In this episode of HEAT EATERS, chef Esther Choi is joined by chef Sohla El-Waylly and NY Times food reporter Priya Krishna to explore the vibrant South Asian flavors of Jersey City’s India Square —including spicy dosas, pani puri, and CRAZY HOT Bangladeshi homestyle cuisine, featuring the infamous Naga chili pepper. Home to one of the highest concentrations of South Asians in the U.S., Jersey City’s India Square boasts a kaleidoscope of incredible traditional street food and culinary delights that reflect the rich culinary heritage of the community.
Esther kicks off her day with a classic street food snack, pani puri—crispy hollow spheres loaded with chickpeas or lentils, and drenched in spiced chili water. Esther continues her journey at Sri Ganesh’s Dosa House, where, alongside Sohla, she taste-tests the intricate flavors of savory dosas, which include a variant so full of fiery flavor that it’s aptly named ‘gunpowder’ spice. Their food quest reaches its crescendo at Korai Kitchen, where they’re joined by their spice-loving ally, Priya Krishna. Together, they enjoy a traditional Bangladeshi feast and encounter the formidable naga morich chili pepper, which boasts a Scoville scale rating exceeding one million!
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