Rice
White rice, mustard seeds, roasted peanuts, curry leaves and lemons 8.95
Nirmala’s Bisi Bela Bhath
White rice, vegetables, lentils and tamarind 8.95
Yogurt Rice
Yogurt, white rice, mustard seeds and dry red chilies 8.95
Savitri Amma’s Tamarind Rice SPICY
White rice, dry red chilies, peanuts and tamarind 8.95
Aromatic basmati rice, browned onions, mint, raisins and nuts 8.95
16.95 Lamb
17.95 Veg/Paneer
12.95 Shrimp

Thair Pachadi Yogurt, fried okra, carrots, mustard seeds and curry leaves 4.50
Lotus Raita Yogurt, fried lotus and cucumber 4.50
Boondi Raita Yogurt, besan crunchies and cumin 4.50
Mango Chutney A sweet mango relish 2.95
jeera aloo Spiced potatoes, cumin and fresh coriander 6.95
madras aloo Spiced potatoes, mustard seeds and curry leaves 6.95


In America it’s called a pancake, in France a crepe, in Spain a tortilla, but in India it’s a dosa. Dosa is made not with wheat flour but a mixture of ground rice and urad dal. Though usually considered a lentil. urad dal is actually the hulled and split seed of the black gram bean. Dosa is flavored with fenugreek, also known as methi. Like urad dal, fenugreek, is a bean, but because of its pungent aroma and bitter taste, it is used as a spice. Though dosa does bear a family resemblance to its Western cousins, it tends to be much larger–a sixteen-inch diameter is the norm–which makes this a good dish for sharing.

Like crepe and tortillas, dosas are used as shells for various fillings such as a spiced mixture of green peas and potatoes known as masala dosa. The pancake is folded around the filling to create a long rectangle or a squat triangle. Jose Pulloppilly prefers to make his dosas into rectangles.


Serves SIX
2 cups long-grain white or jasmine rice
1 cup urad dal
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
3/4 teaspoon course salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Potato-and-Pea Filling, heated (recipe

1. Soak rice, urad dal, and fenugreek in water to cover for 3 hours. Rinse under running water and drain. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and grind to a smooth, yet thick batter. Set batter aside, and let ferment overnight at room temperature.

2. Add salt and a little water if necessary to thin batter. Heat griddle to 350 degrees. Sprinkle hot griddle with water and a teaspoon of oil. Wipe clean with a cloth. Drizzle a little oil on the griddle. Spread evenly over the surface of the griddle, removing any excess with a bench scraper. Using a 1-cup measuring cup or ladle, measure 3/4 cup batter, and pour onto grill. Spread batter out into a 16-inch oval using the bottom of the measuring cup. Using a scraper, remove any excess batter from the top of the dosa. Cook until the surface bubbles and the bottom is golden brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Place filling crosswise in center of dosa. Fold dosa in thirds to enclose filling.

Serves six
2 pounds Idaho potatoes
Course salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon chana dal (split chickpeas)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cashew
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
Pinch chili powder
Pinch turmeric
Pinch ground coriander
1/3 cup peas, cooked
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1. In a large saucepan, place potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until fork tender. Drain, peel, and cut potatoes into 1/4-inch pieces.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, cashews, ginger, garlic, onions, and curry leaves. Sauté until onions are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add curry powder, chili powder, turmeric, and coriander. Cook for 1 minute. Add peas and potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons water, and cook until heated through. Season with salt, and add chopped cilantro. Use as a filling for dosa.