Thursday, March 22, 2012

EATING OUT IN MUMBAI - Mouthwatering Memories - BERRY PULAO


Mouthwatering Memories
Mouthwatering Memories from my Foodie Archives 
I wrote this more than six years ago. 

Hey, you guys in Mumbai - why don't you visit Britannia in Ballard Estate, relish a plate of Berry Pulao and tell us all about it.
I am feeling good. It’s four in the evening and I’ve just polished off a delicious Berry Pulao in Pune. Words cannot describe my state of supreme contentment and blissful non-alcoholic intoxication as I sit down to write this for you.
Berry Pulao in Pune? You think I’m crazy? Not possible, isn’t it?
There’s only one place in India where you get the inimitable unique matchless Berry Pulao and that’s Britannia Restaurant in Ballard Estate Mumbai.
I read somewhere - Busybee, I think, who wrote – If it’s Berry Pulao, it must be Britannia.
That’s right.

The Berry Pulao, was indeed from Britannia – my friend Sanjiv just drove down from Mumbai with a mutton berry pulao nicely packed in Britannia’s containers with the restaurant’s motto written on top:

There is no greater love than the love of eating
Dear fellow Foodie – if you’ve eaten and relished Berry Pulao at Britannia, my words will not be adequate to describe the unique gastronomic experience you’ve had. 

If you haven’t ever eaten Berry Pulao at Britannia, read on - I will try my best to describe the delicious experience of eating Berry Pulao to you.
The Mutton Berry Pulao looks good. 

A base of aromatic yellowish-orange basmati rice, topped with kababs, crisp reddish-brown strips of fried onions, fried cashew nuts, and, of course, the dark red berries

I start of with a tiny sweet and sour berry to stimulate my tongue and then pick out a kabab from the top layer of the pulao, pop it on my tongue, close mouth and my eyes, press the soft meat between my tongue and palate, roll it, let it disintegrate and savor the heavenly flavor; my appetite whetted, I feel so ravenous, that I just can’t wait to devour the delicacy in front of me.

But I am not going to “devour” the pulao greedily, but do full justice to my favorite pulao by eating it mindfully.

“Mindful eating” that’s the art of eating, with all your senses fully focused inwards to derive total epicurean pleasure.
The mutton, the kababs as well as the generous chunks of well marinated and superbly cooked pieces of prime meat, is boneless.

The mouthwatering succulent pieces of mutton, substantial in size, are soft and tender, and taste delicious and satisfying.

The soft spicy kababs are nice and zesty. The basmati rice is fragrant and tasty.

The cashew nuts crisp.

And, of course, the sweetish taste of the fried onions combining with the sweet and sour tang of the berries.

The berry pulao is indeed a heavenly medley of the choice ingredients, blending the fusion and symbiosis of tastes, flavors and fragrances.

In its entirety, relishing a Berry Pulao is a matchless epicurean experience.
Many a greasy and spicy “Biryanis” and “Pulaos” leave you feeling heavy, acidic in the stomach, hot and bitterish in your throat and with a tartish feeling on your tongue.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

The proof of a pulao or biryani is in its aftertaste. 

It’s that lovely wispy aftertaste that makes Berry Pulao my favorite. 

Maybe that’s the secret of the “berries”.
Dear Reader - what are you waiting for?

If you are in Mumbai, head for Britannia and have a hearty lunch.
(Britannia closes in the evenings, I think)

When I was in Mumbai, I’ve had many a “working” lunches of Berry Pulao at Britannia as I worked nearby. 

Now I have to depend on friends likes Sanjiv to drop a berry pulao at my house on the way back from their frequent drives to Mumbai.
And if you are not in Mumbai, hard luck.

You'll have to go to Britannia in Ballard Estate in Mumbai to savor the inimitable Berry Pulao.

Till then keep reading this and enjoy this delectable dish vicariously in you mind’s eye.
If you ask me which is my favorite Biryani in Mumbai - well there are so many - Olympia, Delhi Durbar, Shalimar, Baghdadi, Lucky, so many more - there is plenty to choose from.
But if you ask me which is my favorite Pulao - there is a clear winner - no doubt about it - it is Britannia Berry Pulao.
By the way, can someone tell me the difference between a Biryani and a Pulao?
Of course, I know the answer – just trying to cross-check!
If you don't know the answer just go down to your nearest authentic eatery, order one plate of biryani, and also order one plate of pulao, compare and contrast, and find out the difference between a Biryani and Pulao yourself.
Till then, dear fellow foodie, Happy Eating.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
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.

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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 15 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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