Maharashtra Day Special: Local delicacies get a fancy twist

From inside out Vada Pavs to beer batter Bombay Duck —Mumbai's eateries can't have enough of some city-specific Maharashtrian staple dishes. On Maharashtra Day, we look at some of these culinary innovations

Bombil Bhaji

Bombil Bhaji
(Bombay Duck Pakoda)
Bombil Bhaji (Rs 950; available as part of buffet) is akin to spicy Malvani fish fritters. The fish is deboned and marinated with ginger-garlic paste and chilli powder. It is coated with semolina and rice flour, fried and served with green chutney.
On: Available on request today
At: Cafe Ambrosia, Ramada Powai Hotel and Convention Centre, Powai.
Call: 67776000

Vada Pav SpiceKlub style: A deconstructed Vada Pav dish from this Lower Parel eatery

Vada Pav SpiceKlub Style
SpiceKlub's version of the Vada Pav comes with a creamy vada filling served in a pot, boondi, spicy chutneys in bowls and lahsun chutney in pouches. Street food lovers can also enjoy the Pav Bhaji Fondue (`395).
At: 8A, Janta Industrial Estate, opposite Phoenix Mills, Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel.
Call: 24925544
Cost: Rs 395

BBB or Beer Batter Bombay Duck
Pic/Atul Kamble

BBB or Beer Batter Bombay Duck
Pune-based brewery, Doolally, has been making beer lovers happy with their city outpost in Bandra. Their menu pays tribute to the city with its BBB or the Beer Batter Bombay Duck, served with spicy thecha, a chutney made from crushed chillies and a few spices. “We wanted to serve good, tasty, wholesome bar food with our beers. The batter-fried dish is a classic recipe, and we thought of giving a city element to it by using Bombay Duck. Thecha tasted perfect with it. With our brews too, in the past, we've used local ingredients, like Karvanda Cider,” says Suketu Talekar, Co-founder, BrewCrafts Microbrewing
Pvt Ltd.
At: Doolally Tap Room, near Lilavati Hospital, Reclamation, Bandra (W).
Cost: Rs 300

Masala Bhat and Shepu Raita

Masala Bhat and Shepu Raita
Vedge is offering innovative dishes like Hibiscus Chaas (R130), which is perfect for summers and Masala Bhat with Shepu Raita (Rs 220).
On: Available on request today
At: Vedge, Fun Republic, Andheri (W).
Call: 61668906

Kolhapuri Masala Spiced Tandoori Kingfish Tikki

Kolhapuri Masala Spiced Tandoori Kingfish Tikki
House of Asia's Kolhapuri Masala Spiced Tandoori Kingfish Tikki, comes with Watermelon Kiwi Chaat and Nigella Raw Mango Chutney. The kingfish is marinated overnight with Kolhapuri spices and cooked in a tandoor over a slow flame. Once a tikki is made of it, it is grilled over a non-stick pan and served with the Watermelon Kiwi Chaat and Nigella Raw Mango Chutney.
At: Hotel Mirador, New Link Road, Chakala, Andheri (E).
Call: 30151500
Cost: Rs 499

Vada Pav

Vada Pav 'Inside Out'
The famous Mumbai street snack is served in a new, modernistic avatar. The Pav is laced with chutneys, including Maharashtrian lahsuni (garlic) chutney, and is stuffed into the vada, making it 'inside out'. It is served with a green chilli and sev as accompaniment.
At: Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, First International Financial Centre, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex.
Call: 66424142
Cost: Rs 395 plus taxes

Expert speak

Surender Mohan
Corporate chef— Indian cuisine, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Vada Pav might be the average Mumbaikar’s street food hero, but such is the popularity of the snack that it has found its way in restaurants at The Leela Mumbai. It is served at two of their restaurants — Citrus,  and The Lobby Lounge. “Pav bhaji and vada pav are the ‘jaan’ of Mumbai. Today, all travellers are well-read.

Vada Pav

Be it international guests or those from other cities, many who arrive in Mumbai, ask for Vada Pav after being told to try it along with Mirchi Bhaji and Samosa Pav. They are extremely happy to find it on our menu.

Mumbaikars are also surprised to find Vada Pav and Kheema Pav on our menu and hence want to try it,” says Mohan, on their decision to include the street snack to their menu. They stick to the authentic recipe but serve it on a platter with three chutneys — mint, tamarind and garlic — so people can make one on their own. Mohan tells us that if it wouldn’t have been successful they would have pulled it off the menu in two months, but it has been going strong for a year now.
Cost: Rs 550 (excluding taxes)

Zorawar Kalra
Founder and MD, Massive Restaurants

Recreating or reinventing a classic in a contemporary style has its own challenges, irrespective of whether the dish is of Maharashtrian origin or from any other part of India. The main challenge is of creating something which retains the quintessential flavours of the dish, while adding an element of modernity to elevate the culinary experience. At Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, we have recreated our version of the classic Vada Pav, retaining the flavours of this popular Mumbai street snack and enhancing it to invoke a sense of nostalgia.

Saee Koranne-Khandekar
Koranne-Khandekar food consultant and blogger
Saee  Koranne-Khandekar
It is exciting to twist Maharashtrian cuisine. The challenge is that there may be some criticism from Maharashtrians themselves. I feel that modernising traditional cuisine makes it more accessible to other ethnic groups and to an urban palate. I take classes in modern Maharashtrian cuisine, where I create changes in either the recipe itself or in the way it is presented. I have had a very encouraging response to this. Some of these ideas will function fabulously in a restaurant scenario.

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