Kunal’s Indian Pizza Pop Up At The Cove
Ed. Note: On Sunday October 15th, the Cove again hosts Kunal’s Indian Pizza Pop-Up restaurant from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring (probably, or at least something similar to) pizzas, nachos, and salads inspired by traditional Indian cooking. Read more about the October event here. Stacey sits down with the mastermind behind this mouthwatering menu, Kunal Jadhav, for more info.
Updated! This post has been updated to include the October 15 date.
The Cove’s regulars had gotten pretty used to having fun Sunday pop-ups, so when Lucky Cat moved on to a more permanent space, one regular decided to fill the gap himself. However, there was one condition: He wanted all of the money to go to charity.
Meet Kunal Jadhav, a 41 year old FedEx employee. Originally from India, he comes from a household that reveres food. “I grew up with stories of my grandmother and mother dining in the halls of royal maharajas and handwritten cookbooks are still used by my family. I began cooking at a very young age when I could barely reach the stove,” he says.
He’s on a mission to make Indian food more approachable. He’d been experimenting with Indian inspired pizzas and sliders and brought some to The Cove to share with friends. (He’s been a regular for several years.)
Then Mary Tanner, the owner, made Kunal an offer he couldn’t refuse. “She offered the restaurant to me on Sundays to run a pop-up supporting animal rescue groups.”
Kunal has two shelter dogs, Ozzie and Lucy, and says they are the most important beings in his life. “I visited several shelters and saw the dire need that exists in this City. I felt it was about time I made the shift from empathy to action. I decided to combine my two passions in life–food and dogs–and give back to my community,” he explains.
On Sunday, October 15 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Kunal will be a part of the “Peg-legs and Pets” benefit at The Cove, which benefits the West Memphis Animal Shelter. Read more.
While the menu may be different than what’s been featured in teh past, below you’ll get an idea of his Indian fusion cuisine.
For Kunal’s first pop up, he served Indian inspired pizzas and nachos, which were $10 each. The Butter Chicken Pizza has smoked Tandoori chicken, creamy tomato & cashew sauce, Mozarella, feta, and a little cilantro. (Trust me, you’ll want to put the creamy tomato & cashew sauce on EVERYTHING.)
There’s also a tasty option for vegetarians. The Saag Paneer Pizza has Kunal’s homemade Indian ricotta cheese and goat cheese in a spiced spinach sauce. (Pro tip for non-vegetarians: ask him to add the smoked Tandoori chicken to this.)
Attention nacho lovers: Everything that goes on the pizzas can just as easily be served on crispy kettle chips.
And you definitely do not want to let summer end without trying the watermelon salad, which is priced at a ridiculously low $5. The recipe comes from Bounty on Broad. In addition to juicy watermelon, the salad includes deseeded jalapeno, crumbled goat cheese, thinly sliced radish, fresh basil, and…wait for it…little slivers of bacon. (Here, let me wipe the drool off of your chin.)
Kunal is committed to doing these Indian Pizza Pop Ups once a month on a Sunday for the next six months. In that time, he hopes to support and fundraise for the rescue groups that need help the most. (Ed. Note: I’ll try to update this post with new dates as we know them.)
He couldn’t do any of this without his team–The Cove’s Michael Kuntsman and Liya Morris are a big help in prepping and cooking the dishes. He also has volunteers who help expedite, clean up and take orders.
So come on down to the Cove on Sunday. Place your food order at the volunteer table and get your drinks like you always do from Parks at the bar.
Kunal’s Indian Pizza Pop Up
The Cove (2559 Broad Ave.)
Sunday, october 15, 2017
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Stacey Greenberg is a freelance writer who lives in Cooper Young with her two teenaged sons. She’s a contributor to Thrillist.com, Edible Memphis, I Love Memphis, and Memphis Travel. She’s also the author of the award winning blog, Dining with Monkeys (diningwithmonkeys.com). A lifelong Memphian, she loves the fact that she’s never met a stranger here.