6 Quirky Street Food Dishes That Go Beyond The Usual Ones

Because street food is bae…

Vadapav, Chinese Bhel and Dosa are the usual suspects when we talk street food. We travelled across the city and stumbled on some really unconventional yet delicious dishes to be on your list to try. So, read on and know more about what the street food maximum city has to offer…

Cheese Burst Dosa@Pure Milk Centre, Ghatkopar

Cheese Burst Dosa at Pure Milk Centre
Cheese Burst Dosa at Pure Milk Centre

Are you cheesy just like us? Not the romantic one, but does cheese make you happy? Head to Pure Milk Centre and chow down the Cheese Burst Dosa. Oodles of melted cheese are ladled on your dosa so that you get cheese in every bite! We’re sure you love cheese in your dosa but this takes it to another level all together.

Chicken Vadapav@Balamia Lane, Mahim

Chicken Vada Pav
Chicken Vada Pav

Vadapav has been synonymous to street food in Mumbai but what else can be a variant? We spent some time in the quest and stumbled upon the glorious non vegetarian cousin: Chicken Vadapav! A luscious potato mashed patty has bits of shredded chicken in it sandwiched between a pav laced with spicy chutney, need we say more?

Maggi Pizza@Hungry Head, Powai

Maggi Pizza at Hungry Head
Maggi Pizza at Hungry Head

Maggi is probably the first dish in terms of kitchen experience we’ve all had. This Maggi Pizza has a noodle base with cheese and other toppings. Bite into a crunchy and cheesy Maggi Pizza,a dish that justifies our love for all things junk.

Vitamin Bhel@Soam, Chowpatty

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Vitamin Bhel at Soam, Chowpatty

Vitamin and Bhel next to each other, in the same sentence? You read it right! We’re talking about a street food delight that pleases your tummy and tongue both. A mix of sprouts and lentils is laced with yoghurt and green chutney; it’s then tossed with veggies. It sure sounds fun for a humble street side snack.

Chicken Pav Bhaji@Pancho’s Pav Bhaji, Powai

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Food, it’s fascinating how it evolves and adapts especially if you see Pav Bhaji. It started off a quick lunch meant for workers that evolved into a street food favourite and then one with chicken. Pancho’s Pav Bhaji is a delivery/ take-out place operating in Powai that dishes out the awesome Chicken Pav Bhaji. If you want to try other variants, they offer some other exciting stuff too!

Pizza Sev Puri@Shreeji Stall, Borivali

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Pizza Sev Puri

Love chaat but can’t get enough of Pizza? We’ve found you a dish that combines both which is called Pizza Sevpuri. Flat puris with cheese and spices is heated and you get a mouthful of flavour when you pop one in. Head to Borivali, Shreeji Stall and you’ll find the dish everyone is raving about.

Photo Credits: Cryselle D’souza, Rupa Iyer and Ankur Chheda

Know Your Food: Italian Cuisine Explained

Because this rustic cuisine has much more to offer than just pizza

We always think of pizza or pasta when we speak about Italian food, but we’re far from the whole truth. Rustic, simple and fresh, this cuisine finds its roots all the way back to antiquity. It is known for its regional diversity and with Italian food it’s all about the ingredients. So, read on to know more about authentic Italian food and where to find it in this city.

Bruschetta

bruschetta
Bruschetta

A typical Italian Antipasto (starter), Bruschetta is bread placed on a grill, rubbed with garlic and olive oil. It comes topped with tomato, onions and caramelized balsamic vinegar. Probably one of the most famous dishes, this dish hails from southern Italy.

Bite into some tasty Bruschetta at Quattro Ristorante, Prego – The Westin and Gustoso.

Insalata Capresse

Insalata Capresse or Caprese Salad
Insalata Capresse or Caprese Salad

We know this dish by the name of Capresse Salad and it’s another simplistic yet flavourful salad. Made by sliced Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil seasoned with Olive oil, and sometimes even dressed with Balsamic dressing.

Stay healthy with this simple yet flavourful salad at Quattro Ristorante and Trattoria Vivanta by Taj.

Minestrone

Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup

On a cold night when it’s freezing outside, warm up to a bowl of Minestrone – a thick soup replete with vegetables.  This soup probably has been around since the Roman Empire and it’s fascinating how, over the years the recipe has adapted to the new times. Currently, classic Minestrone comes with veggies and some pasta too!

Warm up to a bowl of Minestrone at Gustoso and Mockingbird Café Bar

Pesto

Pesto
Pesto

We have chutney and just like us, Italy has Pesto. Now, these two may look similar but they’re actually very different. Pesto is essentially a paste made of pine nuts, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. It’s aromatic, rustic and earthy; usually served with pasta; it can also be used as a dip or spread.

Get your pesto fix at Saucery and Café Moshe’s

Carpaccio

Tenderloin Carpaccio
Tenderloin Carpaccio

Carpaccio probably is the most recent addition to Italy’s culinary heritage. Usually served as an appetizer, it is was invented in 1950’s and named after Vittore Carpaccio, an Italian painter. A rather discerning delicacy, is made with thinly sliced meat which is usually raw  with seasoning such as lemon, salt or vinaigrette.

Arancini

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Arancini is an appetizer made of deep fried risotto balls and is believed to hail from Sicily after the Arab invaders brought rice to Italy. The name loosely means little oranges and aptly so after what tiny Arancini balls resemble. Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside they’re usually filled with tomato sauce, cheese and meat.

Devour these cheesy delights at Prego – The Westin and Farzi Café

Focaccia

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Imagine the aroma of freshly baked bread, isn’t it appetizing? Focaccia is flat bread usually made with dough similar to pizza crust and olive oil. This soft and luscious bread comes with toppings such as olives, sundried tomatoes and capers.

Dig into a comforting Focaccia at World Streat Food, The Rolling Pin, Theobroma and Café Moshe’s

Pizza Ai Frutti di Mare

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Love seafood? Love pizza? Here’s the Pizza you wouldn’t want to miss. Ai Frutti di Mare is a typical Italian seafood pizza that comes topped with squids, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, caviar, scallops, shellfish, clams, et al.

Relish this delight at Prego – The Westin and Jamie’s Pizzeria by Jamie Oliver

Calzone

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Remember Hot pockets? Slightly similar to those, this Italian street food favourite resembles Spanish Empanadas or Stromboli. Folded over, stuffed with cheese and pizza toppings and then baked. It sure makes for the perfect snack on the go!

Snack on a Calzone at Quattro Ristorante and Café Mangii

Pasta Aglio Olio

 

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When do you call a dish minimalistic? Probably when the preparation only requires five ingredients and yet be extremely delicious. Literally translates to olive oil and garlic, this dish requires patience to infuse the oil with the ingredients. The pasta is then tossed in the oily flavourful sauce and garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Polish off a plateful of this delight at Prithvi Cafe and 145

Risotto

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Rich, creamy and hearty Risotto hails from Milan. Arborio rice  cooked in a dense broth makes for a delicious meal. This dish gets it silky texture from the traditional slow cooking. Wholesome, heart and comforting are just some of the adjectives we think of when someone says Risotto.

Nourish yourself with risotto at Cafe Mangii and The Tasting Room

Panna Cotta

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Literally translates to cooked cream in Italian, this no doubt, is a dessert. Originating from Northern Italy, it traditionally is chilled in ramekins and serves with coulis. You know a well-made Panna cotta when it has a supple consistency, it wobbles but stays firm holding its shape.

Scoop up the last bit of Panna Cotta at Mirchi & Mime and The Sassy Spoon

Gelato

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Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. The first ever records of people relishing flavoured ice shavings in Italy date back as much as 3000 BC. Slow churning gives it the creamy consistency and enhances the flavour. Little did we know what used to be just flavoured ice flakes will evolve into an indulgent dessert, we now call Gelato?

Relish a gelato at Gelato Italiano and Amore Gourmet Gelato

Tiramisu

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Tiramisu literally means pick-me-up in Italian and why not? This decadent dessert is delicately crafted with espresso and kahlua soaked Saviordi biscuits, layered with mascarpone cheese and cocoa. This dessert is relished not only in Italy but across the globe too!

Pick it up and savour a decadent Tiramisu at Trattoria – Vivanta by Taj and Pizza By The Bay

Images for representational purposes only.

5 Perfect Gifts For Your Valentine

Show your love some more love

So you’re all set for your date night tomorrow, but haven’t figured your gift yet? Worry not, just read on and know more about the gifting options to make your date picture perfect!

Natural, Artisanal Hampers by ShopHop

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Does your partner make health a priority? You couldn’t go wrong with the ShopHop Valentine’s Day Hamper. What’s ShopHop you’d ask? It’s a portal to all things natural and artisanal. A carefully put together hamper includes Indah Chocolate Bar, Snackible’s Roasted Mexican Chickpeas, Gardner Street Detox Tea and  Neemli Naturals Beer Soap and Scrub amongst others.

Chocolates by ITC Fabelle
Chocolates are probably the first thing that one thinks as a gift for Valentine’s Day and why not? They just make the occasion even more special, but this year gift her a special box of customized box of chocolates from Fabelle the Chocolate Boutique at ITC Grand Central. Surprise them with a box of the exquisite velvety soft cubes of exotic cocoa delicately churned with butter and fresh cream and fade into the sunset with a love song playing in the background…

Marzipans by Nordic Kandie

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Marzipans are not only beautiful but delicious too! If your partner has a sweet tooth, head to Nordic Kandie at Peddar Road and get a box of marzipans. Hand made with mamra almonds, they have a special range made just to express how much you love her. Choose from 17 different flavours like almond, cinnamon, raspberry lemon and mint to name a few.  A 100% vegetarian, gluten free and cholesterol free sweet, Nordic Kandie’s special Valentine’s candies have been decorated with all things Heart!

Bartender on Demand by The Daily Bar & Kitchen

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So you think chocolates and gifts are a little too mainstream? Get her a bartender on demand. The Daily Bar & Kitchen is offering a sleek takeaway cocktail bottle dressed as a bartender. It is the perfect gift if you’re looking to spend the Valentine’s Day snuggling up on the couch. What’s more you’d ask? It can be personalized and customized to ones taste and alcohol preference.

Bake Me Away at Wisk by Cakesmiths

Donuts at Wisk by Cakesmiths
Donuts at Wisk by Cakesmiths

Does your significant other love baking? Rekindle your romance whilst you bake together. Enroll yourselves into a class at Wisk by Cakesmiths. Learn how to bake gourmet cakes, breads and many others and get your kitchen game on fleek!

10 Best Places For Your Date Night This Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air…

What is that one thing that makes your significant other happy? When you leave no stone unturned to express your love for them. This year, it comes on a weekday but that is just another hurdle to make the evening even more special. Here’s a list of restaurants you can take your significant other.

 

For the beach babies

Estella, Juhu

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Estella, Juhu

Fancy a date by the sea? Book your table at the recently opened Modern Australian restaurant – Estella. Listen to the soothing sound of the waves gently crashing onto the shore while you savour an elaborate menu. Try their Thai Salmon Fishcake with poached Salmon Salad & Tomato Chowder. If you like sushi, try the Beach Salmon & Beet Carpaccio Maki Rolls that come with avocado & creamy ponzu topped crab salad.

Kiki’s Café & Deli, Mandwa Jetty

Kiki's Cafe & Delhi, Mandwa Jetty
Kiki’s Cafe & Delhi, Mandwa Jetty

So you want it to be picture perfect away from the city and yet by the beach? Hop on to the next ferry from Gateway of India that takes you to Mandwa Jetty. Make your way to Kiki’s Café & Deli with sweeping views of the sea. Feel the sea breeze and savour a delish Seafood Linguine with Truffle Oil or Balinese Curry.

For the ones wanting to dance the night away

Copa, Juhu

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Copa, Juhu

If you want to dance the night away, Copa is your place to be. Sip on the gastronomic cocktails such as The Big Booty (no pun intended) and hold her close as you move to the tunes of Bachata.

 

For the ones yearning some quality time

One Street Over, Bandra

One Street Over, Bandra
One Street Over, Bandra

It’s time to celebrate love and savour some cocktails made especially for your date night at One Street Over, Bandra. Bond over a dish of their delicious Crab Rangoon Wontons or their Dan Dan Noodles. Sip on a glass of Cranberry Kiss – a mélange of Chandon and cranberry sorbet and many more.

Veranda, Bandra

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Veranda, Bandra

If you enjoy your alone time away from the city’s chaos, Veranda is your place to be. It’s the simplicity of this place that allows love to blossom over a plateful of delicious Allepy Prawns curry or Rogan Josh. Sip some Watermelon & Basil Mojito while you’re at it.

The Korner House, Khar

The Korner House, Khar
The Korner House, Khar

If you’re a gourmand, you and your partner should head to Chef Vicky Ratnani’s The Korner House for your date night. Nestled in a quaint yet cheery lane, this restaurant is ideal for a gourmet meal with the one you love. Sample an decadent four course meal that includes Winter Asparagus Soup with Parmesan or Fillet of Norwegian Salmon with baby bokchoy and Persian lemon buerre blanc.

For your dose of the good old retro

Door No 1, Bandra
Miss the times when Elvis Presley’s songs topped the charts? Head to Door No 1 for your dose of true blue retro. Devour some delicious Char grilled Lemon Mustard Fish Tikka or Mixed Sprout Falafel with Hummus Dip. Sip on spiked Chocolate Milkshake as you relive memories from when you were strangers in the night to when you can’t stop falling in love with her!

For the high school love Birds

Bar Bar, Kurla
High school sweethearts, head to Bar Bar this Valentine’s Day, why you’d ask? This Valentine’s Bar Bar hosts a prom night theme that takes your back in time. So ladies and gentlemen, don your pleated skirts and strap on your suspenders; shake a leg to the chartbusters from 80’s 90’s and early 2000’s. Savour a menu replete with nostalgia such as Pulled Chicken Dabeli, Chinese Bhel Frankie, Machchi Mirchi Pav, et al.  At the end of your date, the best dressed couple gets a prize too!!

 

For the Art Affceionados

AKA Bistro, Kala Ghoda

Interiors at AKA Bistro
Interiors at AKA Bistro

If you or your partner is art aficionados, take a walk around the art district, Kalaghoda and head to AKA Bistro. This place is a mélange of modern pop art and neo classical baroque décor. It’s a great place for some delectable food and quality time with your significant other.  Find yourself relishing a menu especially curated for the occasion. Sample some Prawn bisque, Broccoli Cakes and Seafood Paella amongst other.

 

For the Bollywood Buff

Madeira & Mime, Powai

New Restaurants in Mumbai
Madeira & Mime

This Valentine’s Day, go over the top with the one you love. If you’re a Bollywood buff, you’re in for a treat at Madeira & Mime. Get all mushy with the ‘Roop ki Raani and Choron Ka Raja’ theme. They’ve gone all out with cocktails such as Disco Pisco, Pyaar ka PUNCHnama & Prem Ratan ‘RUM’ Paayo. That’s not all, there’s a selfie corner, lovey dovey music and games too!

7 Places You Should Eat At During Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, 2017

Don’t miss out on these restaurants while at the KGAF.

It’s that time of the year, the Kala Ghoda Fest is here. The crowds flock the city’s beloved art district; some stare in awe at the lovely art installations, some enjoy performances while the others pose for selfies. Whilst all this, if your tummy grumbles, these are the places we suggest.

Khyber

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Interiors at Khyber, Kala Ghoda

Drenched in history, this place echoes the stories told in north western frontier of the country. The elaborate detail to décor is reminiscent of Scherezade from the Arabian nights and the traders that tread the Silk Route. North western frontier cuisine has gathered liking from actors, cricketers, singers and politicians alike. Relish a good plate of Reshmi Broccoli and Chicken Mughlai with a Roomali Rotis.

AKA Bistro

Interiors at AKA Bistro
Interiors at AKA Bistro

Want to have a quick bite or an easy relaxed lunch before you head to your next session? Head to AKA Bistro; located just opposite Commerce House and The Pantry. This bistro is hard to miss but once inside, the neo classical baroque décor will make you want to spend more time here. Savour a Buckwheat crepe or Fish Tacos and don’t forget to sample some of their teas while you’re at it.

Ayub’s
Remember how rolls used to be your snack on-the-go during college days? Just next to the Synagogue, you’ll find crowds swarming the tiny joint for their share of kebabs and rolls after which they walk away with a smile on their faces. Try their melt in mouth Seekh Kebab Rolls and Baida Roti.

Burma Burma

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Interiors at Burma Burma


Crave some lip smacking Asian food? Head to Burma Burma tucked inside a lane in the art district. The restaurant serves some delicious Burmese (Myanmar) delicacies that remain unexplored. Dig into some comforting Khao Suey, a thick noodle broth after a long day at the Kala Ghoda Arts Fest, 2017. If you’re in the mood for light eats try their delicious Tayat Ti Thoke (Raw Mango Salad) and wash it down with their excellent collection of teas.

1441 Pizzeria
Recently opened, this pizzeria is located near Lion’s Gate and it’s easy to spot. Visit this place for some gourmet DIY (do it yourself) pizzas that allow you to get your inner chef out. The pizzas are then stone baked and served fresh, more importantly, piping hot!

145

145
Interiors at 145


Now, we’ve all been to this place, but for those of you who haven’t, this noon to moon place is home to cocktails, milkshakes, finger food and they have a pool table too! Located on the first floor, it’s slightly difficult to spot this place and then get a table. Once you accomplish both, sit at the bar sipping on the delicious cocktails and munch on Pork Fries.

5 Sinful Desserts You Should Eat This World Nutella Day: Sugar Rush Guaranteed!

Nuts for Nutella!

Do you love Nutella? We’re just saying that it was a rhetorical question, because we know you do! Guess what? 5th of February, today, is the World Nutella Day! So, we thought, why not write about our love for the luscious spread that’s an indivisible part of our lives; here’s a list of decadent eats (and drinks)

Nutella Pizza@1441 Pizzeria, Fort

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Nutellla Pizza at 1441 Pizzeria

Like Pizza? Now there’s a pizza with Nutella on it! At 1441 Pizzeria, where they stone bake their pizzas, a gooey Nutella Pizza topped with pillowy marshmallows is the perfect way to celebrate World Nutella Day!

Nutella Sea Salt  Cookies@Sweetish House Mafia, Nariman Point

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Nutella Sea Salt Cookies at Sweetish House Mafia

Sometimes, even Nutella needs a partner in crime for guilty pleasures. Here it’s sea salt. Delicious melt-in-mouth cookie oozing with rich chocolate hazelnut concoction with a tiny hint of coarse sea salt, need we say more?

Nutella Crepe@Suzette Creperie & Cafe, Bandra

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Nutella Crepe at Suzette

Love chocolate, but like to keep it light? Try the yummy Nutella Crepe at Suzette. A thin  crepe that comes smothered with goodness of chocolates and hazelnut. This, indeed is your hero when you crave chocolate and try to eat healthy.

Nutella Mudwell Cake@The Boston Cupcakery, Bandra

Nutella Mudwell Cake at The Boston Cupcakery
Nutella Mudwell Cake at The Boston Cupcakery

Ever wondered if there’s a universal cure to our worries? Well, we don’t know about that but the Nutella Mudwell Cake at The Boston Cupcake sure seems to fit the bill. The cake has a central cavity that’s gooey and creamy with the rich hazelnut spread. We rest our case.

Nutella Waffles and Churro Ice cream Cones@145, Kalaghoda

Nutella Waffles and Churro Ice cream Cones at145
Nutella Waffles and Churro Ice cream Cones at145

Located in the city’s art district, 145 dishes out some really indulgent desserts. Nutella Waffles and Churro Ice cream cones is one such lip-smacking dessert that brings together Spanish Churros, Italian Nutella and Belgian Waffles together.

Image Credits: Cryselle D’souza

Know Your Food: Gujarati Cuisine Decoded

Gujarati cuisine at a glance…

People of Gujarat, have travelled around the globe and they’ve taken their cuisine everywhere they’ve gone. Even though it’s a coastal state, most of people are either lacto-vegans or Jains. Their vibrant culture and delicious cuisine have been relished only in Thalis, but there’s more to it than just that. Here’s a list of yummy eats, your Gujju food 101.

Thali@Golden Star Thali, Charni Road

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Thali

It’s probably the first thing that occurs to one when you say Gujarati food. The idea of Thali restaurants is based on the importance of food in the warm and welcoming Gujarati culture. A Thali is an ensemble of roti, vegetables, curries, rice, savoury snacks and rice.

Khandvi@Ashok Khaman House, Malad

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Khandvi

Khandvi is a popular snack in Gujarat. Seen at many snack joints, they resemble pinwheel sandwich, except this one has no bread. Tempered chickpea flour and buttermilk is made into a gooey mixture, flattened onto a surface and rolled back. They are lusciously tender and delicious as the spices blend well with the slightly sour buttermilk.

Undhiyu@B Bhagat Tarachand, Marine Lines
When winter arrives, it brings with it a bunch of seasonal fruits and veggies. For Gujarat it is Undhiyo; everyone relishes this winter favourite dish. This one-pot vegetable dish is made with numerous seasonal vegetables and muthiya – deep fried gram flour dumplings.

Dhokla@Bikaji Food Junction, Malad

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Dhokla

Dhokla is probably one of the well known Gujarati snacks. It’s like the SpongeBob of Gujarati snacks. This fermented dish is  both a street food favourite and go-to comfort dish. Made from a lentil flour and yogurt batter, it’s steamed and that’s what makes it light and porous.

Thepla@Guru Kripa, Sion

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Thepla

The Gujarati community is known to be avid travellers and wherever they’ve travelled, they carry Theplas with them. What is Thepla you’d ask? It’s a thin flatbread, usually made with fenugreek leaves makes for an appetizing snack for an untimely hunger pang or something to go with your piping hot cuppa chai.

Dal Dhokli@Chetana, Fort
Dal dhokli is a hearty dish that beats your bad mood and rescues you from your hunger pangs. Made with thinly rolled cakes of dough in a thick rich lentil gravy, it is a substitute for a meal when you crave some warmth and nutrition.

Patra@Status Veg Restaurant, Nariman Point

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Patra

Another pinwheel snack, it is a side dish during dinners too! Colacasia leaves are stacked on top of each other sandwiching a rice and lentil flour mixed with spices that are twice cooked, first steamed and then shallow fried.  Rolled up together with sesame seeds garnish, it is crunchy and delicious!

Locho@Gopal Locho, Kandivli West

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Locho

Hailing from Surat, Locho is a nourishing yet delicious snack and it has an interesting backstory to it. Whilst making some Dhokla, the cook, by error added a little more water to the batter and when he realized it, he exclaimed Su locho (problem) thai gayu?!” and hence the name was derived. Made with very little oil or spices, the traditional variant comes drizzled with clarified butter and sprinkled masala. This heart snack also doubles up for a mini-meal sometimes.

Sev Tamate nu Saak@Kailash Parbat, Colaba

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Sev Tamatar nu Shaak

This one’s a favourite amongst the ones who like a little more spice in the rather balanced Gujarati food. Sev, deep fried lentil dough shavings is a snack enjoyed at all times and they have recipes too!

Khakra@Brijwasi Sweets, Powai

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Khakra

Ever fancied a snack that’s filling enough for the mid-meal hunger pangs and portable enough to carry around everywhere? You should probably try Khakra. This is a flatbread made of cereal but it comes is many variants such as pav bhaji, Jeera, Masala, et al.

Shrikhand@Dwarka, Fort

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Shrikhand

Hung curd and sugar make a luscious dessert that no one can ever get enough of. This creamy concoction can be relished either as a dessert or with a piping hot puri.

Mohanthal@Kandoi Haribhai Damodar Mithaiwala, Borivali

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Mohanthal

Mohanthal is one of the signature dishes that Gujarat is known for. Just like the warm hospitable and friendly people of this state, the cuisine offers a dessert called Mohanthal. It is a delicacy of gram flour, nuts, butter and saffron. Slow cooked until it gains a fudge like consistency, this melt-in-your-mouth delight will have you swooning over as soon as you take the first bite.

Images for representational purposes only.

Photo Credits: Cryselle D’souza

8 Strawberry Dishes You Must try This Season!

The very good berry is here again!

The Strawberry season is here! We’ve seen it in ice creams, shakes, fruits markets and sometimes even on traffic signals. What we don’t do is enjoy this fruit to its fullest. So, we thought why not make the most of it while this luscious red berry is here? Here’s our list of strawberry dishes you must try in Mumbai.

Strawberry Balsamic Ice cream@The Sassy Spoon, Bandra

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Strawberry Balsamic Ice cream at The Sassy Spoon

Why have strawberry ice creams, when you get your fix from one that hosts a myriad of flavours in it? A twist on the usual Strawberry Balsamic Salad, this ice cream is a lovely concoction. What’s more? You can taste an underlying hint of watermelon too!

Rich Chocolate Strawberry@Deliciae, Khar

Rich Chocolate Strawberry at Deliciae
Rich Chocolate Strawberry at Deliciae

Strawberries and chocolates are good on their own, but imagine what would happen if they were put together in a sinful mélange. A dense dark, intense and gooey chocolate cake with real juicy strawberries, need we say more?

Strawberrylicious Hot Chocolate@Grandmama’s Café, Lower Parel

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Strawberrylicious Hot Chocolate at Grandmama’s Cafe

Now, hot chocolate may be an all year round favourite. This comforting warm potion sure sets you in motion when you feel low or crave comfort. It gets even better with chunks of juicy slightly sweet strawberries.

Winter Strawberry & Couscous Mix@Ministry of Salads, Breach Candy

 

Winter Strawberry & Couscous Mix at Ministry of Salads
Winter Strawberry & Couscous Mix at Ministry of Salads

We thought why not find something healthy with strawberries and we stumbled on the Winter Strawberry & Couscous Salad. This salad has strawberries with couscous and baby spinach, crisp red onions, crunchy almonds and flax seeds. The Balsamic dressing single handedly balances the flavours.

 Strawberry Tart@Theobroma, Colaba

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Strawberry Tart Image only for representational purposes

What’s a strawberry season without a good old strawberry tart? Besides, you know if you’re talking desserts and Theobroma, you’ll surely satiate your sweet tooth. A brittle pastry casing topped with strawberries make for the best nostalgia inducing strawberry dessert!

 Strawberry Waffles@Coffee by Di Bella, Peddar Road

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Strawberry Waffles at Coffee by Di Bella

We all know that waffles at Di Bella have been a favourite, but this season they’re pretty with slices of strawberry on top! Freshly made warm waffles come drizzled with Nutella and topped with luscious strawberry slices, they are as indulgent as they are comforting.

Peperrazi Pink@Sucres De Terres, Worli

Peperrazi Pink at Sucres De Terres
Peperrazi Pink at Sucres De Terres

Fan of artisanal ice creams? Get your hands on Peperazzi Pink from Sucres De Terres. Flavours of luscious strawberries and zesty black pepper marry in an ice cream that’s an indulgence in itself.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Focaccia@Lobby Lounge, Grand Hyatt, Santacruz

We know that strawberries make for good dessert and savouries too. Head to the Lobby Lounge at the Grand Hyatt and try some delicious Strawberry Goat Cheese Focaccia. Warm soft bread with tart strawberries and creamy goat cheese make for the perfect snack to pair with your tea.

India On A Platter – Part 2

A culinary insight into the heart of the country

We’ve seen that Indian subcontinent houses a lot of mouth watering cuisines. We’re definitely privileged and spoilt for choice, at least with food. As hedonists in pursuit of nirvana, here’s another list of cuisines you should try.

Khozi Melagu Chettinad@South Of VindhyasThe Orchid, Vile Parle

Khozi Melagu Chettinad
Khozi Melagu Chettinad

In a collection of cuisines that Tamil Nadu sees, Chettinad is the most well known. This is owing to the unrestricted use of spices and use of sun dried meat – a technique adapted very early in the culinary history. Interestingly, it is just one of the techniques they adopted whilst trading with merchants from across the south-east Asian countries.

 

Kosha Mangsho@Bhojohari Manna, Oshiwara

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Kosha Mangsho

What we usually interpret as a cuisine of desserts actually has some feisty curries to it too! Bengal has seen an influx of both the pre-independence Colonial and Chinese, yet the cuisine have been carefully retained. One such example is Kasho Mangsho, a lovely and robust mutton curry you’re supposed to polish off with rice.

Kolhapuri Sukke@Diva Maharashtracha, Matunga West

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Kolhapuri Sukke

As a host to many tribes and communities, Maharashtrian cuisine is vast, in fact it is believed that food changes in every family with their best kept secrets. With dishes ranging from mildly spiced to fiery, the cuisine in itself is diverse. Kolhapuri Sukke is a dish relished by many for abundant use of spices. However, if you don’t have an appetite for spice, you can easily gorge onto some Sabudana khichdi, sago sautéed over clarified butter with green chilies and crushed peanuts.

Coorgi Chicken Curry@South Of VindhyasThe Orchid, Vile Parle

Coorgi Chicken Curry
Coorgi Chicken Curry

Coorg is a nestled hill station not very far from Bangalore. This lush idyllic village is aptly nicknamed the Scotland of India and hosts a warrior tribe known as Kodava. These warm hospitable people have a cuisine that’s  delicious and sourced from the forests. Coorgi Chicken curry just like its other dishes is aromatic, piquant yet flavourful. Tangy and spicy, it teases the palate just as it pleases it.

Patra@Thacker’s, Girgaon Chowpatty

Even though Gujarat has a considerable coastline, it mostly, remains a vegetarian state. That’s not all, Gujarat is host to four cuisines hailing from the different regions such as Kathiawad, Kutch, Northern Gujarat and Surat. With distinct flavours and recipes in all cuisines some are relatively better known. Patra, a stack of colacasia leaves cemented with rice and lentil spice mix spiraled is steamed and then fried. Usually served as an appetizer it’s relished by everyone and it doubles up as a snack too!

Dal Makhani@Pratap Da Dhaba, Andheri West

dal-makhani

What can you say about the food in a state known as the ‘Food bowl of India’? Punjab being a highly agrarian state has a robust yet rustic cuisine. The food is replete with butter and cream , Dal Makhani being an apt example. Slow cooked whole black lentils and cream which blends together seamlessly into a bowl (or two) of comforting almost life saving nirvana that you’d relish with a paratha.

Paya Shorba@Gallops, Mahalaxmi Race Course

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Paaya Shorba

Hyderabad, the city of Nizams, drenched in opulence still echoes the lovely culinary traditions in the Hyderabadi cuisine. Paya Shorbas is a comforting lamb trotter broth that warms you up just when you need it. A subtly spiced and delicately flavoured, this soup that also doubles as a remedy to the ones who need to heal.

Thukpa@New Sernyaa, Andheri

When someone usually speaks about Indian cuisine we probably think about curry and Tandoori chicken. Not very far, in the North East, the seven sisters such as Assam, Sikkim et al. These cuisines lay unexplored and Thukpa is one such dish from Sikkimese cuisine. A hearty broth made with noodles, vegetables and meat; simple nourishing and delicious it’s relished by all.

Images for representational purposes only.

Photo Credits: Cryselle D’souza 

India On A Platter

Culinary gems of India at a glance

India is a vibrant country where diversity is its beauty. With over a hundred spoken languages, cultures and cuisines, this country is a melting pot of cultures which remains strong at its roots. We are a country that’s witnessed history since the Neolithic age and savors food brought in by the conquerors, traders and visitors. This Republic Day, let’s have a look at how gastronomically diverse our country is. Here’s our list of places in Mumbai where you get to taste a bit of every culture from India.

Litti Chokha@Litti Express, Andheri West

Litti Chokha
Litti Chokha

When you think of Bihari cuisine, the first thing that occurs to you is Litti Chokha. No doubt it’s become one of the culinary symbols of Bihar, but there’s also a long history to it. The earliest records of these sun baked dough balls are mentioned in Ibn Batuta’s records as ancient as Magadha Empire. So, break open into a litti and relish it with the feisty and pungent chokha.

Gosht Yakhni@Poush Essence of Kashmir, Kurla
Jammu & Kashmir is a princely state that was synonymous to the Mughal Emperor Jehangir’s idea of heaven. This state houses Kashmiri Muslims and Hindu Pundits, consequentially their cuisines as well. Gosht Yakhni is an authentic Kashmiri mutton dish in yoghurt gravy with an abundance of spices.

Pork Vindaloo@New Martin, Colaba

pork-sorpotal
Goa is the perfect destination for some sun, sand and surf, but did you know Goan cuisine is just as interesting? This culinary heritage is a classic mélange of the early Indian habitants and the Portuguese settlers. Now, the Goans don’t shy away from spices and Pork Vindaloo stands testimony to that! Luscious chunks of Pork marinated in wine and garlic are cooked in spicy, tangy and sour curry. This dish may be hostile to your palate at first, but it is a treat for sure!

Karimeen Polichattu @Lalit Refreshments – Taste of Kerala, Fort

Karimeen Pollichattu
Karimeen Pollichattu

Kerala also known as the land of spices has quite a few culinary delights. With a multitude of both no vegetarian dishes, seafood remains sacrosanct. One such example of their love for seafood is Karimeen Pollichatthu. A bony fish wrapped in a sautéed spice mix and banana leaf. When you crave authentic Kerala seafood, head to Lalit Refreshments – Taste of Kerala, a quaint little eatery tucked into a lane at Fort.

Galaouti Kebab@Dum Pukht ITC Grand MarathaAndheri

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Native to the city of Nawabs, Lucknow, Awadhi cuisine is way different from what we usually misunderstand it as Mughlai. With influences from Mughal cooking methods, it finds its roots from Central Asia. The Dum cooking method also hails from this glorious cuisine of the Nawabs. Sample some melt-in-mouth Galouti Kebab. We’ve heard they were made to please a toothless Nawab, Asaf-ud-Dowlah and have been winning hearts ever since!

Podi Annam@Gonguura, Andheri
Andhra Pradesh hosts a trio of cuisines, the coastal  Nothern-Andhra and Rayalaseema being famous for the liberal use of spices. Podi Annam is a classic example of a quintessentially Andhra meal. Podi, also known as gun powder, is a feisty mix of red chilly power, sesame seeds and lentils. It’s liberally sprinkled on rice and topped with a dollop of ghee. This sure makes for a delicious yet minimalistic meal.

Dhansak@Jimmy Boy, Fort

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Chicken Dhansak


Parsi Cuisine has been around for a while but as a country, we are yet to acknowledge and admire this rather simplistic cuisine. Bearing influences from Caucasian cuisines such as Kurdish and Turkish, it has, over time adapted to Indian taste too. Dhansak is one such gem of this cuisine. This dense three lentil curry is originally made with tender chunks of lamb and secret spice mix. If you aren’t fond of mutton, you can try the chicken and vegetarian variants too!

Panchmel Dal@Chetana, Kala Ghoda

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Panchmel Daal


The land of royalty, Rajasthan has many a culinary gems (pun intended) and is usually confused with cuisines from either Kutch or Gujarat. Panchmel Dal has a little bit of history to it too; apparently, the first record of this five lentil preparation was in the Ayurveda and is backed by some records found in Chandra Gupta Maurya’s reign.

Photo Credits: Cryselle D’souza