Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Narakchaturdashi 2017

फराळाला या

Come join us for the feast

In our Parsi and Koli household it feels complete when Marathi faral fills the heirloom crockery.

The tea-set is from 1860. Probably it belonged to my great grandmother inlaw. It is manufactured by Bengal Potteries.

The birds on an Almond tree plate is the only one remaining and the lid of the bowl which I use with a different bowl from another set. This is a #staffordshirepottery collection.

This bowl is Made in England, specially imported by F.M. Bharmull & Co. Bombay

These two serving platters don't bear any manufacturing stamp. These belonged to my grandmother inlaw

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ll शुभ लाभ ll धनत्रयोदशीच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा ! Wishing you prosperity this Dhanteras!

 ll शुभ लाभ ll धनत्रयोदशीच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा !

Wishing you prosperity this Dhanteras!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Landed in Paradise

After it we went to Gateway of India enjoyed the sea breeze a bit and then the husband mentioned he wanted to try out Paradise. At around 10 pm we landed in Paradise literally and pun-nily.

As the husband parked the bike I rushed in knowing that we were late and it was time to shutter down for the day. I pleaded with Jimmy uncle that we were hungry and need to be fed and that I am their fan. He smiled big when I mentioned we both featured in the same episode of The Great Indian Rasoi with Chef Ranveer Brar. Immediately he instructed his boys to serve us.

I seated AC first, asked for the menu and then looked at Jimmy uncle and asked 'anything veg?'. Like a true Parsi he mocked in response, 'who is veg?'.

We settled for salli boti and rotli for the man and veg fried rice with gravy for me. 

While the order was brought to the table we discussed about common old friends who have an office in the same building. It was such a lovely feeling coming back to Paradise with my husband and discussing old and new times even though he didn't know me and we were the last customers so an almost personal service. Even the staff is lovely, they believe in feeding and did not grumble even though it was closing time.

Homey Parsi food is the characteristic of  Paradise. The salli was so fine and the husband was happy with just that.

I enjoyed my veg fried rice with the gravy. This was Parsi Chinese, the gravy I mean. But so comforting like Mom's cooking.

Oh yes there was Pallonji raspberry to wash down the food. The servers know to ask the right questions to especially the Parsi client with a twinkle in the eye.

Jimmy uncle chose our dessert for us. He said,'Share a lagan nu custard'. We did not want to eat dessert but he knows how to tempt. AC being the finicky kind asked me to make a taste check and these days he trusts my newly developed palate for Parsi food. When he saw my face light up and signal a superb. He immediately wanted a full piece for himself. Its different from the usual Lagan nu custard in that it is served chilled and ladled with warm sugar syrup over it. I could taste a little bit of semolina in it but it worked well to make it grainy in the right way and for me the best thing was it was not eggy at all. The cardamom and nutmeg notes are subtle. The custard is outstanding, living up to the name!

Address: Sind Chambers, S. B. S., M, Causeway Road, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400005, India

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

A Family Lunch At The Bombay Canteen

Last month finally I got the chance to go to The Bombay Canteen since it opened a year and half ago. Friends were raving all over the internet and I wasn't able to go without company. Yeah my husband is a non food explorer. Matter of fact.

Here is what we ate...

Starter was Arbi tuk. Arbi squashed and made into crisp puri and served like dahi papdi chat. It was delicious and wanted to order a second plate but the beginning was so good I knew this place was promising. I selected a drink called Pink city. It was a lovely blend of watermelon, gauva and pineapple and went well with the tuk. Dad went for his standard sweet and sour Nimboo pani while my husband spotted Pallonji raspberry on the menu and that is a default for a Bawa.

We ordered a stuffed Bhavnagari mirch aur Kantola ka salan with Malabar paratha which was deliciously smooth and sublime. Our well informed server helped us choose the whole wheat sweet potato parathas served with an array of accompaniments like a sweet bengali chutney, onion raita and chilli pickle and Dal makhani with an island of hold your breath TOPLI paneer! As much as the combinations is non traditional and quirky it is a genius creation by Chef Thomas Zacharias. The Dal Makhani is expectedly creamy and served hot. You are obviously tempted by the topli paneer and scoop a bit carefully picking up the creamy dal along and the chilled paneer excites your tongue as you massage the paneer on your palate! Topli paneer is a Parsi delicacy enjoyed on its own as a starter in a wedding feast served on a banana leaf. I have heard many a stories and read a lot to about it. This however was a truly unexpected yet wonderful way of meeting it in a Punjabi dish. Hello Topli paneer! I am a fan now on. Promise.

The husband chose with great difficulty a pepper chicken wrap which came along with spicy potato wafers and a cold barley salad that I loved. He has very rigid food preferences so his opinion I dismissed. To me it looked good.

What's a celebration without dessert? So we chose lavishly. I chose the coffee soaked rasagullas with salted caramel icecream with crunchy peanut chikki (more like butterscotch). I did not look up till I finished it. So goood.

The bawa was happy with his icecream falooda.

Wow! I have a picture to say that this Gulabnut was for Dad. I don't know how I missed reading that it was spiked. When the server brought it to the table and said it was drenched in Old Monk! I shrank back. Psst my Dad is a teetotaller. Thankfully my Dad did not touch it. He was too full to eat. He is a small eater so this did not surprise me plus we were terribly late for lunch so this Gulab jamun doughnut was brought home. At night shared it with the husband and it stole our heart. It had in its center a pistachio cream and was sprinkled with more pistachio crumbs for a slight texture. It made me a little tipsy, thank god I ate only half.

Dad and me thoroughly enjoyed The Bombay Canteen food and service. There were many servers who served our table as we were at the time of shift changing I think and each of them knew the dishes well. Especially the lady who served my dessert, advised how best to enjoy it. 

We had ordered too much food and the staff very kindly packed up leftovers for us on request.

and that is the new gaurd at The Bombay Canteen... ha ha!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Back In Fort For Navaratri After Decades

Ambe Mata ki jai !

This is our Amba mata from my Fort neighborhood. After marriage I have tried to take my husband to the different places I grew up in. When I expressed my desire to go for darshan to Fort he suggested if it is about darshan he can take me to a near by pandal. I explained to him that for me Navaratri meant Fort and that my Amba mata is eco-friendly, unlike today's gaudy statues made in environmentally harmful material. Our Mataji is beautifully crafted in silver. She rides the tiger yet smiles benevolently.

This time I reached the shamiyana at about past 9.30pm expecting a garba in progress. To my surprise there was a deserted look. A few kids sitting there were tending to the agarbattis and replenishing the continously burning lamp oil. It was a mixed feeling, I felt blessed to get a peaceful darshan yet was missing the vibrancy of the crowd. Memories of fancy dress and other talent shows came rushing. I did not recollect the aarti immediately as I am not in touch now with the singing but what I remembered very clearly the chanting of Jai Ambe! Jai Bhavani!! when Mataji was moved back into the temple at the end of Navaratri.

Fort is now 90% a business district which gets cold and empty after office hours. Back until the 80s-90s it was a hub where the majority Gujaratis and Parsis still inhabited. Most have sold off their homes which have been taken up by small and big businesses. So there is funding for the Navaratri but its lost its life, people do still visit for darshan from their subarban homes during the 9 days though. Miss all the fun.

Here is an old post recounting memories of Fort and Navaratri. It also shows the different ways in which Navaratri is celebrated across India.

Those who wish to take darshan of Ambe mata can still do until Kojagiri Pournima in the outside pandal and all the year round in the temple.

Here is the permanent address:

Ram Dev Peer Mandir, Maruthi cross Ln, Borabazar Precinct, Fort, Mumbai 400001. 
Landmark: Behind Handloom house.

On Trail