Friday, February 25, 2011



This morning, the moment I got up, I suddenly had a craving for cutlets. So I had a veg culet at Vaishali, which did not satisfy me, so I followed up with a non-veg mutton cutlet at Good Luck Cafe.

To be frank, I didn't quite like the cutlets, and my mind harked back to memories of one of the the tastiest cutlets I had relished long back, maybe five years ago, at a cute little unpretentious eatery called Swagat in Dadar TT Mumbai. Will some Mumbaikar, or Dadarkar, be so good as to try out the cutlet and tell us if it still as good as it was then.

So here is something from my foodie archives – mouth-watering memories of a delicious cutlet I enjoyed in Mumbai sometime in 2005 - 2006. I wonder if the cute little eatery called Swagat still exists at Khodadad Circle in Dadar.

And if you want to know how to make a cutlet, I am going to tell you my wife's secret recipe  for a vegetable cutlet. 

Happy Eating!

Mouthwatering Memories of CUTLET AT DADAR

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 Birdys at the northern end of Khodadad Circle. 

Its an unpretentious down-to-earth place, so dont 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 its 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 fiery 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. Of course, the inimitable Naaz Non-Veg Cutlets of yesteryear are no more with the transformation of Pune Camp's most famous Irani cafe, Naaz, opposite West End, into a Barista.

My Wife's Recipe for Cutlet – CUT and LET

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 yesterdays 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., all rights reserved.
VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, 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". A collection of his short stories about relationships titled COCKTAIL is being published soon and Vikram is currently busy writing his first novel and with his teaching and training assignments. Vikram lives in Pune with his family and his muse – his pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
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Punekar said...

When it comes to cutlet, it reminds me of Hotel Priya on MG road...yess there is a nice udupi restaurent bang on the MG road! On the southern part of MG roadto be precise...
Location - Stand in front of the pasteur bakery and start walking in the exact opposite direction to that of the Arora towers. After the main stretch of MG road is over, keep walking towards the mohd rafi square and you will see Priya hotel on your right. The cutlet which one gets in priya is heavenly; made up of grated beetroot with crisp outer cover!! So next time when you visit MG road don't forget to try this cutlet of Priya Hotel.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Dear Punekar,
Priya was one of my favourite places long ago. Surprisingly I had so many things, dosas, wadas, idlis, but never had a cutlet. Must visit again for a cutlet. Thanks