Among the benefits of the South Asian restaurant surge across Long Island has been less monolithic menus, leading to dishes that were once otherwise absent outside the city.
The latest case in point, Al-Nawaab Sweets & Restaurant in Elmont, where I recently was delighted to find paya, a hearty meat stew popularly served by Muslims in India and Pakistan during festivals and special occasions.
Paya or payaa, means leg in hindi and urdu and is literally that, meaty leg bones — typically goat, beef or lamb — that have been slow-cooked with spices until the marrow marries with the meat to form a silky stew.
At Al-Nawaab, which opened a year ago, the menu advertises that paya, either goat or beef, both $9.99, is a weekend special but can often be found on the weekdays.
The restaurant, located on a stretch of growing halal eateries also features more traditional items such as kabobs, curries and a section of the menu that is dedicated to all-American halal fare, including burgers and wings.
And then there are the sweets, a long L-shaped counter where a kaleidoscope of sugary fare is available by the pound.
Al-Nawaab Sweets & Restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
721 Elmont Rd., Elmont; 516-285-9222, alnawaab.com