More than a ghee depot

It’s an innocuous-looking shop, one you could almost miss amid the bustle of Jagannath Shankarsheth Chowk, better known as Nana Chowk. But the point is not to miss this treasure trove. If you are walking from Grant Road station (West) towards the chowk, Belgaum Ghee Depot is on your right, bang at the corner.

(Left - Clockwise from top left) Chicken Patties, Mawa Poli and Egg Patties are bestsellers at Belgaum Ghee Depot.Pics/Bipin Kokate, Pradeep Dhivar

There’s just enough room to pick your orders. But if you sidle to one end of the counter you can engage proprietor Farrokh Workingboxwalla in a chat while you try to not get distracted by the goodies being snapped up.

The place now sells ghee from Porbander.

The shop’s quirky name, says Workingboxwalla Junior, came from their original business, which was selling ghee brought from Belgaum. “My maternal grandfather set up the shop in 1943; it remained a ghee business until 24 years ago -- I was in school then -- when snacks began to be served,” he recalls.

The snacks remain their big draw, hot sellers include puffs and patties -- the Chicken Puff (Rs 22) was our favourite while the Egg-and-Chutney Patty (Rs 18) topped our list. There are other goodies too -- from the Parsi Chicken Farcha (Rs 55) to the ubiquitous Tandoori Chicken (Rs 45, this was juicy and flavourful), and veg and non-veg sandwiches (Rs 16-38), and cutlets (Rs 16-23).

The typically Parsi items are what we recommend -- the Daal Poli, which you may have heard about elsewhere as “daar-ni-pori”, and their Mawa version (both Rs 75). There’s plenty to choose from for your working lunch too -- ┬áPalak Paneer (Rs 55), a mild Chicken Curry with Rice (Rs 90), slightly spicier Vindaloo (Rs 70), Chicken Dhansak with Rice (Rs 90), and a Cold Chicken Salad (Rs 80). You can place orders by phone; all that remains is for the menu to be uploaded online.

If you’re wondering, the shop still sells ghee -- from Porbandar, not Belgaum, a choice of cow or buffalo ghee is at Rs 490 per kg. As a bonus, homemade masalas (Rs 35-58) are also available.

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