Rowdy Rooster Wants You to Fall in Love with Indian Fried Chicken

Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya — behind New York City restaurants Adda, Dhamaka, and Semma — just launched their first quick-serve concept.

Snigdha Sur

February 23, 2022

Rowdy Rooster Wants You to Fall in Love with Indian Fried Chicken
Chef Chintan Pandya (left), Kandi Haro (front of house) (center), and Roni Mazumdar (right)

South Asians love their street food: from puchka and golgappe to vada pao and tandoori chicken. Now, the team behind restaurants Adda, Dhamaka, and Semma are out with their fourth concept: Rowdy Rooster (not to be confused with 2012 Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore). Their latest eatery serves up Indian fried chicken like you’ve never seen before — in large sandwiches, in smaller pao sandwiches, standalone. And there’s accompanying chutneys to boot, like scallion yogurt (Mazumdar’s favorite) as well as tamarind date.

“If you show up to a street cart that fries up chicken, this is exactly what you’re getting,” Mazumdar said.

But what makes Rowdy Rooster shine is not just its chicken, but also its wide-ranging vegetarian options: vada pao, eggplant pakora, regular pakora, chili cauliflower, even just a buttered pao. Mazumdar, at the end of their opening day on February 22, pointed out that they were completely sold out of the vada pao, buttered pao that encompasses a spicy potato mixture. I joked that the only thing missing was chai. (Don’t worry, patrons can get some delicious mango lassi, Thums Up, or Limca.)