Remember lunchtime at school? Curiosity reigned supreme over the fluffy and soft, mum-made roti, chapatti or phulka. How our Gujarati friend had patli roti or us North Indians, had thick and huge phulkas. How in the heat, they would be light and thicken in the winter as bajra or corn would pepper it grey or yellow.
The Butter Beans and Feta Roti Wrap is a unique combination that is creamy and healthy too. Pic/Rane Ashish
Cafe@JIWA, a roti-concept café in Bandra, aims to re-introduce healthy eating to all mindsets and age groups, courtesy its 13 varieties of atta with intriguing monikers — Youth Focus, Blood Pressure Care, Women’s Best, Diabetic, Slimming and so on. Transforming granny’s wisdom of getting your own grains grinded, of mixing them with chickpeas, soya and whatnot — these flours contain diligent combinations for every need. Cafe@JIWA encourages one to pick these up, and hence extends into the concept of a café. Our grouse starts with just that.
The Platter contains three kinds of rotis, Paneer Shazlik and Bhindi with Tandoori Aloo. It lacked taste but can be fulfilling as a meal. Pic/Rane Ashish
Third-time lucky, it was only after series of night visits and a Monday of shuttered doors, we walked into the store past noon to pick up our lunch. Even at noon, the kitchen took its sorry time to deliver three rotis, two vegetable preparations and a roti wrap. Forty minutes later, and too late for work, we picked up our takeaway. The platter (R175) contained Paneer Shazlik, Exotic Veggies in Balsamic and three kinds of rotis — Nutra Multigrain Roti, Slimming Roti and Women’s Best Roti.
Exotic Veggies were cold since morning, so Tandoori Bhindi Aloo was suggested as an alternative. We also asked for a Roti Wrap (Rs 95) — Nutra Bajiri Roti, Butter Beans and Feta with Mexican Salsa and Nutty Peanut sauces. To beat the heat, we coupled this with a Lemongrass and Jasmine Cooler (R75) that our server understood as two separate drinks.
Interiors of the cafe
The atta for each roti was kneaded separately in an electric machine in front of us. We do feel that in case of an open kitchen, the restaurateur should be confident enough of the kitchen’s functioning. As each dough took time, and the tawa was heated sluggishly after everything had concluded, our respect for our mother’s cooking had grown multifold.
Thankfully, the rotis did get puffed and were round, a consolation to our tired eyes.
The cooler made for a refreshing and mildly sweet drink. The paneer was seasoned only with salt and turmeric, with a few flakes of chilli for the sake of appearance. The bhindi cooked with baby potatoes had a similar tale to tell. The wrap, on the other hand, was rewarding to the tastebuds though the Bajiri Roti had been swapped with the platter’s rotis. The kidney beans, feta, cherry tomatoes and cabbage worked well but the sauces could have been more plentiful. The café, though not in a bad vein, needs much more than roti to have health freaks thronging.
On Tuesdays to Sundays, 12 pm to 9.30 pm
At Prabhat Kunj, 24th Road, Bandra (W).
Café@JIWA didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.