The heat in the month of May was absolutely unbearable. All it made me want to do was curl up inside an air conditioned room, and sip on smoothies. Luckily, I got a chance to escape to the hills of Mussoorie, to explore a lesser known cuisine. But more on that in later blogposts. Back home in Mumbai, the eating out was kept to a bare minimum courtesy the excruciating heat. Here is a round up of the restaurants and dishes that made it to my May Food Favourites list –
1. For those Sindhi Sunday breakfasts – Sindhu Sweets, Khar.
Let the aroma of freshly fried pakwans lead you to Sindhu Sweets, which is located at a two minute walk from Khar railway station. This sweet shop specializes in a few Sindhi dishes such as Dal Pakwaan, Aloo Tuk, Sindhi Kadhi Chawal, and more. Most of these are weekly specials and only available on a Sunday morning.
My favourite is their Dal Pakwaan – chana daal served with a drizzle of chutney and chopped onions on top. This is mopped up with a deep fried, crisp, large puri called a pakwaan. The combination is hearty, satiating and makes for that perfect Sunday indulgence. Skip their slightly overrated neighbour Tharu Sweets and try Sindhu the next time you’re in the area.
Contact: Sindhu Sweets, Satguru Shopping Centre, Ram Krishna Nagar, Third Road, Khar West, Khar, Mumbai. Phone: 022 2600664.
2. When you’re looking to participate in your very own Man Vs. Food challenge – Stacks and Racks, Malad
I never expected that two of my favourite burger joints in the city would land up being in Malad. Malad – The Burger Capital of the Suburbs! Following some excellent burgers I had at Jimis Burger recently, we decided to follow suit and try the more recent Stacks and Racks. And boy we were impressed!
Firstly the service was impeccable and quick. Our server brought us this fabulous spicy BBQ sauce – their in house specialty, to ‘bring out the flavours of our burgers a bit more’. I was floored! The menu covers burgers, meaty grills, and steaks. We stuck to burgers the first time around, and I cannot wait to return to try their other offerings. My Smokey Porky Burger – pulled pork slathered in chipotle sauce encased between the softest buns – was a delight to devour.
Feeling brave? Try their double and triple patty burgers! The Mad Max, a double chicken patty served with fried egg and bacon was a treat for the taste buds. Not so much for the arteries. Our bill was the cherry on the cake. No VAT, no service tax or charge, no random assorted tax thrown in for fun! Such a joyous Sunday lunch this was.
Contact: Shop 1, Ganga Nivas, Opposite Toyota Showroom, Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai. Phone: +91 9699006650.
3. When you want your tastebuds to go Balle Balle – Made in Punjab, Malad
Now I am a self proclaimed fan of Made in Punjab, having had many family meals there every time I’ve gone to the suburbs. However, their new #PunjabiNext menu takes the bar higher, with the menu focusing on dishes that amalgamate old with new. In typical Massive Restaurants style, each dish has a story to tell and an interesting reason behind it. The food here however, is less gimmicky, and easy on the pockets unlike their other stand alone Indian restaurants. (Read: Punjab Grill, Masala Library.)
Start off your meal with some Sarson Olive Macchi – sole fish marinated in traditional mustard paste – or Bhatti Murg – charred chicken drumsticks cooked in a tandoor. Vegetarians try their Broccoli Badaam broccoli marinated in an almond paste and finished off in a tandoor – or the Karara Bhatti Paneer – marinated cottage cheese finished off with a papad crumb on top.
Wash down your appetizers with cocktails like the Kala Khatta Chuski (Kala khatta syrup + tequila + spice), the Gulaabo shot (rose syrup + vodka + lime), or the humorously named Jatt Risky After Whiskey (Apple Cinnamon + whiskey + egg whites.) Are you a teetotaler? Then their Malai Peda Lassi will not only feel like childhood in a glass, but fill you up as well. *burrrrp*
Stick to the classics for the main course. Good ol’ Butter Chicken, or a superbly cooked Nalli Nihari. Don’t forget their delicious Kaali Daal on the side – one of the best this city has to offer. We were too full to budge from our seats post our meal, but too greedy to give up on the prospect of a good dessert. Their Nukkad Jalebis with Rabri remain just as indulgent as the first time I ate them.
Made in Punjab, Level 2, Inorbit Mall, Malad (W), Mumbai.
Phone: 022 66711187
4. If you want to be a Spice Girl (or Boy) – Jaffson’s Masalas, Bandra
My mother and I discovered the treasure trove of masalas and pickles – Jaffson’s Masala – during our routine grocery shopping trip almost a decade ago. Jaffer Bhai’s shop in Bandra bazaar doles out every masala imaginable for meats, gravies, and vegetables. Masalas from north of India to south. Dry masalas and wet. You get the drift.
Jaffson’s masalas started off as a small stall that two brothers set up selling their mother’s hand made masalas, in an attempt to sustain their household income. I personally vouch for their packets of ‘birista’ or fried onion slivers that are used in curries or biryani preparations. Their non vegetarian pickles such as prawn pickle, mutton pickle, and bombay duck pickle are delicious as well.
Contact: Jaffsons Masala, Bazaar Road, Bandra west, Mumbai.