Knights of the Raj NYC

Knights of the Raj NYC was an immersive after-hours exhibition and dining experience on show at MOFAD Lab from July 20 through August 5, 2018. Presented in partnership with Mohammed Ali, Soul City Arts, and Words Beats & Life. With special thanks to Jhal NYC, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, Bengali Harlem Project, and Flushing Town Hall.

Following a ground-breaking exhibition on the history of curry in England, Mohammed Ali debuted a new Knights of the Raj experience at MOFAD in the summer of 2018. With a focus on New York City—home to about half of the nearly 60,000 Bangladeshis, the fastest growing Asian American subgroup, living in the United States today—Knights of the Raj NYC captured the struggles and stories behind the people who brought curry to New York City restaurants, and invited visitors to experience South Asian flavors while absorbing the deeply personal narratives that led Bengali migrants to New York.

Visitors looked past the bright lights in a recreated Curry Hill restaurant, heard the deeply personal narratives of the Bengali migrants who cook and serve curry, learned about Bangladeshi culinary techniques, and enjoyed a three-course tasting menu of traditional recipes donated by chefs and home cooks in the local community.

Artist Mohammed Ali welcomes visitors on opening night

Artist Mohammed Ali welcomes visitors on opening night

Entering the immersive exhibition

Entering the immersive exhibition

Culinary contributor Noor Shams

Culinary contributor Noor Shams

The hidden story behind curry culture

The hidden story behind curry culture

Jhal muri vendor Baul Dada donated his bedroom furniture for the exhibition

Jhal muri vendor Baul Dada donated his bedroom furniture for the exhibition

A view of the culinary studio with boti

A view of the culinary studio with boti

Knights of the Raj NYC launch photos by Nicole Lebenson Angulo