But which one?
“A lot of desserts. I’d have them all,” Arora, 34, answers with a hearty chuckle.
Asked for Sitar’s signature dish, Arora, who is wearing a striped polo shirt, cites Chicken Tikka Masala, which features white meat swimmingly in a zesty, creamy sauce. “We have that in the buffet every day.”
I ask him to name three things he always keeps in his family’s home refrigerator.
“Ginger. We like to ground the ginger and put it in a bell pepper and onion sauté. Add some potatoes, tomatoes. Ginger is strong. But it’s good for the stomach.
“We like Roma tomatoes. Chopped up and cook that with vegetables. When you eat (tomatoes) raw it’s a different taste. When you cook, it’s another taste.
“We make a whole wheat dough and put it in the fridge. Whole wheat flour, add water and make a dough with the roller and make an Indian bread on a skillet. The bread is very thin like a tortilla. We eat that every day at home. Naan is made in the clay oven, and it’s white flour. Roti, which we’re talking about, is cooked on the skillet.”
Arora was born in India, living there until his family relocated to the States in 1996 “for a change,” he says. The meals he consumed during his homeland years often revolved around bread, vegetables, chickpeas, beans and lentils.
And Arora still eats Indian food every day. But that’s not to say he doesn’t have other culinary interests. “I like Mexican food, Chinese food. I used to eat Olive Garden a lot, but I’ve been a vegetarian for about six months. I’m trying to be healthier.” When he’s not at Sitar, Aurora says his world revolves around his three-and-a-half-year-old baby girl and “whatever she wants to do.”
I ask him what he likes best about running a restaurant.
“You see a lot, a lot of different people every day. That’s the main thing. I love it.”