Nalli Nihari

HERITAGE CUISINE – Nalli Nihari

by

VIKRAM KARVE

 

(A Sumptuous Breakfast after a invigorating walk in the heart of Mumbai)

 

 

I start early, at dawn, from my house near Churchgate, admire, in the early morning pre-sunrise light, the impressive silhouettes of the magnificent Gothic structures of the High Court and Mumbai University across the Oval, hear the clock on Rajabai Tower strike six, walk briskly past Oxford Bookstore, KC College, CCI, Marine Plaza Hotel; cross the Marine Drive, turn right and start off towards Chowpatty, greeting with a smile the morning joggers and walkers, rinsing my lungs with the fresh invigorating sea breeze, and soon I am past Marine Lines, Taraporewala Aquarium, Charni Road, Chowpatty, Wilson College and at the end of Marine Drive. 

Here I ponder for a moment. Should I turn left up the

Walkeshwar Road

to Teen Batti and Banganga? Or should I turn right towards Babulnath; or should I turn back towards Nariman Point?  I experience a sense of true freedom. I can make whatever choice I want; go wherever I desire! 

 I choose to cross the road, and walk fast, straight up the steep path towards

Hanging
Gardens on Malabar Hill, trying to exercise my heart and lungs. I take a round of garden atop the water tank near Kamala Nehru Park (is it called Phirozeshah Mehta Udyan?), canter down to Kemp’s Corner where I turn right, a U-turn really, past Crossword Bookstore, down Hughes Road, left past Gamdevi , Nana Chowk and crossing the railway over-bridge keep going onto Grant Road passing Novelty Cinema , turn right at Delhi Durbar on Falkland Road, reach VP Road, walk past Gol Deval, Alankar cinema and there I am at Bhendi Bazar – my destination Noor Mohammadi Hotel in front of me across Mohamedali Road. 

 Almost two hours of brisk walking has built up in me a voracious appetite and I am ready to devour a sumptuous breakfast. I am hungry; and I eat only when I am hungry! 

I enter the Spartan no-nonsense eatery and order a Nalli Nihari and Roti. Within a minute a bowl of piping hot gravy, with a generous chunk of succulent meat floating in it, and a fluffy khaboosh roti is placed in front of me. I dip a piece of the soft roti in the spicy rich gravy, let it soak for a while, put it in my mouth and close my eyes to luxuriate in and relish the gastronomic experience in its entirety. 

 I can feel the juicy gravy soaked roti melting on my tongue, releasing its delicious flavours and spicy aroma which permeate into my soul.  I am in seventh heaven and keep on attaining higher states of sheer heavenly bliss with every succulent bite of the mouth watering concoction – they say it’s a bone marrow and wheat gravy, but I don’t delve too much on the contents of a dish – it’s the taste, delicacy, eating experience and ultimate divine feeling of satiation that matters. 

It’s a delectable beginning to a delightful day as the luscious taste of the delicious Nalli Nihari lingers on my tongue indefinitely. It’s epicurean satiation of the highest order – a blissful experience I can never forget. 

Dear Reader; if you happen to be in Mumbai and are ready for a sumptuous non-vegetarian breakfast, begin your day with Nalli Nihari at Noor Mohamadi in Bhendi Bazar. And don’t forget to tell me how you enjoyed it! Wasn’t it a fortifying and stimulating experience? 

 But remember; if you want to truly appreciate this splendid Heritage Gourmet Cuisine to its fullest, you must build up an appetite for it! Happy eating! 

 

VIKRAM KARVE                                     

E-mail :   vikramkarve@sify.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

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