Staten Island

New Asha

Unless you are a fan of wicket-wielding men in white britches, New Asha’s tiny storefront in rough-and-tumble Tompkinsville might not seem overly welcoming upon first glance. From a TV anchored in the corner of this tiny eatery, cricket games are screened for homesick Sri Lankans who often occupy the sit-down spots at the four rectangular tables (one which is broken has been pushed up against a soda case). Never mind, though—muster up your courage, ask some questions, and order a few samplings of the spicy-hot, flavor-packed, Muslim-friendly dishes to go. Start with the crunchy wade—deep-fried, crispy rice flour and lentil discs—and a couple of vegetarian sides, like the stew of skinny sautéed green beans with spicy red pepper, onion, and tomato, or the coconut-simmered combo of rice, cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, and little square chunks of potato-like jackfruit in a spicy, golden curry. The best is the warm, soft roti—golden-brown dough rolled into a short, thick oblong baton and stuffed with cardamom-spiked potatoes, scallions, onions, and carrots. — amy Zavatto

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