Archive for the ‘cake’ Category

Malpua and Kheer

June 15, 2007

MALPUA AND KHEER

[a sumptuous delicious breakfast]

By

VIKRAM KARVE

 

  

The rains have arrived in Pune. No, not the heavy monsoon showers one experiences in Mumbai, but the characteristic Puneri drizzle [pir-pir] with a shower once in a while. Whilst on my evening walk on ITI Road in Aundh last evening I was suddenly caught unawares by one of these sporadic showers so I ducked into the nearest shelter I could find – the basement of the Ozone Mall where I discovered a sweet shop called Kadhai. The brisk walk, the rainy season and the tempting array of sweets and savories on display made my mouth water and created an appetite in me, and I was wondering what to eat, when I discovered one of my favorite sweets “Malpua” displayed on the Menu Chart hung on the wall. This was indeed a pleasant surprise [since one doesn’t get to see much of Malpua in Pune] and brought back nostalgic mouthwatering memories of the delicious Malpua-Kheer we savored and devoured with gusto as a nourishing wholesome breakfast after bouts of heavy exercise on cold winter Sunday mornings long back in Banaras. Those were indeed the good old gastronomic days of high calorie energizing winter breakfasts like Malpua-Kheer and piping hot Jalebi or Lavang Lata with freshly boiled thick creamy Doodh [Milk] dipped and eaten the same way as one eats khari biscuits with Irani Chai.

  

I asked for Malpua and Kheer, but there was no Kheer, so I ordered a plate of Malpua and eagerly put a piece of the rich brown syrupy Malpua in my mouth. It was terrible – the Malpua tasted like boiled rubber drenched in sugar syrup. It did not melt in the mouth, or dissolve gracefully on the palate, but disintegrated into brittle fragments and left a stodgy aftertaste.

  

The soft fluffy succulent lusciousness, the sweet-sour tang of banana and curd fermentation, the spicy fragrance of cardamom, and most important, the distinctive taste and classic flavor of saunf [badishep] which is the hallmark of authentic Malpua, were conspicuous by their absence.

  

I was so disappointed that I called the “Maharaj” and asked him how he had managed to bungle and botch this exquisite delicacy and churn out this inexcusably appalling stuff masquerading as Malpua.

  

“Simple,” he said, “Boil enough Milk till it becomes Rabdi, mix in Maida and make a smooth batter, fry the pancakes in pure Ghee and soak in sugar syrup.”

  

“Just Milk and Maida? That’s not how you make Malpua,” I told him, “What about the Banana, Saunf, Cardamom, Spices, Coconut, Dry Fruit, Curds…?”

  

“This is the Rajasthani Style Malpua,” he said sheepishly and disappeared.

  

There are many versions of Malpua all over India – I have tasted the Rajasthani, Bengali, Karnataka, Maharashtrian, Gujarati, MP and UP versions. Then there are improvisations like potato malpua, pineapple malpua, orange malpua et al. There is also the inimitable and matchless heavy duty invigorating and energizing hearty Malpua, braced and fortified with eggs, prepared in the evenings and nights during the holy month of Ramzan by Suleman Mithaiwala at Mohammed Ali Road near Minara Masjid in Mumbai. It is a meal in itself, but if you want you really want to do justice start off with Kababs, relish the Malpua, and top up with Phirnee.

  

Tell me, in which genre of cuisine should Malpua be classified? I’ll tell you – genuine Malpua is Bihari Cuisine. That’s right, no doubt about it, Malpua is a speciality of Bihar, like Khaja, and the best authentic Malpua is made Bihari Style, and this is how a Bihari friend of mine, an expert cook, taught me to make Malpua, long back.

  

Make a smooth batter with Maida, pinch of soda and salt, banana pulp, milk, cardamom [choti elaichi] pods and powder, a small pinch of nutmeg powder, freshly grated coconut, powdered and whole saunf, beaten curds and water. Beat well with your hands till the batter becomes light and fluffy. Cover and leave aside for an hour or more for a bit of fermentation.

  

Prepare 1:1 sugar syrup seasoned with cardamom and cloves. Sprinkle a little rosewater, saffron or essence, if you want. Keep the syrup hot, at least warm, to facilitate easy ingress into the malpua and to keep it soft and succulent.

  

Now mix and whip well with your hands, adding water if required, to get a smooth batter of pouring consistency, and deep-fry the pua [pancake] in pure ghee till nice and brown, soft and cooked, not too crisp. When ready take out the fried pua , drain excess ghee, and dip the pua  in the hot sugar syrup completely for a minute to enable just enough permeation but obviate over-sogginess. With the sugar syrup absorbed, the pua has now become malpua and is ready to be eaten with deliciously sweet lip smacking Kheer. [Now don’t tell me you don’t know how to make delicious Kheer!]

  

Malpua must be eaten with Kheer. This is not a dessert, or snack, but a complete nourishing breakfast in its entirety. The luscious wholesome combination is heavenly and you will be overwhelmed with a wonderful feeling of blissful satiation.

  

Dear fellow Foodie – would you be so good as to tell me where I can find and savor genuine authentic Malpua and Kheer.

   

VIKRAM KARVE

 

 

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Eating Out in Churchgate Mumbai

May 29, 2007

Kheema Pav, Bun Maska and Chai at Churchgate

by
VIKRAM KARVE

When I used to live in Empress Court, opposite the Oval, near Churchgate, I would rise at dawn, as the clock on Rajabai Tower struck Six, and go for a long brisk walk all the way to Chowpatty, and on my return, I would head for Stadium restaurant for a refreshing and stimulating cup of tea to energize me and perk me up for the day ahead. On Sundays and holidays, when we went for our super long walks down Marine Drive, up Walkeshwar, Teen Batti, down Malabar Hill, Napean sea Road, a round of Priyadarshini Park, Kemps Corner, Hughes Road, Babulnath, and back, there were three places where we used to breakfast to satiate our ravenous appetites – if my walking partner was a vegetarian we used to head to Vinay in Girgaum for a Misal Pav; and if non vegetarian, it was either Kyani at Dhobi Talao or Stadium at Churchgate for a Kheema Pav.

Stadium serves wholesome tasty Kheema dishes throughout the day, an ideal “snack’ if you are feeling famished. I like their “pudding” and patties too; their Chicken Biryani is worth a try, and so are the “Chinese” dishes, and, if you are in a hurry, why not have a quick spicy egg bhurji with fresh soft pav? Look at the blackboard on the wall for the day’s special – these dishes are real good, whether it’s fried fish, dal gosht, or, if it’s your lucky day, chicken or mutton dhansak.

Stadium Cafe, located next to Churchgate Railway Station, is a clean, well-lighted place to pass time, waiting for someone, or browsing a book, or just doing nothing, staring out onto the busy street, while enjoying a cup of invigorating tea with a bun maska. I like Stadium. It is a clean well-lighted place. It is easy on your wallet, and serves good wholesome food in relaxed ambiance.

VIKRAM KARVE

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Vada Pav

May 29, 2007

MY FAVOURITE VADA PAV

By

VIKRAM KARVE

My favourite Vada Pav is CTO Vada Pav at Ashok Satam’s stall on the Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk) side of the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) in Mumbai.

The Vada is served freshly fried piping hot and is crisp and crunchy on the outside. That’s how a good Vada should be from the outside, nice and crisp, not soft and soggy like most of the fare dished out elsewhere.

The moment you bite the sharp zesty effect of the spices and greens hits you – there is an abundance of tangy greens in the tasty fusion inside : green chillies, coriander, curry patta, ginger-garlic. Don’t chew, just roll your tongue and press the hot stuff against your palate and let it dissolve. You’ll feel stimulated for sure! It’s not only mouth watering; it may be even nose-watering too if you have a delicate tongue. So might as well put the vada in a pav and savour the CTO Vada Pav gazing at the Hutatma Memorial, the Fountain and nice faces in the crowd rushing by to and from Churchgate.

Can anyone tell me where I can enjoy a good Vada Pav in Pune? I’ve tasted a few so far, even the famed Joshi’s, Diwadkar, Rohit et al, and found them quite soggy and insipid compared to the Mumbai’s CTO Vada.

VIKRAM KARVE

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http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

Bake a Cake – ¾: 1: 1 ½

May 25, 2007

¾: 1: 1 ½ 

By 

VIKRAM KARVE 

 

 

 

 

 

“ ¾ : 1 : 1 ½ ” – what’s that? No, it’s not what you think – it’s not a code or some mathematical formula. It’s the recipe for a simple cake – probably the first thing I learnt to cook. 

It’s simple. Take ¾ [three-fourth] vati [ katori or cup] of fresh butter, cream it till fluffy with your hand, add 1 [one] vati of sugar and whisk vigorously till the sugar and butter blend smoothly, whip three eggs till they fluff up into peaks, fold into the butter-sugar mixture carefully, and beat with your hand till the batter emulsifies nicely. 

Sieve 1 ½ [one and a half] vaties [katories] of maida [flour] with a teaspoon of baking powder and keep ready in a thali. 

In a glass pour a generous “tot” of full-bodied dark rum – the more darker and more mellower the rum the better – as it will have more caramel which will impart an inimitable heavenly bitter-sweet flavor blended with the richly aromatic enveloping tang of molasses. 

Now start adding, by the tablespoonful, the sieved maida to the butter-sugar-egg emulsified batter, gently folding in and smoothing in with your fingers, and alternately, from time to time add a few “drops” by the teaspoonful of the full-bodied dark rum, licking your fingers from time to time, rolling on your tongue, sampling and tasting at every step, till you get the right creamy consistency and taste. I love to mix in a wee bit of powdered spices like cinnamon, cardamom or cloves – innovate as per your mood and taste. 

Now bake your cake. The rum will guarantee that the cake does not flop and the hot spicy alcohol vapor escaping from the cake and perambulating within the oven will impart a tantalizing aroma and enticing fragrance to the cake. 

This cake tastes best when eaten hot – as the blissful fresh vapors overwhelm your palate with their zesty fragrance and full-bodied flavor. 

This is the first recipe I learnt from my mother when I was a small boy [The “rum” innovation came a bit later]. I used stainless steel vaties, if you don’t have them use cups. Don’t be too finicky about precise proportions, sample and taste at every step; and of course trust the rum to do the rest! 

I bake it in half an hour and it tastes heavenly. Baking a cake is so simple, isn’t it? Just remember simple recipe –  “ ¾  : 1 : 1 ½ ”    

 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

  

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

  

vikramkarve@sify.com 

vikramkarve@hotmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dabba Gosht in Pune

May 22, 2007

 

 

 

 

DABBA GOSHT IN PUNE 

By

VIKRAM KARVE  

 

 

 

Dabba Gosht! If you’ve tasted it you know it’s unmatched, unparalleled – the ultimate mutton delicacy in Indian Cuisine.

 

Dabba means ‘tin’ and Gosht [or Ghosht] means ‘meat’ – does this imply that Dabba Gosht is mutton cooked in a tin?

 

I don’t know. Hey, wait a minute. Dabba, pronounced differently, also means ‘press’.  I’ve heard a theory, maybe apocryphal, that this delectable dish is called Dabba Gosht because the boneless mutton meat pieces are pressed against a special stone to enable the marinade and masalas to permeate thoroughly deep within and make the boneless mutton pieces truly delicious, succulent and melt-in-the-mouth.

 

I love Dabba Gosht. It’s a rare dish and only very few select eateries feature it on their menu. I’ve savored it in Mumbai, at Delhi Darbar and Baghdadi (it’s a special dish available only once a week, on Sundays, I think), and I’ve heard it’s available at Noorani and George and maybe a couple of select places in Mumbai.

 

But I never imagined I would be able to relish a fantastic Dabba Gosht (the best I’ve tasted) in Pune, of all places, and that too not at the most likely suspects like Good Luck at Deccan, and the expected eateries like George or Dorabjee in Camp, but at Sadanand (no, I’m not referring to the vegetarian eatery near Crawford Market Mumbai) – this is a place called Sadanand Resorts, to be precise, located opposite Balewadi, at the junction of Baner Road and Katraj Bypass. We walked in ready to have the usual run of the mill fare one expects of such typical roadside “motels” and was pleasantly surprised to find Dabba Gosht listed on the Menu. 

 

I ordered this rare dish with a bit of trepidation, but to my unanticipated delight the Dabba Gosht was superb – generous boneless mutton pieces, soft, juicy, succulent, releasing scrumptious flavor as they melted in my mouth and the yummy, lip smacking, nourishing, luxuriously thick white gravy made creamy rich, wholesome and nutritious by the sumptuous combination of ingredients like cashew (kaju) paste, fresh cream and eggs. With hot roomali roti it was a rare and magnificent eating experience which makes my mouth water even as I write this right now.

 

Luscious melt-in-the-mouth Dabba Gosht with delicate Roomali Roti – a supreme feast fit for the kings! Sheer gastronomic ecstasy!

 

Dear fellow Fooodie, wherever you are, search for Dabba Gosht, and then relish it to your heart’s content. And please don’t forget to tell us all about it!

 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

 

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

 

 

 

MARZ-O-RIN

May 3, 2007

 

 

 

MARZ-O-RIN 

[The yummy place in Pune on

Main Street

] 

By 

VIKRAM KARVE 

 

 

In our younger days we used to frequent three value-for-money eateries on Main Street [MG Road] in Pune – Greenfields for a nourishing fulfilling satiating continental Breakfast, Mona Food for finger licking zesty Chana Bhatura, Marz-o-rin for delicious Rolls, Sandwiches and Cold Coffee, and Naaz for delectable non-veg samosas and stimulating Irani tea. Greenfields has disappeared leaving no trace, Naaz has transformed into a Barista, Mona Food is no longer the simple, unpretentious, no-nonsense value-for-money eatery it once was, but luckily, Marz-o-rin still retains its friendly character. 

The signature “dish” of Marz-o-rin is the Chicken Roll – it is matchless – I have tasted Chicken Rolls all over the place but there is nothing like the lip smacking one served by Marz-o-rin. Generous boneless pieces of delicious chicken, the lip smacking mayonnaise, and the soft mellifluous roll – yummy treat – I love it. If you’re vegetarian, try the slightly tangy tomato and green chutney vegetable sandwiches. And wash it down with a cold coffee.  

Well that’s what we “old fogies” always did in the “good old days” and still do whenever we visit Marz-o-rin. Now there are many more delightful options, and comfortable seating upstairs and friendly atmosphere in the balcony where you can sit and observe the goings on below while enjoying your snack. I like the hot bakes, especially the Bean Bake Chicken or Cheese, Macaroni, and Spaghetti with the zesty sauces. And, of course, there are all kinds of excellent Burgers, Rolls and Sandwiches, including whole wheat versions for the “health-conscious” foodies. [“Health-conscious Foodie” – now that’s a nice oxymoron, isn’t it?]. 

The chillers are exciting too – Kool-Blue or Green Apple on a hot and sultry afternoon. And there a variety of juices, shakes, and ice creams to choose from. You can try what you want, everything is appetizing and tasty, but remember, in Marz-o-rin you must relish the Chicken Rolls, vegetable sandwiches and Cold Coffee – for old times’ sake. And don’t forget to take a yummy parcel for the folks at home! 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com 

https://vwkarve.wordpress.com 

vikramkarve@sify.com 

Shrewsbury

February 25, 2007

SHREWSBURY BISCUIT FROM KAYANI BAKERY(My Favourite Midnight Treat)ByVIKRAM KARVE   It’s almost midnight and I’m sitting in glorious solitude on my favourite sofa in the living room watching a film on TV. Wife and kids are fast asleep inside; only my pet dog Sherry lies curled up fast asleep on her “bed” near the door. I tiptoe to the kitchen, pull out a tin from its secret hiding place, open it, take out my favourite midnight snack, and walk back to my sofa. I have in front of me a Shrewsbury Biscuit from Kayani Bakery. I look at it. Embossed is the emblem of Kayani Bakery with the words Shrewsbury Kayani Bakery written all around. I smell it. Yes, I discern that unique aroma – the first test of a genuine Shrewsbury. I take a bite. Crunchy, crisp, scrumptious – words cannot describe the tempting taste, delectable lively flavor and delightful sensation as the Shrewsbury Biscuit dissolves in my mouth. A Shrewsbury Biscuit entices you, perks you up and leaves a superb ambrosial aftertaste, which tantalizingly lingers on your tongue for a long long time. That is why you should never have tea, coffee, or anything else with Shrewsbury Biscuits. It will spoil the heavenly experience. I’ve seen people hurriedly washing it down with tea, even dipping the revered biscuit in their tea – sacrilege! Sit quietly in solitude, focus your attention, stimulate your tastebuds, and mindfully savor the Shrewsbury. Absorb all its distinctive characteristics – the taste, the flavour, the fragrance – in their entirety, till you experience sheer bliss. Relishing a Shrewsbury is similar to enjoying a good wine – you lovingly admire it, caress it, air it a bit, imbibe its fruity aroma, lovingly nurture it in your mouth, then thoroughly relish it, and, finally, rejoice in the glorious aftertaste, and you will feel stimulated to a higher plane of inner joy. As compared to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Lucknow, and many other places, Pune is way behind as a Foodie destination. But there are some delights for which Pune is famous, and which you don’t get anywhere else. Like Kayani Bakery’s Shrewsbury Biscuit – it’s superb, unique, matchless, delicious – I don’t think you get anything like it anywhere else in India, or, maybe, in the world! There are many imitators, claiming to be Shrewsbury, but genuine Kayani’s is truly supreme. No doubt about it. If you’re dying for an authentic Shrewsbury Biscuit, you’ll have to come to Pune!  Dear fellow Foodie. The next time you’re in Pune, after you treat yourself to Shrewsbury from Kayani on East Street, don’t forget Chitale’s Amba Barfi and Bakarwadi, Laxminarayan Chiwda, Budhani’s Wafers, Dorabjee’s Biryani, Kayani’s Chocolate Walnut Cake, Marzorin’s Rolls and Sandwiches, Hindustan Bakery’s Patties, Shreyas Maharashtrian Thali, Kawre’s Mastani, and genuine authentic Bhel (not the imitation pseudo bhel they concoct at Chowpatty!). Ironic, isn’t it? The way Bhel is associated with Chowpatty! But then, you get the best “Puneri” Misal in Mumbai, don’t you?

   VIKRAM KARVE 

vikramkarve@sify.com 

vikramkarve@hotmail.com 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com   

Lavang Lata

February 21, 2007

HERITAGE CUISINE
Lavang Lata at Babumosai

By

VIKRAM KARVE

“Heritage Cuisine” – sounds good isn’t it?

You may presume that this pompous term refers to pretentious traditional high-brow cuisine which adorns the tables of the classes!

In my vocabulary “heritage cuisine” is high-falutin gobbledygook for simple staple down-to-earth local street-food relished by the masses. Like Vada Pav (Mumbai’s “Heritage Burger”), or Puneri Misal, or Kulcha Chole, Katchi Dabeli, Bhel, Kathi Kababs, Baida Roti, Malpua – the list is endless.

There is a delicious sweetmeat called “Lavang Lata” which I tasted for the first time and relished piping hot at Pehelwan’s at the end of Lanka near BHU in Varanasi in the seventies. A cool Lassi ( in winter) or warm milk (in summer), both with dollops of rabdi added, topped up the gastronomic experience.

Later, in the eighties, I came across slightly different versions of Lavang Lata at various eateries, most notably Nathu at Bengali market in New Delhi. But these versions were nowhere close to Pehelwan’s Banarasi Lavang Lata.

Just imagine my surprise, when, during my walk last evening, I chanced upon a delectable Lavang Lata in an out-of-the-way unpretentious sweet shop called ‘Babumosai Bengali Sweets’ tucked away almost in obscurity, way off the beaten track, on Aundh Road on the way to Khadki in Pune.

Actually I was in search of Rasgullas. (Roshogollas, if you want it spelt that way). Having relocated from a ‘happening’ place like Churchgate in the heart of Mumbai to an obscure “back of the beyond” desolate place somewhere in the jungles on the banks of Mula river between Aundh and Sangvi, craving and wandering desperately in my search for ‘heritage food’, I hit the Aundh road past Spicer College towards Khadki, enjoying a refreshing walk between the expanse of the verdant Botanical Gardens and the foliage of Pune University, when in the first building I encountered on my left, I saw a nondescript signboard “Babumosai Bengali Sweets” (maybe the spelling ought to be ‘Babumoshai’) atop a deserted lackluster sweetshop.

There was no one in the shop and the lifeless atmosphere and uninspiring display almost put me off. But having come so far, I decided to give it a try and looked at the sweets on display in trays behind a glass counter – Rasgullas, Sandesh, Rajbhog, Gulab Jamuns, Malai Sandwiches – the ubiquitous ‘Bengali Sweets’; and suddenly a man came out carrying a tray of piping hot Lavang Latas, the very sight of which made my mouth water so much that I ordered one immediately.

I walked outside the shop, stood in the cool evening air, took a small bite of the Lavang Lata, rolled the syrupy hot piece on my eager salivated tongue and closed my eyes in order to enhance my gustatory experience.

I pressed the Lavang Lata upwards with my tongue against the palate, the roof of my mouth, and slowly it disintegrated releasing its heavenly flavour of nutmeg and cardamom. That’s the way you should enjoy Bengali sweetmeats – never bite, swallow and devour in a hurry. Don’t use your teeth; slowly, very slowly, just roll on your tongue and lightly press on the roof of your mouth till the delicacy melts releasing its luxurious flavour and divine fragrance into your gustatory and olfactory systems. And remember, keep your eyes closed, shut yourself to the outside world, focus on your tongue, internalize the experience and transcend to a state of delightful ecstasy, till you feel you are in seventh heaven. That’s the art of eating.

The Lavang Lata is perfect. Not sickly sweet, but tantalizingly tasty, with the subtle essence of its ingredients and seasoning coming through. The rabri and khoya, the raisins and dry fruits, the crispy sweet crust, the spices and most importantly, the exotic fortifying and stimulating taste of clove. It’s sheer bliss. The invigorating taste lingers on my tongue for a long long time , as if for eternity.

Just writing this is making my mouth water. And I am rushing to “Babumosai” once more – this time to sample the Rasgullas, maybe the Sandesh – and I’ll tell you all about it right here.

And I’ll keep writing about all the my experiences with “Heritage Cuisine” and the art of eating.

Dear fellow Foodie – do let me know if you enjoyed reading this.

VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com

Cutlet at Dadar TT by Vikram Karve

February 21, 2007

AN UNFORGETTABLE VEG CUTLET AT KHODADAD CIRCLE DADAR TT
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.

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, 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!

VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com

Aundh Food Walk

February 15, 2007

Aundh Food Walk

By

Vikram Karve

 

 

Come with me on a food walk in Aundh. Let’s start from the Body Gate or Bremen Chowk end of

DP Road

.

 

As you enter

DP Road

, to your right is a typical fruit juice bar cum pav bhaji open air place called Bala’s. I’m real hungry, so let’s move on.

 

There’s Baker’s Basket Cake shop to your left – it’s not my birthday, and cakes are not what I have in mind to satiate my pangs of hunger!

 

Just ahead there’s Bananas – a pizza, pasta fast food joint and Baskin Robbins. Looks good – maybe some other time.

 

Now we come to Deepak Sweets. Let’s stop and watch the cute young things relish  Bhel, Pani Puri, Chaat, Kachori, Samosas, Dhoklas and gorge on rasagullas and sweets.

 

Mann Dairy – Arguably the second best lassi in Pune (nearly as good as Shiv
Kailas opposite Pune Railway Station). A must on every food walk in Aundh. And next door is Radhika – an Idli / Dosa place. A little ahead on the opposite side of the road are Vishi’s and Mongini’s Snack and Bake shops. And just before Parihar Chowk is Arya’s pure veg and then there is a dark looking udipi managed permit room bar and restaurant of the ubiquitous type one sees outside every suburban railway station in Mumbai.

 

Cross the

ITI Road

and reach Parihar Sweets for a quick snack of Khasta Kachori, Samosa, Batata Vada and Jilebis. A little ahead is the unassuming Diwadkar [ of Karjat Batata Wada fame] an unpretentious down-to-earth eatery for Value For Money snacks.

 

Then comes my favorite multicuisine café named Polka Dots. Tasty food, but does not satiate!

 

And then we have the popular Shivsagar – A spruced up version of the ubiquitous Udipi eatery on finds in every nook and corner of Mumbai and Pune. And on the other side is the road is Jerry’s and Tasty Bite Takeaway. Doesn’t look appetizing. And the counter at Spencer’s.

 

DP Road

turns left and we come to Rasoi – a

Tandoori Place

which appears run of the mill and doesn’t look inviting. A furlong ahead is the classy Seasons and at the end

DP Road

, where it meets ITI road is Sarjaa – a Mughlai, Punjabi family place.

 

Turn left on

ITI Road

and you will cross
Kobe- the Sizzlers place, Pizza Hut, Pulse Ozone with its cafes and basement sweet stall called Kadai, a van selling Burgers and a lady making dosas.

 

And of course we have the newly opened McDonalds opposite Convergys and on the

Aundh Road

towards Khadki there’s the Spartan Irani-clone Maharashtra Restaurant, the Spicer’s Bakery stall and Babumoshai Bengali Sweets for roshogullas and lavang lata.

 

That’s all there is in Aundh. If you are a Foodie think twice before you decide to settle down in Aundh. You’ll have to go all the way to Camp or

Pune
City to relish authentic stuff.

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com