where is the machni?

i’ve gone to at least 3 desi places since i’ve arrived here. and i’ve noticed one thing… the east coast “machni” dishes and the west coast ones are different.

i asked for “chicken machni” (more commonly known as ‘buttered chicken’) at 3 different places - place #1 gave me something that looked similar to chicken machni but didn’t taste anything like it. i tried at place #2, and they gave me something that tasted like chicken machni but looked different (brownish sauce rather than a reddish/orangish oily sauce). i tried asking at place #3, and they said, “it’s sort of chicken machni but not really” – so i said, “well wait, do you have paneer machni?” – the said, “yeah” – and i got a paneer machni dish that tasted like paneer machni but looked like cholay.

the paneer machni i make at home (courtesy of the teachings of one famous achinb) comes out reddish/orangish after adding the shan masala… so does the paneer/chicken machni you get at restaurants in the east coast… so what’s up with that?

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