Monday, August 23, 2010

CULINARY SYMBIOSIS

Mouthwatering Mumbai Memories
CULINARY SYMBIOSIS
An Unforgettable Lunch
by
VIKRAM KARVE


An excerpt from my Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll  
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o


It’s almost lunch time, so I close my eyes and try to recollect the most memorable lunch I have ever enjoyed. My thoughts take me to Mumbai - the delicious eating experiences I’ve savoured in Mumbai during my stay there a few years ago.   

Is it the Chicken Stew with Appams at Fountain Plaza in Fort, or the Fish Curry (Gassi) and Rice at Bharat Lunch Home, or is it the Berry Pulao at Brittania in Ballard Estate, or the Biryani at Olympia, or the White Chicken and huge fluffy Khaboosh Roti at Bagdadi...?   

I’m confused... so I exercise my memory cells a bit more. 

And suddenly I remember. 

Oh yes, no doubt about it... my most memorable unforgettable lunch in Mumbai is that farewell lunch my colleagues gave me, a day before I left Mumbai, at Shalimar Restaurant situated at Bhendi Bazar in Mumbai.   

We reach at one in the afternoon. At first impression I like the place – an abundance of connoisseurs thoroughly enjoying their food as is evident from their body language, high turnover, no nonsense, no frills, and businesslike atmosphere – appetite builds up in me and I know we have come to the right place. The place is crowded, there’s no place on the ground floor, so we go to the air-conditioned dining hall upstairs.   

I don’t even look at the proffered menu card. I am going to surrender myself to my hosts - they will order and I will just eat.   

First they order a hot “Chinese” soup which is nice and spicy, with lots of vegetables, sea food and chicken in it, and at the end of it I am voraciously hungry.  

Then is brought in front of me for my perusal, piping hot and simmering, the signature dish of the place – Tandoori Raan Masala. I nod my approval, and it’s taken away for chopping up and slicing, and a generous portion served to me along with a Tandoori Roti. 

I put a small piece of the meat in my mouth; it’s very very tasty. Spicy and zesty, it’s quite different from the Raan I’ve eaten at Karim’s in Delhi. Then I bash on regardless with the Tandoori roti and pieces of the delectable raan. In between, I scoop and devour the marrow which tastes delicious.  

Then I find in front of me a dish of Shalimar Chicken Chilli – a specialty of the place. 

It’s truly mouthwatering...! 

For the first time in my life I eat a so-called Chinese dish – Chilli Chicken – with Tandoori Roti, and let me tell you it tastes fantastic.   

Now my insides are on a delicious spicy fire, my tongue bracing with spicy tang and my nose is watering, so is put in front of my a glass of ice cold Shahi Gulab Falooda to quench my fires. 

In a word, it’s heavenly... a perfect conclusion to a most enjoyable lunch and its exquisite flavour and divine fragrance remain with me for a long time.   

Indeed a ‘medley’ meal – a “Chinese” soup, Mughlai Mutton Raan, Chilli Chicken (ostensibly Chinese but whose genre I can’t fathom or classify...), Tandoori Roti and the blissful Falooda. 

A culinary symbiosis of gourmet food I’ll never forget.

Just writing this has made me hungry – really famished and ravenous. 

How about you, dear reader – where are you heading for lunch...?


CULINARY SYMBIOSIS
An Unforgettable Lunch
by
VIKRAM KARVE

VIKRAM KARVE 
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.  
VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU and The Lawrence School Lovedale, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. His delicious foodie blogs have been compiled in a book "Appetite for a Stroll". Vikram lives in Pune with his family and pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog - http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com
Academic Journal Vikram Karve – http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile of Vikram Karve - http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve 
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com
Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll 


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