Monday, May 13, 2013


Mouthwatering Mumbai Memories


I spent six of the best years of my life, from 2000 to 2006, in Mumbai.

I lived in a wonderful building called Empress Court opposite the Oval near Churchgate.

Every evening I went on long walks, mostly on Marine Drive to Chowpatty and back, and sometimes towards Colaba.

The highlight of my Colaba Causeway walk was a visit to Kailash Parbat for their succulent Gulab Jamuns.

I wrote this mouthwatering post in 2004  immediately after I returned after relishing Gulab Jamun at Kailas Parbat in Colaba in Mumbai, while the taste of the delicious delicacy still lingered on my tongue.
Even now I can visualize those delicious soft succulent juicy tempting hot Gulab Jamuns and my mouth waters in anticipation. 

Sadly, I am in Pune, and hence I will have to relish those sumptuous Gulab Jamuns in my imagination.

So, Dear Reader, let me recall one of my first lip smacking blog posts, a mouthwatering Mumbai memory, written more than nine years ago on HOW TO EAT A GULAB JAMUN 

The art of eating comprises three cardinal steps :

1. First you come to know about good food.

You hear from someone, you read about it somewhere, or come across it while browsing the net or from TV or the media or even from a menu card.

2. Next you go there and observe people eating and relishing the delectable cuisine you have heard so much about see the way they are eating and enjoying themselves. 

You watch the heavenly expression of divine pleasure on their faces. 

This tempts you to taste and savor the cuisine yourself.

3. Then you actually order the food you have been yearning for, delicately put a piece in your mouth, and experience the pleasures of eating the delicacy, firsthand.

One evening I suddenly feel an urge, a craving, a desperate sort of yearning, for my favourite sweet GULAB JAMUN.

I believe that if you want to be happy you must fulfill such feasible and viable desires at once, here and now, so I put on my walking shoes, cross the Oval the Rajabai Tower Clock is striking Six turn right at the Mumbai University gate, and then left, and walk towards Kalaghoda, turn right towards Colaba Causeway which is a foodies delight and soon reach my destination - Kailas Parbat at the southern end of Colaba Causeway.

I have heard from my friends that Kailas Parbat is the best place in Mumbai for Gulab Jamuns. 

I have enjoyed delectable Gulab Jamuns at many places at Pachkuin Road in Delhi, on the way from CP to Karol Bagh, at the inimitable Pehelwan Doodhwala at the end of Lanka in Banaras (Varanasi), and even in a place called Dumka, in the back of the beyond, somewhere in what is now Jharkhand.

Now, among the people eating Gulab Jamun at Kailas Parbat, I see a veteran, a connoisseur, relishing delicious piping hot soft succulent juicy Gulab Jamuns with such satisfaction, that I go to the counter and order a Gulab Jamun myself.

I look endearingly at the hot mouth-watering Gulab Jamun dunked in a liberal amount of thick syrup.

It is nice and hot.

Gulab Jamuns must be eaten hot. 

The Gulab Jamuns are very soft and juicy.

I spoon a small luscious piece and place it delicately on my tongue.

I close my eyes to enhance the quality of the gustatory experience.

Whenever you want to enjoy good food just close your eyes, concentrate on your tongue and notice the feeling.

I just leave that succulent Gulab Jamun piece on my tongue for a while to let the hot sweet viscous syrup permeate deep into my taste-buds.

Then I gently roll my tongue and the Gulab Jamun disintegrates.

The delicious Gulab Jamun dissolves and melts in my mouth releasing its delicious cardamom tinged flavor and soothing rose fragrance within me.

I eat slowly, deliberately, eyes closed, savoring every moment, relishing the divine taste, prolonging the heavenly experience its epicurean delight of the highest order.

As I walk back home in state of supreme bliss, the lingering taste of the delicious Gulab Jamun remains within me for a long long time.

Even now as I write this, I can almost sense the delicious taste and enchanting fragrance of the heavenly Gulab Jamun. 

And my mouth begins to water!

But alas, I am in Pune right now and I am yearning and craving for a hot syrupy juicy succulent heavenly sweet Gulab Jamun. 

Dear Reader - Do tell us about your favorite Gulab Jamun - where you get it and how you eat it
Happy Eating

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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. 

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013. 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 and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) 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 an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and 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  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve 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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Anupama said...

Hi Uncle,
Though I am not fond of sweets Gulab Jamuns or GJs as I call them are my favourite too as are rasagullas with the syrup squeezed out...
I have been making amazing GJs with Chitale Bandhus GJ mix for the last 12 years.They never go wrong and people cannot believe they are from a mix and not from Khoya!Do try this mix,even you can make what you have described so well!

chaitanya said...

Yum... I'm not even a fan of gulab jamuns, but your post makes me yearn for it! have you ever tried your hand at Food journalism?
I know what I'm making this weekend, and I already know that it won't satisfy me...

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Anupama - Try with genuine khoya (khava) and see the succulent difference
I have tried Chitale Mix and, yes, it is really good.
Happy Eating

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Chaitanya
Yes, I did try my hand at food journalism and did write food reviews (and published a book called Appetite for a Stroll too).
However, I try to avoid PR Foodie Events where things are stage-managed for a favorable review.
Hey, what are you making this weekend?
Let me guess?
Gulab Jamuns?
Happy Eating