From Bohri meals to pop-up kitchens from Assam and Meghalaya, Mumbai has become a melting pot for regional fare. The most recent entrant is Cutchi Memon cuisine, from a take-away service called the Cutchi Memon Table. When we first looked up their menu, we were not sure which of these dishes are traditionally a part of the Cutchi Memon meal as we spotted biryani, spring roll, chicken nuggets and lasagna among other items.
The Cocktail Kabab (left) and the Shikhampuri Kabab (right) were delicious. Pics/Ashish rane
When we made a call to Arshad Soomar, the owner, to book our meal, he told us that though there were dishes like Shikhampur Kabab and cutlets that were common in other kinds of cuisine as well, they made these dishes the way they were traditionally made at his home, by his wife Faiziya Soomar, Chef and Co-owner of the Cutchi Memon Table, and would have their own flavour to it.
The Dal Gosht was the star of the meal
“Our forefathers are from Bhuj, Kutch. My wife has been cooking for over 25 years now, and we always had friends and family requesting us to make things for them and urging us to take up catering professionally. Now, with the kids growing up, we felt why not,” shares Arshad Soomar, owner The Cutchi Memon Table, Faiziya shares that some of her regular clients love her lasagna and brownies and also regularly order Christmas lunches from her, complete with cake jars. “I do vegetarian dishes with soya for a few clients too, but specialise in our traditional recipes that have been passed on to me from my mother and grandmother,” she informed.
The Shahi Tukda had us coming back for more
Convinced, we placed our order for lunch. The Shikhampuri Kabab (Rs 360), Cocktail Kabab (Rs 300), Tashkent Pulao (Rs 1,200), Dal Gosht (Rs 1,050), Jeera Rice and Shahi Tukda (Rs 55) made it to our list. Most of the prices for these items were marked per kg. The kababs were priced per dozen. You can share the number of people you are ordering for and they will recommend the ideal quantity you should order.
When our food arrived, we were a tad disappointed with the packaging as the gravy of the Dal Gosht (packed in a plastic tub) didn’t survive the half hour journey and had spilled into the silver foil casseroles that held the kababs, causing them to drown in gravy. Airtight containers might be a better idea.
Let’s come to the most important part of the story now — the food! The Shikhampuri Kababs and the Cocktail Kababs were stellar. “These kababs have their origins from Bangalore; my wife lived in Bangalore before our marriage. They are a version of the Shammi Kababs, which have a filling of mint and onions in it. The Cocktail Kababs, too, are made of minced meat but this is raw minced meat, which is fried later,” explained Arshad.
What looked like a stack of kababs, making us think that we have over ordered, disappeared in minutes. Next, we tried the Dal Gosht (a traditional dish usually eaten in Muslim homes on a Friday) with the Jeera rice. The lentils mixed with soft mutton pieces was the star of our meal and some of our pseudo vegetarian colleagues who tried just the gravy couldn’t resist digging in again either. The Tashkent Pulao had a little added colour, which we aren’t very fond of. We found a strand of hair in the Pulao, which put us off. The sweetish tinge in the rice didn’t work for us either. This dish, we were told, is an
adaptation and not very traditional. It has a mix of vegetables, rice and chicken, with added fresh cream.
Drenched in the goodness of condensed milk, mava, dry fruit and fried bread, the Shahi Tukda was the perfect end to a hearty meal. We kept going back for it, out of pure greed, despite absolutely full stomachs. Except for a few glitches, which we think can be attributed to teething problems, the food was good and certainly, worth a try.
At: 602, Spencer CHS Ltd, New Kantwadi, Perry Cross Road, Bandra (W).