A Punjabi food haven in Mumbai

Being anywhere remotely close to Matunga East for me has always meant eating at one of the South Indian joints. A lot of our working saturdays (my office is in Matunga West) are planned around going for a Keralan meal at Mani’s Lunch Home or wolfing down hot rasam-vadas and paniyarams at Arya Bhawan. Two weeks ago when I planned a trip to Shanmukhanand in Sion to attend a concert, my brain was already hatching ideas to eat at either Arya Bhawan or the legendary Mysore Cafe.

On Sunday afternoon we drove to Sion and I suddenly realized that I was a hop, skip and jump away from Sion Koliwada. Which meant that Chawla’s chole-kulche joint mentioned by Gaurav on his blog (Eating Out In Bombay) was somewhere here. I asked around and we paced towards the area which was soon to become a mini Punjabi food paradise for me in Mumbai.

The tandoors (clay ovens) outside every shop took me back to my childhood when every summer holiday was spent eating rotis straight out of these tandoors. My nana-nani’s (maternal grandparents) village in district Udhamsingh Nagar was inhabited by Punjabis and there wasn’t a single house without a large tandoor in its courtyard. After the last game of eye-spy or langdi-kabaddi when we walked back home in the evening, calls of “rotti kha le” (come have food) from every home would entice us; their doors always stood ajar to welcome whoever was passing by.

Back in Sion Koliwada I was walking past counters lined with imartis and mathris and shops filled with jars full of pickles. But the partially downed shutters and cold tandoors made my heart sink. The Gods of food were definitely smiling on us cause we spotted Chawla’s at a corner, tandoor still fired up and people still sitting and eating.

Few rickety tables and wooden benches made the road-side eatery’s sitting area. An old, Punjabi uncle took our order – 1 plate kulche-chole, 1 plate chole-bhature, 2 chaas, 1 plate dahi all for just Rs 90.

Practiced hands of the cook stuffed dough with spicy potato mix, rolled it into a round disk and slapped the disk against the inner wall of tandoor to let it roast. As the kulcha cooked slowly my mind wandered to a similar road-side dhaba in Amritsar where I had eaten the best kulchas of my life almost 10 years ago. The potato stuffed flat-bread with crispy layers, laden with butter and served with spicy chole has been one of my best food memories. Mouth salivating and tummy rumbling in anticipation, we sat down to eat. The mashed, dark brown chole were the exact replica of my Amritsar memories and baloon like puffed bhature were stretchy, like a bhatura should be. The kulcha didn’t have so many layeres and wasn’t so crisp but every inch of it was stuffed with delighful potato masala. We washed this down with thick, cold chaas flavoured with cumin powder and coriander.

Our hearts completely satisfied, our tummies slightly heavier, as we walked back it was the sweet shop distracting us again. The good fortune was still shining on me and I found chhena murki – sweet made of cottage cheese and dipped in sugar syrup, something I was craving for two days ago. Mouth stuffed with chhena murkis and stomach full with kulche-chole, we walked out of the mini Punjab in the heart of Mumbai.

Breakfast Recipe – Baked Eggs

Weekends are so good; you don’t have to wake up early, get ready in a hurry to go somewhere. The best part is that you don’t have to cook two meals in the morning, a good brunch makes up for two. At least in my case it does. I usually cook one heavy meal on weekend mornings or noons. Usually I prefer eggs cause they fill you up for a good part of the day. Today, instead of going the regular bhurji or omlette way I tried these easy baked eggs. It’s basically breakfast in a bowl and very easy to make.

Ingredients:
Eggs – 2
Bread slices – 2
Onion – 1 small, chopped
Potato – 1 medium, chopped
Spring onion – 2 sprigs, chopped
Capsicum – 1 medium, chopped
Corn – 1/2 cup
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Green chilli – 1, chopped
Olive Oil – 2 tsp
Keya’s All Purpose Seasoning – 1/2 tsp
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Green coriander for garnishing

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius.
  • Heat 1tsp olive oil in a pan and saute all the vegetables including ginger and green chillis (you can add carrot, mushrooms etc if you like).
  • Toast the bread slices. 
  • Grease 2 rameking bowls or a baking bowl with remaining olive oil.
  • Line the ramekins with toasted breads.
  • Top it with sauted vegetables, add saussges, bacon bits if you want.
  • Now break one egg in each ramekin. Season with Keya’s All Purpose Seasoning, salt and pepper. You can also grate cheese on top.
  • Bake at 200 degree Celsius for 15 minutes for firm yolk and around 7 minutes for runny yolk.
  • Remove from the oven, let it cool down a bit, garnish with green coriander and serve.

Restaurant Review – Brunch ‘n’ Munch, Malad West

It was Sunday morning and I woke up craving a big breakfast, preferably English breakfast. Sadly, there aren’t many places serving a good English breakfast in Goregaon and Malad and going to Indigo Deli burns a big hole in the pocket, especially during month end.

While I was thinking of options I remembered Chef Joel D’souza tweeting about a place in Orlem, Malad which serves English breakfast. Orlem has some very shiny gems hidden in its by-lanes and the three month old restaurant/cafe Brunch ‘n’ Munch is definitely one of them. Located in the same lane as Uncle’s Kitchen, this restaurant is sandwiched between a tattoo parlour and a salon, all three owned by the same guy J’son D’Souza.


We found the 20 odd seater packed when we walked in at around 12pm. We sat in the outside section which gives a feeling of a side walk cafe. Since the restaurant is in one of the quieter lanes, there was no traffic snarls or market chaos.

It was too hot and we were desperate for some chilled beer but sadly they do not serve alcohol, not yet. We hope they acquire the liquor license soon and add that missing note to the perfect Goa like ambiance. Till that happens, you can settle for the Virgin mojito which was pretty refreshing.

we ordered an English breakfast (Rs 200) with scrambled eggs, toast, hash brown, baked beans, salamis, sausages and bacon. The glistening meat on our table was enough to whet my appetite. I dug in my big breakfast while the recently-turned-vegetarian husband nibbled on a toast and waited for his vegetarian burger (Rs 70).

The burger had a vegetable patty and the buns were really fluffy. It tasted a bit like McDonald’s Mc aloo tikki, only bigger. They have some meat heavy burgers like the bacon beef, the bhukkad with double beef/chicken patty, bacon, eggs etc. 

The Cold coffee (Rs 50) was a no frills attached drink – plain, simple and chilled. Something you would make at home.

The small, almost bite sized pancakes were fluffy and were served with maple syrup. We were absolutely stuffed by this time but wolfed down the last bit of pancake with the syrup.

Finally, I have found a place close to my house where I’d love to plonk myself every Sunday for a hearty breakfast. If you’re an animal lover you’ll love this place even more because there’s a pet clinic next door.
Must try: English breakfast
Meal for two: Rs 550 (inclusive of taxes)

Address:
Shop No 12, Costa Gravas, Sunder Lane, 
Orlem, Malad West
Mumbai
Phone: 9699699599

Facebook: Brunch ‘n’ Munch

Beetroot chops recipe

Do you know how I love making bread rolls, aloo tikkis and chhole bhature on Sundays? Deep fried Indian snacks are my guilty pleasures hence I try adding healthy ingredients in my recipes. The lowers the guilt factor to a certain extent. I stuff bread samosas with seasonal vegetables or make aloo tikkis stuffed with peas. In one of the issues of BBC’s Good Food India, I saw this recipe of beetroot or chukandar chops. I liked the idea and thought of trying it. The original recipe is sourced from the magazine to which I added some dry mint powder and mixed roasted seeds. I’ve recently grown fond of seeds (flaxseed, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, cucumber seeds) and try consuming them on a daily basis. While I like to eat them plain, straight from the bottle, the husband throws a fit. So I sneak them in tikkis, salads etc (please don’t tell him). In this recipe I used the roasted mixed seeds from Godrej Nature’s Basket’s Healthy Alternatives section


Ingredients
For patty
Potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed) – 3 medium sized
Bread slices (I used brown bread) – 3 slices
Dry mango powder (amchoor powder) – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Green coriander (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Green chillis (chopped) – 2
Salt to taste

Cornflour – 2 tbsp
Water – 1/2 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp

For filling
Beetroot (peeled and grated) – 2 medium
Carrot (grated) – 1 medium
Dry pudina powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger (chopped) – 1 tsp
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Roasted peanuts (crushed) – 2 tbsp
Mixed roasted seeds (flax-seeds, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, cucumber seeds) – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tsp

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients of the patty together and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they splutter add ginger and saute for a minute.
  3. Throw in beetroot, carrot and rest of the ingredients and saute for 4-5 minutes. Let it cool.
  4. Divide potato mixture in 6 equal parts. Flatten each one on your palm, keep a little filling in the centre, close it and roll them into flat patties.
  5. Mix cornflour in water to make a paste.
  6. Heat little oil in a nonstick pan, dip each patty in the cornflour paste and place it on the pan.
  7. Fry till they turn golden on both sides.
  8. Serve with green mint chutney and sliced onions.

Baby potato and bacon salad + Happy Birthday blog

The blog turns two today, it has been a very delicious ride so far. I started this food blog in 2011 after I started food writing for burrp’s features section Know Your City. Initially, the idea was to write restaurant reviews but the blog kept growing and I started posting recipes that I was trying at home. The blog inspired me to bake more often and try out ingredients that I had never used before. Thanks blog and Happy Birthday.

To celebrate the blog’s birthday I thought of making something with bacon, my new found love :). I decided to go with this simple Roasted baby potatoes and bacon salad topped with caramelized onions. The dish tastes wonderful with different sort of flavours and textures; the crunchy bacon, sweet onions and pepper roasted potatoes, what’s not to like about it. I got the inspiration for the recipe from thecozyapron.com. Here’s the recipe with a slight twist.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
Baby potatoes – 250 gms
Onion – 1 large
Bacon – 3-4 strips (depends on how much bacon heavu you want it to be)
Black pepper – 8 (lightly crushed)
Maple syrup – 1 tbsp
Parsley – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Kosher Salt – 1 tsp
Olive oil – 2 tsp for potatoes, 2 tsp for caramelizing onions, 1 tsp for frying bacon

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree celcius.
  • Peel and half the potatoes. Take them in baking dish, add salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Roast the potatoes in oven for about 30 minutes or till they are brown and crisp.
  • Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a pan for caramelized onions, throw in onions and sugar and fry till they turn brown. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan, chop the bacon strips and fry them in the oil. Add maple syrup. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  • Once potatoes are roasted move them in the serving bowl. Top them with maple bacon, caramelized onions and chopped parsley. Serve.

Grab a chilled beer too.

My Doodle recipe is a part of Easy Doodle Recipe contest at BlogAdda.com in association with TastyKhana.com