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Ali Baba's Fuses Together South Asian and Mediterranean Cuisine With Just the Right Amount of Spice

By Elisha Neubauer

Ali Baba's Fusion is a unique concept which is unlike any other in the Hamden, Connecticut market. Owned and operated by the Khalid family, the eclectic eatery is a fusion of what they know best: Indian and Pakistani cuisine and culture.

"From early 2001 to 2006, my parents had been serving Indian and Pakistani cuisine from a food truck and restaurant in Orange, Connecticut," states Huda Khalid, marketing manager for Ali Baba's Fusion. "While business was great, they were still only serving to a small niche of people that were already familiar with Indian/Pakistani food. It took them over a year to develop a new menu that could cater to everyone."

In order to create the perfect menu, the Khalids met with many friends from various backgrounds to get unique input on tastes and spices. "Until the brick and mortar Ali Baba's Fusion was built in 2014, they served the new menu through a small takeout-style restaurant and through food carts in New Haven," says Khalid.

The restaurant's popularity can be attributed to several factors. The first, according to Khalid, is the level of spices used within the dishes. "Our menu appeals to palettes of all kinds because we keep the spice levels low without compromising on flavor," she affirms. "Another aspect of our restaurant is that it's more of a casual-dining atmosphere, as opposed to the many sit-down styled South Asian restaurants you typically see."

The food is prepared fresh and quickly, leaving customers to decide whether they want to stay and dine in the lounge area or take the food and go. "The prices for our menu items can't be beat, either," Khalid tells us. "Our platters range between $7.50 and $10.00, which is a steal for the amount of food we serve in one platter."

For anyone trying this cuisine for the first time, Khalid notes that they should expect a burst of flavor and heat. "Some commonly used spices are chili, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric," he announces. "A dish I always recommend at the restaurant is the Lemon Chicken rice platter. It's made up of grilled marinated chicken that's chopped up on the grill with onions and peppers. It's served over a bed of Basmati rice and drizzled with our signature white sauce and is a customer favorite."

The only thing rivaling the convenience and deliciousness of Ali Baba's Fusion is the atmosphere. "My dad, Jamshed Khalid, is the type of person that can always make a friend no matter where he is," Khalid explains. "This trait of his even manifested its way into his food business."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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