It's been a good year for vegetarian food here in New York City, where I've tasted everything from Indonesian food in Elmhurst to heirloom tomatoes in Brooklyn. Here are my ten favorite meat-free bites of 2012.
'benares' on Serious Eats
The chickpea flour batter that surrounds a pakora is more dense and crisp than your average vegetable fritter, but it's still all about giving love to the simple vegetable filling within. You get two types in the Mix Pakora ($8) at Benares.
Upscale Indian food can often be a gamble, but the vegetarian offerings at Benares deliver on their promise. The plating is fancy, but flavor comes first here.
Benares is still rather new to the New York Indian food scene, but it's getting plenty of attention for the niche it fills. Chef Peter Beck—coming off of over six years as the executive cook at Tamarind—is focusing on vegetarian dishes from the North Indian city of Benares (also called Varanasi) as well as seafood dishes from Southern India. Click through the slideshow to see Chef Beck take us through the step-by-step making of Sevai Tomato Kurma, seafood curry on pan fried rice noodles.