If rain for you means a variety of delicious food, we have a bunch of yummy picks to keep you warm this monsoon. Rhea Dhanbhoora and Henna Achhpal tell you what to eat as dark clouds loom overhead...
FRIED BUT YUMMY
They may be the poor man’s staple diet but vada pav is every Mumbaikar’s favourite snack. Your monsoon will be incomplete without fresh hot bhajiyas and vada pav. With the first showers itself, we were instantly craving some hot kanda bhajiyas along with pipping hot cutting chai.
For delicious vada pav, visit: Shivaji Vada Pav stall, Opposite Mithibai College, Vile Parle (West); Jumbo King outlets outside every local railway station
Not in the mood to go outside? Quickly make some tasty onion bhajiyas at home with this easy recipe.
Ingredients: Besan, 1 cup of oil, 2 tbsp of cumin powder, 1 tsp of salt, 1½ tsp of chopped green chillies, ½ of cup water and 1½ cup of sliced onions
Method: Mix besan, oil, cumin powder, salt, green chillies and water. Beat this mix in a blender for 4 to 5 minutes until it’s fluffy. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes in a warm place. Then dip the sliced onions in the batter to coat them. Deep fry the besan covered onion slices in oil that is pre-heated. Let paper towels soak up the extra oil then serve hot with chutney or ketchup.
HOT AND SPICY
The hot and spicy misal pav is an absolute treat during the monsoon and so are the delicious ragda patties. Like other snacks these not only fill you up but are high on protein too. However, make sure you have some water around as you’re going to need it after bingeing on these delicacies.
If you’re craving hot usal- misal visit:
Mamledar Kacheri, Next to Tahsildar's Office, Thane station Road, Thane (West); Mamledar Misal, 48, Raj Arcade, opposite DMart, Mahavir Nagar, Kandivali (West); Vinay Health Home, Jawahar Mansion, Fanaswadi Corner, Girgaon
For spicy ragda patties visit:
Elco Pani Puri Center, 2/A Elco Arcade, 46 Hill Road, Bandra (West); Kailash Parbat, 7A/8A, Crystal Plaza, Opposite Infiniti Mall, New Link Road, Andheri (West); Guru Kripa, Road No. 24, Ahead of SIES College Plot No 40, Sion (West)
Monsoon is the perfect time for bhutta. Walk up and down Carter Road or Marine Drive and you’ll see dozens of bhuttawallas lined up, ready to sell you hot roasted corn, sprinkled delicately with a delicious combination of chilli powder, salt and dabbed on generously with a slice of lime. They have both American and desi varieties but we still prefer the good old desi sort. You may end up with corn in your teeth though so make sure you have a toothpick handy. You can also buy the corn and roast it yourself from the comfort of your home.
Bite into bhutta at: Carter Road, Marine Drive, Juhu Beach or
You can even try some boiled or steamed American corn that’s become popular in theatres. Hot and spicy or just warm and tangy, it’s perfect for the gloomy weather.
You don’t have to go for a movie for the corn as you can make some for yourself at home with this simple recipe:
Ingredients: 1 cup of boiled American corn, 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp of Italian seasoning, juice of 1 lime, 2 tbsp of chopped dhania.
Method: Heat a frying pan and add oil and seasoning to it. Cook for about 5 minutes and add the corn, along with lime juice and stir till hot. Season with dhania and serve hot.
Can you think of anything better than a warm bowl of soup to erase your rainy day blues? Making soup from scratch is often a little too troublesome and a ready made cup of soup is a good and quick fix but can often leave you craving for something more. There are a lot of places where you can get yourself a steaming helping or two of some really good soup.
Craving some spicy, Indian style Chinese? This Manchow soup is definitely for you then. Try it at: Discovery, 7 bungalows, Andheri (West)
If your soup of choice is the seafood variety, you’ll love this soup. Thick and creamy with a generous helping of assorted seafood, it’s perfect for those with a bigger appetite than most. Try it at: Arthurs Theme, Juhu
For those who like to experiment
Thukpa is a mildly flavoured noodle soup which is usually served with momos over egg noodles. You could also try the Nepali version which is slightly spicier.
Try it at: Lemon Grass, Bandra
Paya soup isn’t for the faint hearted as it’s made with goat’s trotters but if you can stomach it, it’s the most delicious soup for a rainy day.
Try it at: Kerela Hut, Malad
If the rain has left you sneezing away, try indulging in some Adrak ka Shorba. The tangy ginger soup will alleviate your cold as well as satisfy your soupy cravings.
Try it at: The Soup Bowl, Inorbit, Malad
CRAVING SOME COCOA?
There’s nothing better than snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and a book as you listen to the pitter-patter of the rain outside your window. On days when it’s wet and cold and you’re feeling a little gloomy, sip on some cocoa. After all chocolate in a bar or melted, either way does a lot to cheer you up.
For choclatey heaven on a rainy day, visit:
Prithvi Café, Janki Kutir Society, Juhu; San Churro, Shop No. 11, Silver Pearl, Waterfield Road, Bandra (West); The Chocolate Room, North Avenue Lane, Santacruz (West)
For those who are lazy, quickly make some hot chocolate at home…
Ingredients: ½ cup of granulated sugar, 1/3 cup of hot water, ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 4 cups of milk, 1/8 tsp of salt, ¾ tsp of vanilla extract
Method: Mix the cocoa, sugar, water and salt in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stir constantly for about a minute until the mixture boils. Steadily, stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla, blend well. Serve immediately.
What better way to spend a rainy day than with a plate full of hot momos and the spicy sauce that accompanies it? The Tibetan dumplings come with a variety of fillings so you can never get bored of them.
Indulge in a plate of Momos from:
Sernyaa, Oshiwara; Momo Station outlets at Lokhandwala in Andheri; Carter Road at Bandra; Phoenix Mills in Lower Parel and Inorbit in Malad; MoMo Café at Courtyard by Marriot, Andheri (East); Moktu at all Fun Republic outlets in the city
If you want to try your hand at making some momos at home, here’s a simple recipe to get you started. Once you get a hang of making the basic momos, you can go ahead and experiment with fillings as per your preferences and tastes, add and subtract flavours and create your own, unique momo recipe!
Ingredients: 250 gms of boiled minced chicken (or veggies), 500 gms of maida, 2 chopped onions, 1 chopped ginger, 2 green chopped green chilies, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of soya sauce, salt and 1 tbsp oil.
Method: Combine oil, flour and salt and mix. Add water to make soft dough. Chop chillies, onions, garlic and ginger. Combine them with the mince. Add soya and mix, and then set aside. Make small dough balls, roll them into small rounds and put a tsp of the filling in the middle. Seal them with your fingers and then steam for around 20 minutes. Serve them with a hot chili or tomato garlic sauce.
A CHAI PAKODA FESTIVAL
Enjoy the scenic view of the Powai Lake as you treat yourself to assorted types of mouth watering varieties of bhajiyas such as moong dal bhajiya, mirch ka pakoda, stuffed bread pakoda and gobi pakoda at the Imperial Palace Hotel’s Chai Pakoda Festival. The hot bhajiyas can be complemented with a variety of teas such as the elaichi chai, Darjeeling tea, masala chai, kahwa chai and many more in a very ethnic ‘kullad’.
Price: From `299 to `499
Where: Imperial Palace, Royal Palms India Pvt. Ltd., Aarey Mill Compound, Goregaon (East)