Archive for May 17th, 2007

Parenting

May 17, 2007

Parenting 

By

 

Vikram Karve 

 

 

 

 

It seems to be in thing today to have snobbish supercilious spoilt children. I was a strict old-fashioned father, but looking around, I have realized that in today’s world, where materialistic desires and ostentation overshadow traditional values, my ascetic style of parenting is hopelessly outmoded and distinctly passé. It’s too late for me to change now, so let me pontificate a bit on what I did not do.

 

Apart from the conventional vices like drinking, smoking, drugs, gambling etc, all types of new and novel temptations and addictions like Internet, Gaming, TV, sex, compulsive spending and shopping, indulging in wild reckless behaviour, breaking the law and criminal thrills are on the rise and indeed becoming status symbols in some sections of society. There is plenty of choice available for those who want to “live it up”. For children in today’s consumerist society there is no place for concepts of thrift and frugality, and conspicuous consumption, ostentation, flamboyance and expensive lifestyles are more important. Pamper your kids, pander to all their whims and fancies and they will love you; and, of course, in the long run they will ruin their own lives and cause you distress.

 

If you want to spoil your children remember there are four factors or resources that help develop and nurture bad habits, addictions and anti-social behaviour: TIME, INCLINATION,
OPPORTUNITY,
and MONEY.

 

TIME: One must have time to indulge in whatever one’s pursuits, good or bad. So, if you want to spoil your children, don’t burden them with too many “mundane” things like studies, sports, hobbies etc so that they have plenty of leisure time to live it up and pursue their temptations to their heart’s content.

 

INCLINATION: This depends on your sense of values, home and family atmosphere, social environment, religious and cultural taboos, peer pressure, influence of school and friends. Are you inculcating the right values in your kids by your own actions?

 

I’ll give a real life example.  My friend’s son, age 15, lost his expensive mobile cell-phone forgetting it in a taxi due to his own carelessness and negligence. Instead of admonishing him, my friend bought him the latest, even more expensive and fancy cell-phone. Obviously the boy had no remorse, guilt or regret at losing the expensive gadget, and instead of feeling contrite and responsible, displayed a “couldn’t care” attitude. Can one even expect such actions of parents to inculcate the correct values of thrift, frugality and responsibility in their children? If you drink, smoke, and party in front of your children, won’t they be inclined to do the same? How about your friends, your kids’ friends, their behaviour, and the general atmosphere and culture around? What are your own values? If you’re going to “live it up”, flaunt your lifestyle, be corrupt and dishonest, your kids will be inclined to do so too!

 


OPPORTUNITY : You have the Time, you have the Inclination, but do you have the opportunity to do what you want to do? Suppose you want to drink, but there is prohibition in force? Or religious, social, cultural taboos which do not give you the opportunity to drink?
Opportunity to indulge in an activity is governed by external circumstances, rules and regulations, which either inhibits or makes it conducive for you to do what you want. Enforcement of restrictions like No-Smoking Zones, Prohibition, No Entry into Bars and Pubs for Kids inhibit opportunity. Or do you want to give your kids a laissez faire opportunity to do what they want?

 

MONEY: If you want to spoil your children make sure you give them plenty of money to splurge and to do as they please. “Vices” and profligate lifestyles are expensive, you know? Give them the latest gadgets and gizmos, cars and bikes, pander to all their whims and fancies, and never ask them to account for their extravagant spending. You’ve open-mindedly given your kids the time, the inclination, and the opportunity, but finally it’s the money that matters! It’s the money you give them that helps them sustain their vices, habits, whims and fancies and extravagant lifestyle.

 

 

So go ahead, spoil your kids if you want to; but if you don’t want to, you know what to do, don’t you? Just remember the four key factors – Monitor their Time, give them the proper Inclination in life, restrict their
Opportunity for undesirable activities, and, last but not the least, keep a tight leash on their Money.

 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

 

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

 

 

 

Cutlet at Dadar

May 17, 2007

 

AN UNFORGETTABLE VEG CUTLET AT DADAR
by
VIKRAM KARVE
 

If you happen to be at Dadar TT, on one of those hungry evenings, and are in the mood for something different, then head for a small eatery called ‘Swagat’ next to Birdy’s at the northern end of

Khodadad Circle

. It’s an unpretentious down-to-earth place, so don’t bother to go inside, unless you want to suffocate in the fumes emanating from the kitchen; just sit on one of the tables outside and order a plate of Veg Cutlets and wait in anticipation whilst watching the action on the street.

You won’t have to wait for long, for here they mean business; and you will find thrust in front of you, a plate with two dark brown piping hot vegetable cutlets in a bed of freshly cut tomatoes and cucumber.

First, an exploratory nibble. The cutlet is superbly crisp on the outside, but inside it’s a zesty melt-in-the-mouth medley, an almost semi-liquid conglomeration, a spicy potpourri, or rather a delicious hodgepodge of assorted vegetables (carrots, beetroot, peas, potatoes and many others). It’s hot – both temperature-hot and spicy-hot – and leaves a tangy sensation on your tongue. No, don’t go for the glass of water – just place a slice of cucumber on your tongue, and when it cools down, pop in a slice of tomato. That’s the way begin to eat it!

After the first bite, you won’t find it that piquant, especially if you add a dab of tomato sauce, but if you want to really relish it, do eat it in small pieces, exactly as I described it, without any additives like the dreadful tomato-pumpkin sauce the serve at these places. Let the symbiosis of tastes come through ( of the blended medley of vegetables and spices, chillies and coriander, ginger and garlic and the crisp crust ) and let the aftertaste and pungency linger within you for some time – so please don’t have tea or coffee, or even a sip of water, immediately after enjoying the cutlet.

You may have eaten all types of cutlets, in various sizes and shapes, but this one is different. The vegetarian cutlet at Swagat is no ‘run of the mill’ stuff! You can take my word for it. 

And if you are a hard core non-veg cutlet aficionado, try the mutton cutlet at your nearest Irani joint or better still the matchless Mutton Cutlet Curry at Good Luck at
Deccan in Pune

Epilogue

My wife’s concept of a cutlet :

Take all the leftovers from the fridge, ‘CUT’ them up, season with salt and red chilli powder, mash, make into rounds, roll in leftover breadcrumbs/atta/flour, and ‘LET’ them into a hot pan with yesterday’s left over oil.

You see, her recipe is quite simple – you “cut” and you “let” and, presto, you have your cut-let.

No wonder I crave and pine for a decent cutlet and don’t let go of an opportunity to satiate my gastronomic yearning whenever and wherever I can find a cutlet (including the insipid bland apology they serve on the Deccan Queen).

Dear Reader, please let me know where I can enjoy some good cutlets, veg and non-veg, so that I can embark upon a cutlet eating spree. Meanwhile, let me close my eyes, heighten my gustatory senses, and in my mind’s eye, savour with simulated vicarious relish, the unforgettable cutlet I enjoyed at Swagat in Dadar TT. Oh yes, it was different! 

By the way, TT stands for Tram Terminus – I understand there used to be the Dadar Tram Terminus at

Khodadad Circle

long long ago! 

VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com
 

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com 

India and its food – Eating Out

May 17, 2007

EATING OUT IN
SOUTH MUMBAI AND PUNE

 

MY FAVOURITE FOOD AND WHERE I EAT IT
 

By


VIKRAM KARVE

(Vikram Karve’s Good Food Guide to eating out in
South Mumbai and Pune)

 

I love good food. And I love walking around searching for good food – on my frequent ‘food walks’ as I call them. Let me share with you, dear fellow foodie, some of my favourite eateries. Most of them are in
South Mumbai, near Churchgate, where I lived for six of the best years of my life, a few (where mentioned) are in Pune which is my home town and where I stay now.

 

 

Read on. It’s my very own Vikram Karve’s Value For Money Good Food Guide. I’ve walked there and eaten there. It’s a totally random compilation as I write as I remember and I may have missed out some of my favourites but I’ll add them on, in subsequent parts, as and when memory jogs me and also keep adding new places I discover during my food walks and trails. Try some places and let me know whether you liked it.

 

 

Vada Pav – CTO Vada Pav (Ashok Satam’s Stall) alongside the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) at Flora Fountain ( Hutatma Chowk). Or at Sahaydri at Churchgate. In Pune, the ubiquitous Joshi or Rohit or Siddhivinayak Vadewale but their vadas are not as crisp or zesty as Mumbai’s CTO vada.

 

 

Misal PavVinay Health Home in Girgaum . Walk down Marine Drive, cross the road near Taraporewala Aquarium, take the lane between Kaivalyadhama Yoga Centre and Ladies Hostel ( it’s called Income Tax Lane), cross the railway overbridge, walk straight on Thakurdwar Road, cross Girgaum (JSS) Road, walk a bit and Vinay is to your right. In Pune try Ramnath on

Tilak Road

or Bedekar in Narayan Peth.

 

 

Kheema PavStadium. Next to Churchgate Station. Kyani at Dhobi Talao.

 

 

Seekh KebabsAyubs (Chotte Mian). Take the lane to the left of Rhythm House Music Store at Kalaghoda and let your nose guide you. Or else head for Bade Mian near Regal or Sarvi at Nagpada. Sadly there seems to be a dearth of authentic value-for-money kabab joints in Pune.

 

 

Jeera ButterIdeal Bakery. Kandewadi, Girgaum. And try the sugarcane juice at Rasvanti next door.

 

 

Chicken Stew ( Kerala Style), Malabar Paratha, Mutton Korma, Fish Curry and Appams – FountainPlaza. In the lane off Handloom House. Fort. [Brings back nostalgic memories of Ceylon Bake House in Ernakulam Kochi (
Cochin)]

 

 

Chicken Biryani
Olympia. Colaba Causeway. In Pune it’s Dorabjee & Sons restaurant on Dastur Meher road off Sarbatwala Chowk in Pune Camp or Goodluck in
Deccan. I like the Biryani at
Blue Nile near GPO and George on

East Street

too.

 

 

Mutton BiryaniShalimar. Bhendi Bazaar. I like the Chicken Chilly and Raan – it’s exquisite, like Karim’s of
Delhi.

 

 

Dabba Gosht
Delhi Darbar,

Grant Road

or Colaba. In Pune try Sadanand at Baner.

 

 

Malvani Cuisine – Sachivalaya Gymkhana Canteen. Opposite Mantralaya. Nariman Point. Bombil Fry, Pomfret masala, Kombdi (Chicken) Vada and Lunch Thali.

 

 

Gomantak Cuisine – Sandeep Gomantak.

Bazargate Street

. Fort.

 

 

White Chicken, Dabba Gosht, Chicken Masala and Khaboosh RotiBaghdadi. Near Regal. Off Colaba Causeway.

 

 

Nihari Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar. Near Metro.

 

 

Nalli NihariNoor Mohammadi. Bhendi Bazaar.

 

 


Berry PulaoBrittania. Ballard Estate.

 

 

Puri Bhaji – Pancham Puriwala.

Bazargate street

. Opposite CST Station (VT).

 

 

Kolhapuri Cuisine – I go to ‘Purepur Kolhapur’ at Peru Gate Sadashiv Peth in Pune for authentic Kolhapuri Pandhra Rassa, Tambda Rassa and Kheema vati. In
Kolhapur it’s Opal.

 

 

Gulab JamunKailash Parbat. 1stPasta Lane. Colaba Causeway.

 

 

RasgullaBhaishankar Gaurishankar. CP Tank.

 

 

KhichdiKhichdi Samrat.

VP Road

. CP Tank.

 

 

Vegetarian ThaliBhagat Tarachand. Mumbadevi. Zaveri Bazar. And of course, Samrat, Churchgate. In Pune it’s Shreyas on

Apte Road

and

Satara Road

, Panchami on

Satara Road

and Durvankur on

Tilak Road

.

 

 

Navrattan KurmaVihar.

JT Road

. Shanker Jaikishan Chowk. Opp Samrat. Churchgate.

 

 

Veg Burger and Chicken Cafreal Croissant – Croissants. Churchgate. Or Burger King at the end of

East Street

in Pune.

 

 

Tea while browsing books – Cha-Bar.
Oxford Bookstore. Churchgate.

 

 

Just a refreshing cup of Tea, Irani style – Stadium. Churchgate. Goodluck, Pune.

 

 

Ice CreamRustoms, Churchgate and Bachellor’s, Chowpatty (green chilli ice cream). In Pune Ganu Shinde and Kawre on

Laxmi Road

. Or Gujar Mastani House on

Satara Road

near City pride for the unique delicious thirst quenching Mastani.

 

 

Pav Bhaji – Lenin Pav Bhaji Stall. Khau Galli. New Marine Lines. Near SNDT. Sardar, Tardeo. Sukh Sagar, Opera House.

 

 

Jalebi Pancharatna Jalebi House. Near Roxy. Opera House.

 

 

Milk Shakes, Juices and uniquely flavored ice creams – Bachellor’s. Opposite Chowpatty.

 

 

Stuffed ParathasSamovar. JehangirArtGallery. Chaitanya, opp FergussonCollege, Pune

 

 

Grilled Meat, Sizzlers and SteaksChurchill. Colaba Causeway. Sundance, Churchgate. Sassanian, near Metro. Alps, behind Taj,
Kobe and Sizzlers The Place on

Moledina Road

next to Manney’s in Pune.

 

 

Sea food – Anant Ashram. Khotachiwadi. Girgaum. And so many places around Fort – Mahesh, Apoorva, Trishna, Fountain Inn, Bharat, Ankur .

 

 

Non Veg Multi Cuisine – Jimmy Boy near

Horniman Circle

 

 

Apple Pie and Ginger Biscuits – Yazdani Bakery.

Cawasji Patel Street

. Between PM Road and

Veer Nariman Road

. Fort.

 

 

Cakes – Sassanian Boulangerie. 1stMarine Street. Near Metro.

 

 

Buns, Breads and Pastries – Gaylord Bake Shop. Churchgate.

 

 

Falooda – Badshah. Crawford Market. Shalimar, Bhendi Bazar.

 

 

Curds – Parsi Dairy. Princess Street.

 

 

Sandwiches – Marz-o-rin.

Main Street

.

MG Road

. Pune.

 

 

Chole Bhature – Monafood.

Main Street

. Pune. Darshan,

Prabhat Road

Pune.

 

Shrewsbury Biscuits and Choco-Walnut cake– Kayani Bakery.

East Street

. Pune.

 

Mutton Cutlet Curry – Good Luck Pune

Veg Cutlet – Swagat Dadar TT Mumbai

 

Lamingtons, carrot cake, patties, samosas, cakes, soy milk – Spicer Bakery shop,

Spicer
College,

Aundh Road

and their outlet off

Main Street

in Camp

 

The mere thought of
Shrewsbury biscuits and Lamingtons evokes in me a sensation I cannot describe. I am feeling nostalgic and am off to Pune – for Shrewsbury at Kayani, wafers at Budhani, Sev Barfi at Bhavnagri, Amba Barfi and Bakarwadi at Chitale, Mutton Biryani and Dhansak at Dorabjee, Misal at Ramnath, Kachori at Apsara, Sizzlers at The Place, Pandhra Rassa at Purepur Kolhapur, Mango Ice Cream at Ganu Shinde, Mastani at Sujata and Kavare, Bhel at Saras Baug, Canal and Kalpana Bhel,  and on the banks of Khadakvasla lake, Pithla Bhakri, Kanda Bhaji and tak on top of Sinhagarh Fort, Chinese at Kamling (Oh no. Sadly it’s closed down so I’ll go across to the end of

East Street

to the East End Chinese takeaway next to Burger King. And Latif too has metamorphosed into a takeaway).

 

 

And guess what? The moment I reach Pune, I’ll walk across the station and enjoy a refreshing Lassi at Shiv Kailas. And then walk down in the hot sun to

Main Street

. One thing I’ll miss is the non-veg samosas at erstwhile Naaz on the
West End corner at the entrance to

Main Street

. The good old Naaz and Kamling are two places I really miss. Good Luck in Deccan and
Blue Nile and George in Camp still goes strong and theirs Biryani is as good as ever. But what’s happened to
Sunrise, I wonder? The place is demolished; has the café been relocated?

   

Right now I’m near Aundh in Pune and I’m busy discovering interesting eating places. The multicuisine Polka Dots at Parihar Chowk for it’s Roasts and Shepherd’s Pie and Puddings, Season’s and Sarjaa for family dining, a few down-to-earth takeaways and Maharashtra Café near Bremen Chowk look promising, Diwadkar for Misal and vada pav, Spicers for Lamingtons and cakes et al, Babumoshai for roshogullas and lavang lata, Shiv Sagar for Pav Bhaji, and the usual Udipi fare, a place called Thomson which serves non veg Kerala cuisine, Delhi Kitchen which I’m planning to try but did not venture into as it was deserted (crowded ambience and busy rapid turnover are the leitmotif of a good eatery), Diwadkars for Bhel, Vada Pav, Misal and Mann Dairy for a delicious lassi.

 

 

I foodwalked in Aundh and was thoroughly disappointed. In Aundh there are all the usual fast food pizza and burger joints, some high-falutin restaurants and a few nondescript commonplace characterless eateries serving run of the mill stuff; but sadly there are very few authentic value for money down-to-earth no nonsense Spartan eateries around here where I can relish genuine cuisine to my heart’s delight.

 

 


South Mumbai is a foodie’s delight! Sadly, Aundh is certainly not a foodie destination. Or is it? Anyone know any good value for money food eateries around here? Or do I have to go all the way to

Pune
City or Camp?

 

 

Dear fellow foodies. Please do send in your comments so I can keep updating. Meanwhile I keep exploring Pune for good food and shall soon come out with my very own authentic food guide to eating out in Pune. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!

 

Happy Eating!

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

 

Heritage Cuisine of India – Kolhapuri

May 17, 2007

INDIA AND ITS HERITAGE CUISINE – “KOLHAPURI” FOOD

byVIKRAM KARVE 

 

 

It’s a hot Sunday afternoon in Pune. I am voraciously hungry and am pining for a fulfilling meal. And what can be better than a wholesome authentic Kolhapuri meal to blissfully satiate my pangs of hunger? So I proceed to my favourite Kolhapuri restaurant called “Purepur Kolhapur” near Peru Gate, the food district of Sadashiv Peth, in the heart of

Pune
City. It’s a Spartan no-nonsense eatery; the only thing conspicuous is the ‘
Kolhapur zero-milestone’ outside the entrance which makes it easy to locate. I saw a similar zero-milestone somewhere in Kothrud near Mehendale Garage the other day and was delighted to find that a branch of “Purepur Kolhapur” has stared there too!  

There are just three main items on the menu – Mutton Taat (Thali), Chicken Taat, (which cost Rs. 75/- each), and Purepur Special Taat for a princely Rs. 120/- (I am told that the ‘Purepur Special’ contains everything the place has to offer!). 

There is a flurry of activity and a large stainless steel taat is placed in front of me almost instantly. The Purepur Special Thali comprises the following:·                    A large bowl of thick chicken curry with four generous pieces of chicken.·                    A plate of appetizingly crisp dark brown pieces of fried mutton liberally garnished with almost burnt deep fried onion strips.·                    A Kheema Vati (Katori)·                    A vati of Tambda Rassa ( Red Gravy)·                    A vati of Pandhara Rassa (White Gravy)·                    Kuchumber salad made of onions, ginger, coriander, green chillies and curds ·                    Lemon pieces·                    A fresh piping hot chapatti (You can have bhakri if you want, but today I’m in a mood for a crisp hot crunchy chapatti splattered with pure ghee)·                    A bowl of jeera rice garnished with crisp brown fried onion strips and cashew nuts.  

I sip the pandhara rassa – it’s invigorating. Next I spoon into my eager mouth a generous portion of mutton fry. It’s not melt-in-the-mouth stuff (I think it is the inimitable Bolai mutton). I chew slowly and savor the sweetish taste of the fried onions blended with the lively spiciness of the crisply fried mutton. I dip a piece of the piping hot chapatti into the tambda rassa allowing it to soak in, place it on my tongue and chew it to a pulp until it practically swallows itself savouring the flavour till the very end. Exquisite! 

Now using my right thumb and two fingers, I lovingly pick up a small piece of chicken from the gravy; delicately place it on my tongue and roll it against my palate. I close my eyes, look inside, and focus on the succulent boneless chicken release it’s zesty juices and disintegrate. Yes, unlike the crispy fried mutton which need a vigorous chew to truly relish its deliciousness, the chicken is soft and tender, almost melt-in-the-mouth. I sample the Kheema Vati – it’s totally different from the Kheema I’ve tasted at Irani and Mughlai eateries. The Kheema has an unusual taste I can’t exactly describe – a bit sweet and sour– a counterbalancing contrast, perhaps. 

Now that I’ve sampled everything in its pristine form, I squeeze a bit of lemon on the mutton and chicken and embellish it with kuchumber to give it the right tang, and from time to time I sip the wholesome pandhara rassa. I thoroughly enjoy the confluence of contrasting tastes. In conclusion I mix everything with the rice and rejoice the riot of zesty flavours. At the end, as I always do after all hearty spicy meals, I pick up a wedge of lemon and squeeze a bit of lemon juice into my glass of water and sip it down. Believe me, it improves the aftertaste and lightens the post-meal heaviness sometimes caused by spicy Indian cuisine. 

It’s an exciting, invigorating meal which perks me up and the sheer epicurean pleasure I experience makes up for the crowded, hassled ambience and indifferent service. Purepur Kolhapur is worth a visit for the quality and authenticity of its food. 

For most of us “Kolhapuri” food has become synonymous with the “chilli-hot” self-styled, purported, ostensible Kolhapuri fare served in both highfalutin and run-of-the-mill restaurants whose menus often feature dishes called “Chicken Kolhapuri” or “Vegetable Kolhapuri” which masquerade as Kolhapuri cuisine. Kolhapuri cuisine is “spicy”, not “chilli-hot”, not “rich” and “fatty” – nothing exotic about it. A Kolhapuri meal, unique in its simplicity, comprises a variety of lip-smacking, earthy, flavorsome, nourishing dishes and is so complete that it creates within you a inimitable hearty wholesome sense of fulfillment, and is a welcome change from the ubiquitous fatty and greasy-rich Makhanwalla, Masala, Kadhai, Handi, Naan, Biryani Punjabi / Mughlai fare you eat day in and day out. There is a world of a difference between pseudo- Kolhapuri and authentic-Kolhapuri food. 

There are a number of good authentic Kolhapuri Cuisine Restaurants in Pune. Of course, when we visit
Kolhapur, we eat at Opal. And there must be many other excellent places too. And remember to end a satiating Kolhapuri meal with a cool soothing Mastani!

 

I was disappointed to find not even a single authentic Kolhapuri restaurant listed in various Good Food Guides to Mumbai. I walked all over
South Mumbai, experimented, tasted, sampled, but there was no joy. No Kolhapuri Taat anywhere, and no pandhara and tambda rassa even a la carte.  Some places did feature a “Kolhapuri” dish,but nowhere was Mutton or Chicken Kolhapuri the signature dish – it appeared they had put it on the menu just for the sake of it, maybe to gratify the dulled taste buds on the alcohol soaked tongues of inebriated patrons who probably were in no state to appreciate the finer aspects of relishing good food. When queried, the waiters invariably said that Kolhapuri was synonymous with fiery chilli-hot food.
 

I do not know where you get genuine Kolhapuri cuisine in Mumbai, Delhi,
Bangalore or any of the Metros. If you, dear fellow Foodie, know of an authentic Kolhapuri Restaurant, will you be so good as to let us all know?
 

Happy Eating! 

 

VIKRAM KARVE 

vikramkarve@sify.com 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com