Things that made me go mmm… in Mumbai
(part 1)

Just wanted to share a few of my random but memorable eats in Mumbai. Truly a melting pot of different flavors, which I confess I didn’t do justice to during the 2 days I was there. BUT I did do my research and have my list of must-try’s now, so consider this a small, feeble start that will be amped up during my next visit in a few months time.

Couscous upma from Indigo Deli

Rashmi: Babe, this place has awesome eggs and things.
Me: Have you tried the couscous upma?
Rashmi: Umm…no. Sounds lame. No one I’ve come with has ever ordered that.
Me: Perfect. That’s exactly why I’m going to order it.

Upma is a South Indian breakfast dish made of rava (aka refined wheat grains) or vermicilli, usually flavored with mustard seeds, curry leaves and a bunch of other spices/veggies native to South Indian cooking. This was the first time I’d heard anyone using couscous as the base rather than rava or vermicilli, so sheer curiosity around how this fusion attempt would turn out lured me away from my beloved eggs benedict.

And for my gutsy move at ordering something that no one else had ordered before with my host (who incidentally, lives right by Indigo Deli and has probably been there enough times to try everything on the menu at least four, if not more, times), I was amply rewarded. The key was ghee, or clarified butter, that the chef had liberally melted all over the couscous grains, transforming them into moist aromatic capsules of rich, buttery flavor. Together with the toasted almonds and raisins, this was the perfect all-in-one rich, crunchy, nutty, sweet and savory start to the weekend. (Pity that I was still half-asleep as I got out of bed to get here, since I left my camera at home and couldn’t photograph this breakfast beauty.)

Pepper King Crab at Trishna’s

Trishna in Fort, Mumbai

I’d heard so much about the phenomenal seafood at this place and had been given so much advice about what to order that I was seriously worried about whether this would be one of those overhyped places where I’d walk away disappointed that the heavens hadn’t called out to me from my plate of Hyderabadi pomfret and jumbo prawns. And then my anxiety melted away with the plate of Trisha’s famous pepper king crab, which showed up last and effectively obliterated the taste of everything else I’d tried before – the pomfret, the prawns, the paneer, the romali roti. I’m sure they must have been good, maybe even outstanding. I just don’t remember any of it.

All I remember…in slow, dramatic, motion…was the first moment that a forkful of peppery crab met my tongue. Ever-so-tender morsels of crabmeat. Laced in buttery broth. Meshed with garlic and pepper. A simple, but explosive duo. That’s heaven calling out. Right from my plate of Trisha’s divine crab concoction.

Trishna's king crab, in all its buttery, peppery supremacy.
Runners up after the king crab (left, clockwise): Steak-thick jumbo tandoori prawns, smoky BBQ-ed paneer tikka, and Hyderabad spice-rubbed pomfret

More memorable eats to follow in my next post…stay tuned.

Indigo Deli
Phone: +91 (22) 6655 1010
5, Ground Floor, Pheroze Building, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharishi Marg,
Apollo Bunder, Mumbai

Phone: +91 (22) /2270 3213, /2270 3214, /2270 3215
Birla Mansion, Sai Baba Marg (next to Commerce House), Kala Ghoda, Fort, Colaba, Mumbai

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

1 thought on “Things that made me go mmm… in Mumbai
(part 1)

  1. Swati says:

    go to bade miya behind Taj or ayub in fort ( on the roadside ) for baida roti – delicious egg and mince meat parantha and kebabs, mahesh lunch home for neer dosa and rawas gassi – the fish is divine and if you want something spicy washed down with cold beer then squid koliwada, joss for khao suey, Swati in Tardeo for Panki and Thalpeeth, Royal China for dim sum and pork puffs and Gokul in Santa Cruz for Sitaphal ice cream ( or if you cant reach there then Naturals )


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