Food: Mumbai's first Misal festival offers offbeat versions of the popular snack
From zanzanit Kolhapuri to Chinese schezwan-style, savour a dozen varieties of the popular Maharashtrian snack at the Mumbai's first misal festival
Every day, Mangal Gurav and her daughter-in-law Anulekha wake up at the crack of dawn to prepare a fresh chutney by hand-pounding three types of chillies - blood red Kashmiri chillies, Karnataka's hot bedgi and a dried variety known as jawari. It's this chutney that lends a scarlet hue and distinct flavour to Laxmi Misal Centre's signature offering, making it a favourite spot for savouring the popular Maharashtrian snack among Kolhapur's foodie junta.
Laxman Murdeshwar, 80, is the second-generation owner of Mamledar Misal, a favourite haunt of city foodies
"The chivda topped on the misal is also made in-house. We serve it with bread slices cut from fresh loaves sourced from a local bakery every morning," says Mangal's son Amol Gurav, who manages the eatery, launched in 1988 by Sharad Kothavale. When he passed away, the reins were handed over to his long-time, dedicated staffer Jyotiram, who is Amol's father. Relish this Kolhapuri variant at Misalotsav, Mumbai's first misal festival presented by Lokmanya Seva Sangh, a non-profit organisation in Vile Parle.
Travel via misal
The team has brought in a number of eateries from across Maharashtra to serve different versions of the modest misal - a curry-based dish featuring sprouted lentils, matki or moong, topped with farsan, onion, coriander, served with pav. "Mumbaikars may find it difficult to travel to distant places to taste authentic misal. The idea is to satisfy their tastebuds," says Manoj Nirgudkar, convener of the fest.
Amol Gurav adds dahi to the misal served at his Kolhapur eatery
Enjoy tikhat misal varieties from eateries like Abhichi Misal and Kolhapur Misal from the western Maharashtra city, Shri Mulye Misalwale from Sangmeshwar, Ratnagiri district; and Appa Tandel Snacks from Pen in Raigad district. If you can't take the spice, go for Puneri misal, flecked with pohe (puffed rice) and boiled potato chunks from Pune's Naad Khula.
Nashik will be represented by Mauli Misal, an eatery launched by Avinash Bapte in 2016 where his wife Vidya's recipe drives its star dish. "She grinds 27 spices into a special masala that is used in the dish. We serve it with papad and chhaas," says Avinash. They will also serve a variety with peppery black gravy, and a Jain option.
Mauli Misal in Nashik follows Vidya Bapte's (inset) recipes
Schezwan misal, anyone?
Can a misal fest be complete without Mamledar Misal? The 65-year-old landmark in Thane, run by father-son duo Laxman and Damodar Murdeshwar, which has also ventured into Vile Parle and other locations, will be part of the fest. Try their signature misal, offered in three varieties based on the heat levels.
If you're in the mood to experiment, try schezwani misal created specially by the organisers for this fest.
On : December 9 and 10, 4 pm to 9 pm
At : Tilak Mandir, Ram Mandir Road, Vile Parle East.
Call : 9820654722
Cost : Rs.70 per plate
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A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli