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Hartsdale's Masala Kraft Has Winning Recipe

The owners of Masala Kraft Cafe of Hartsdale believe in fresh food that is made to order. It’s a recipe that patrons obviously enjoy – the eatery was named the second best restaurant in Westchester in 2010 by Zagat.

One thing that sets Masala Kraft apart is its freezer, which is no bigger than those commonly found in home kitchens, since the restaurant uses fresh ingredients and has almost no need to freeze food.

"Our niche is to buy everything fresh every day," said co-owner John Bosco. "We don't store things. We make our own food,  tahini, hummus, hot sauce. And that's why we've been really successful."

Masala Kraft opened on July 26, 2009. Owners Bela Mehta and Bosco wanted an Indian fast food eatery and found the right spot across from the Hartsdale train station.

Customer favorites include the Masala Kraft Sandwich - a vegetable cutlet with tomatoes, onions and cilantro chutney on tomato focaccia bread - and the Samosa Chaat -crushed samosas with yogurt, cilantro, lentils and chutney.

"People said, 'How are you going to be fast food if you're making everything fresh?'" said Bosco. "But quality is important. I think people like the fact that they're getting fresh food."

Masala Kraft fare is typically street food in India, said Mehta. He said it is similar to how Americans view a hot dog.

Since receiving its kosher certification in 2010, business has increased by roughly 20 percent, said Mehta. In addition, Mehta and Bosco joined forced with Edgemont Elementary school to bring the students lunch once a week. Customers can phone in an order or  place one online. Mehta suggested those wishing to eat there Friday and Saturday call in advance, so those are the busiest times.

And the only place to top Masala Kraft in Zagat?  Port Chester's Tarry Lodge owned by famed chef Mario Batali.

What's your favorite Indian dish?

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