If Tuesday's downpour has dampened your mood, here's how to fall in love with the rains again. Restaurants to head to for cool, new versions of the bhutta
Some things matter to you more because of what they represent, rather than what they are. Like the perforated decade-old T-shirt that you continue to sleep in, only because it’s the album merchandise for the band you grew up listening to. The sentiment attached to bhutta or corn-on-the cob, a monsoon essential, is much the same. City chefs tout its glory as an ingredient because of its characteristic versatility. One can enjoy it cooked, tossed in spices or simply, roasted whole with a generous squeeze of lime and sprinkle of masala. It’s naturally finding a place in menus across establishments. Here are The Guide’s top picks.
All in one
Savoury waffle, a slider, corn, hash-brown, chicken sausage and a spring roll topped with a pickle are all set up on a skewer, which goes into a beverage of choice, making up the D:OH in one (Rs 745). "The dish is a big hit with the guests who are looking for a hatke experience," Pawan Raina, business head at the diner, says. "Corn is a fibrous grain and it has other nutritional qualities, making it a healthy option. It is very versatile and can be used in multiple ways," he adds.
His fave bhutta haunt: A stall near the Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Orlem.
At D:OH All Day Dining & Bar, Viviana Mall, Thane West.
Time 11 am to 1 am
Each peach pear plum
While nostalgia plays a huge role in the inspiration behind the crispy corn in plum sauce (Rs 210) available at this restaurant, owner Dharmesh Karmokar says, the ingredient's inherent and supple sweetness and the fact that it can be used in Jain dishes are important factors, too. For it, golden fried corn is tossed in a tangy plum sauce and sprinkled with chili garlic. "I had tried something unique in Bhopal where they made the corn like a chana jor garam. They smashed and baked it and it was amazing," Karmokar shares about an interesting corn dish.
His fave bhutta haunt: A husband-wife duo who sell it at Breach Candy.
At Pink Panther, Mulji House, Veer Savarkar Marg, Prabhadevi.
Time 12 am to 12 pm
From Mexico's streets
Corn is not just synonymous with monsoon in India, but also with Mexican cuisine. "This is a street food from Mexico. It's a corn cocktail, which varies in different regions. The recipe that we have is a mix of many regions," brand chef at this eatery, Victor Manuel Murguia Mancilla explains, while speaking about esquites (Rs 380). The dish makes use of sautéed and caramelised onion, epazote (a wild Mexican sage) powder, grilled roasted corn, jalapeno mayonnaise and chilli lime salt. "More than identifying corn on the cob as an ingredient, people in Mexico, see it as a meal in itself," Mancilla reveals.
Victor Manuel Murguia Mancilla
His fave bhutta haunt: I don't have one in Mumbai, but I love the esquites available at street a stall in Coyoacan Market in Mexico City.
At Sancho's, Pali Hill Road, Khar West.
Time 12 pm to 1.30 am
When it's ribbed
At Alex Sanchez's new venture, the sweetcorn ribs (Rs 525) have become something of a signature dish. While experimenting, Sanchez and his team realised that if cut a certain way, the corn could be made to mimic a pork rib dish that had already made it to the menu of the restaurant. "Corn reminds me of summer back home in San Francisco. It goes well with almost anything, but I love to combine it with other summery ingredients like ripe tomatoes and basil," Sanchez says. "Corn has a tendency to dry out when overcooked or when it is of poor quality. That is why it is important to have a great vegetable supplier and to pay attention during the cooking process," the chef cautions.
His fave bhutta haunt: The beachfront at Shivaji Park near The Park Club has the best bhutta.
At Americano, 123, Radha Bhavan, Fort.
Time 7 pm to 1 am
A Bohri treat
"We are determined to spread the authenticity of cultural Bohri cuisine," shares Hozef Darukhanawala, owner of a café, where the Bohri chicken khurdi (R90) is made with chicken broth, almonds, corn and coconut milk. "This was a recipe that my father relied on whenever my mother was not at home. I have tweaked it, but the soul of the recipe is the same," he explains.
His fave bhutta haunt: Nothing beats enjoying a hot bhutta at Bandstand.
At Kaka-Kaki, Shop no 8, Shree Industrial Estate, Santacruz West.
Time 4 pm to 10 pm
Keep it corny
At Achija, a busy eatery in Mulund, a corn festival just launched to celebrate the rains. On offer are a range of dishes such as the corn kebab, buttery corn, baby corn and corn sabzi, all of which are available at pocket-friendly prices. Drop in to make the most of these cheap eats.
At Achija, JN Road, Mulund West.
Time 8.30 am to 1.30 am
Cost Rs 100 to Rs 200
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