I love food.
I love walking.
So – I love food-walking.
Let me tell you some memoirs of foodwalking from my wonderful Mumbai days.
Here is the first story...
“FOODWALKING” – A HEALTHY EXERCISE FOR ALL AGES
Ramblings of a “Retired” Navy Veteran
In my younger days – in school, college and my early days in the Navy – I played active sports for exercise.
Later – my exercise comprised less physically strenuous activities like swimming, jogging, brisk walking/hill climbing etc.
When I crossed my mid-40’s – and landed up in Mumbai more than 19 years ago – in the early part of the year 2000 – when I was around 45 years of age – I started my “foodwalks”.
I had two “foodwalks” every day:
1. The first foodwalk in the morning from 6 AM to 7:30 AM
2. The second foodwalk in the evening from 5 PM to 7 PM
(On Sunday mornings I had a super-long “foodwalk” which started at 6 AM and sometimes extended upto 9 AM or even 10 AM)
These “foodwalks” had various stages:
1. First – after a warm up brisk walk – I jogged on Marine Drive for around 3 kms till the end of Chowpatty.
2. This was followed by a brisk walk.
On weekday mornings – I would walk back to Stadium Restaurant at Churchgate for a Bun Maska, Bun Omlette or Kheema Pav and Refreshing Irani Chai
In the evenings – when I had more time at my disposal – my foodwalks would be more exploratory.
I would take new routes every day – and – I would explore new eating places – starting from Colaba and Cuffe Parade in the South – to various places in Central Mumbai like Grant Road, Byculla, Mohd Ali Road, Crawford Market, Girgaum, Kalbadevi, Chowpatty etc – wherever my legs would take me.
3. So – my Food-Walk comprised first a brisk walk – then a “replenishment halt” for food – and – after the “replenishment halt” – it was a leisurely walk back home – fully satiated – and – stomach full and morale high.
Retirement is a big comedown – and – my glorious “foodwalks” came to an end.
However – I have decided to revive my “foodwalks” again – and this morning I went on a long “foodwalk” – culminating in a “frugal” vegetarian breakfast.
During this rather lacklustre foodwalk – I remembered my most memorable foodwalk in Mumbai.
So – let me delve into my Foodie Archives – and pull out this “memoir” for you to read...
MOUTHWATERING MUMBAI MEMORIES
I enjoyed the 6 Best Years of My Life in Mumbai – six glorious years from the years 2000 to 2006.
During these six best years of my life, I lived in EMPRESS COURT – my all time favourite home – the best house I have ever lived in during my entire life.
I wish I could have had my retirement home in that lovely neighbourhood, or nearby, but then, can an honest naval officer afford a house in South Mumbai?
Maybe a Merchant Navy Officer can afford a house in “So Bo” (South Bombay) – but if you have spent your life honestly serving the nation in the “Fauji” Indian Navy – forget about Mumbai – you will not be able to afford a home in the heart of Pune – and you would probably have to settle down in some faraway suburb like Wakad or Baner or Kharadi – or in one of those military veteran “fauji ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi where most retired service officers have settled down.
But in your mind’s eye – you can always hark back – and relive your “good old days” with nostalgia.
That is what I did on this lovely morning – during my foodwalk – I reminisced about my glorious Sunday Morning “Food Walks” in Mumbai.
Let me tell you about my memorable Sunday mornings in Mumbai.
UNFORGETTABLE MUMBAI FOOD WALK
NALLI NIHARI at BHENDI BAZAAR
Mouthwatering Memories of an Early Morning Food Walk followed by a Sumptuous Nourishing Breakfast by VIKRAM KARVE
I love good food.
I am a foodie – I am certainly not a snobbish “high-falutin fine-dining foodie” – but I would rather describe myself as a simple Trencherman.
As I said, I love good food.
And I love walking around searching for good food.
So, whenever I get an opportunity, I set off on my frequent “food walks” searching for good food.
It was in “maximum city” Mumbai that I enjoyed my best food walks.
Let me tell about one of my favourite food walks – a fulfilling early morning food walks culminating in a nourishing breakfast.
This is probably my first piece of Foodie Writing.
I wrote this in the year 2000 – more than 19 years ago – after returning from one of my food walks.
So – Dear Reader – here are some mouthwatering memories of a glorious early morning food-walk in Mumbai culminating in a wholesome breakfast.
EARLY MORNING FOOD WALK IN MUMBAI : Mouthwatering Memoir by Vikram Karve
I start early – at dawn – from my house near Churchgate.
I admire, in the early morning pre-sunrise light, the impressive silhouettes of the magnificent Gothic structures of the High Court and Mumbai University across the Oval.
I hear the clock on Rajabai Tower strike 6 AM (0600 Hrs).
I walk briskly past Oxford Bookstore, KC College and CCI towards Marine Plaza Hotel.
Then I cross the Marine Drive, turn right and start off towards Chowpatty.
I greet with a smile the morning joggers and walkers and rinse my lungs with the fresh invigorating sea breeze.
I walk briskly on Marine Drive.
Soon I am past Marine Lines, Taraporewala Aquarium, Charni Road, Chowpatty, Wilson College – and after the brisk vigorous walk of about 30 minutes I break out into a slight sweat as I reach the northern end of Marine Drive.
Here I ponder for a moment.
Should I turn left up the Walkeshwar Road to Teen Batti and Banganga...?
Or should I turn right towards Babulnath...?
Or should I turn back towards Nariman Point...?
I experience a sense of true freedom.
I can make whatever choice I want and go wherever I desire.
I choose to cross the road, and walk fast, straight up the steep path towards Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill – trying to exercise my heart and lungs.
I take a round of garden atop the water tank near Kamala Nehru Park (is it now called Phirozeshah Mehta Udyan...?)
Then I canter down to Kemp’s Corner where I turn right – a U-turn really – past Crossword Bookstore – and I walk down Hughes Road.
I turn left past Gamdevi towards Nana Chowk and I cross the railway over-bridge and keep going onto Grant Road past Novelty Cinema.
Then I turn right at Delhi Durbar on Falkland Road – reach VP Road – walk past Gol Deval, Alankar cinema – and soon I am at Bhendi Bazar.
My destination Noor Mohammadi Hotel is right in front of me across Mohamedali Road.
Almost two hours of brisk walking has built up in me a voracious appetite and I am ready to devour a sumptuous breakfast.
I am hungry.
And I eat only when I am hungry.
I enter Noor Mohammadi Hotel, a Spartan no-nonsense eatery, and order a Nalli Nihari and Roti.
Nalli Nihari is a pure ghee version of Mutton Nihari cooked with bones filled with marrow.
Within a minute a bowl of piping hot gravy, with a generous chunk of succulent meat floating in it, and a fluffy khaboosh roti is placed in front of me.
I dip a piece of the soft roti in the spicy rich gravy, let it soak for a while, put it in my mouth and close my eyes to luxuriate in and relish the gastronomic experience in its entirety.
I can feel the juicy gravy soaked roti melting on my tongue, releasing its delicious flavours and spicy aroma which permeate into my soul.
I am in seventh heaven and keep on attaining higher states of sheer heavenly bliss with every succulent bite of the mouth watering concoction.
They say that Nalli Nihari is a mutton bone marrow and wheat gravy – but I don’t delve too much on the contents of a dish.
It’s the taste, delicacy, eating experience and ultimate divine feeling of satiation that matters.
It is a delectable beginning to a delightful day as the luscious taste of the delicious Nalli Nihari lingers on my tongue indefinitely.
Yes, it is epicurean satiation of the highest order – a blissful experience I can never forget.
Here is a picture of Nalli Nihari
(Today – I click and post foodie pictures using my smartphone – but since this happened more than 19 years ago when there were no smartphones – I will take the liberty of posting a picture of Nalli Nihari – freely available on the internet – from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, file url: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nalli_Nihari.JPG )
Dear Reader – if you happen to be in Mumbai – and – you are ready for a sumptuous non-vegetarian breakfast – take a brisk stimulating food walk early in the morning – and – begin your day with Nalli Nihari at Noor Mohammadi in Bhendi Bazaar.
I assure you that it will be a fortifying and stimulating experience.
Don’t forget to tell us how you enjoyed the food-walking experience.
But – remember one thing.
If you want to truly appreciate this splendid Heritage Gourmet Trencherman’s Breakfast Dish to its fullest – you must build up an appetite for it.
Yes – if you really want to enjoy good food – you must build up an appetite for it.
And – what better way to build up an appetite than a brisk long walk in fresh air – aka – “Food Walk”
Remember – in order to enjoy your food – first build up an appetite – and then satiate it.
Yes – remember the “FOOD-WALK DICTUM”:
First build up an appetite – then satiate it
First – “WALK WALK WALK”
Then – “EAT EAT EAT”
Once more – let me wish you Happy “Food-Walking”.
Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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 (All Rights Reserved)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Revised and Updated Version of the Article Written by me Vikram Karve 19 years ago in the year 2000 and First Posted on my Foodie Blog by me Vikram Karve at url: http://creative.sulekha.com/heritage-cuisine-by-vikram-karve-a-sumptuous-breakfast_146309_blog and http://food.sulekha.com/a-hearty-breakfast-in-the-heart-of-mumbai-id21759-39642-recipe.htm and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/12/mouthwatering-mumbai-memories-food-walk.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/foodwalking-healthy-exercise-for-all.html