Monday, May 23, 2011

EATING OUT IN MUMBAI - My Favourite Misal

BREAKFAST IN GIRGAUM
Mouthwatering Mumbai Memories
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Mumbai is in Maharashtra. You will get all genres and varieties of cuisine in Mumbai. But tell me - where would you go for an authentic Maharashtrian breakfast?

My favorite place is Vinay Lunch Home near Thakurdwar in Girgaum. 
  
When I used to stay at Churchgate, I used to walk down Marine Drive towards Chowpatty, cross the road near Taraporewala Aquarium, take the lane between Kaivalyadhama Yoga Centre and Savitribai Phule Ladies Hostel, (the lane is called Income Tax Lane), cross the railway overbridge at the southern end of Charni Road Station on the Western Railway, walk straight on Thakurdwar Road, cross Girgaum (JSS) Road, and continue walking till I reached Vinay on my right. 
 
Have you ever tasted a dish called Misal?

If you want to know what an authentic Misal tastes like, try the Misal at Vinay. It is the signature dish of the place and my favourite Misal. I don’t think anyone else serves a better Misal than Vinay of Girgaum, and, in my opinion, not even the many famous Misals of Pune can surpass this misal. 
 
The place is always crowded and you may have to wait for a seat, but the sight of foodies voraciously eating and the gastronomic ambiance will help build up your appetite.

The moment you sit down in the shiny bright eatery, with mirrors all around, order a Misal. The misal will arrive quickly as service is prompt and efficient.
 
Don’t delve too much on the contents, or the ingredients, which basically comprise an Usal, rassa (the spicy curry) and the garnish of sev, chiwda, farsan, onions, fresh corriander and green chillies, arranged in three tiers and served with a wedge of lemon.

There are two bowls and two spoons.

Using both spoons, mix the contents thoroughly, squeeze the lemon, and eat.

It’s hot and lip-smackingly delicious. Soon your tongue will be on fire, your nose will run and your eyes will water – that's the true test of a genuine Misal.

Bash on regardless.

Never try to douse the appetizing zesty fire in your insides by sipping water or ruin the gastronomic experience by succumbing to a bite of pav or bread they may have the temerity to place alongside. That's right - never have pav or bread with a misal.
 
Pav with Bhaji or Vada may be fine, but if you want to savor the genuine taste of misal, and experience the "proof" of the real stuff, it would be tantamount to sacrilege to have pav with misal. 
 
Vada-Pav, okay; Pav-Bhaji, okay; Misal-Pav, it's a No, No!

If you like things less spicy try Dahi Misal.  
 
The sweet cool curds (dahi or yoghurt), fiery chillis, zesty onions and spicy crisp chiwda-shev provide an excellent contrasting symbiosis of tastes and flavors. 
 
And if you do want to have something with pav, try the Patal Bhaji or Usal. Fresh soft bread (pav) drenched in those delicious gravies – it’s heavenly.

You’ll find all the Maharashtrian specialties on the menu, including the Upas (Fast) food like sabudanyachi khichadi and wade, but you must go there and discover for yourself.

There are quite a few exquisite preparations of pohe too.

But do remember to end your breakfast with chilled piyush or mango lassi to savor a sweet end to a delightful repast. 
 
If you are looking for authentic value-for-money pure vegetarian Maharashtrian cuisine in Mumbai, head for Vinay – and you will carry mouthwatering memories of the place forever.

Do visit Vinay and let us know whether the place is still going strong and does it still serve the same high quality Misal and other dishes. And if you know of a place that serves a good Misal, please be so good as to inform us.
 
Happy Eating!
 
 
VIKRAM KARVE 
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
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., all rights reserved.

An excerpt from my Foodie Adventures Book  Appetite for a Stroll
If you enjoyed reading this, and want to relish more such delicious foodie adventures, do get a copy of APPETITE FOR A STROLL:
 

Fiction Short Stories Book
 

About Vikram Karve
  
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.


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