Mumbai food festival features delicacies from the East Indian community

Updated: Jan 30, 2018, 09:41 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani | Mumbai

Savour the delicacies of the Mumbai's indigenous East Indian community at this food festival

Prawn Moile. Pics courtesy/Michael Swamy
Prawn Moile. Pics courtesy/Michael Swamy

Earlier this month, when we met fashion designer James Ferreira at his Khotachiwadi home, the designer rued the fact that the city, be it residents or civic officials, is appallingly unaware of the indigenous East Indian community, often labelling them as Goans.

Mutton green masala curry
Mutton green masala curry

Fugias
Fugias

If you too need an introduction to one of the earliest inhabitants of the city, food might be a delectable way to start off. The East Indian Food Festival, with stalls by home chefs from the community, is being held this Thursday. The festival is part of the East Indian Sann 2018, organised by the Mobai Gaothan Panchayat. "Mumbai doesn't have an East Indian restaurant. You might have eaten fish, but not a version cooked in East Indian masala. These dishes might be available on a small scale, but are known only within the community," says Gleason Barretto, founder trustee of the Panchayat.

Roast chicken
Roast chicken

Lamb shank cooked with bottle masala
Lamb shank cooked with bottle masala

Masalas by East Indian Cozinha
Masalas by East Indian Cozinha

Two essential components of the East Indian cuisine are the bottle masala, and the fresh green masala that uses chillies, garlic and ginger. "Some of the popular dishes are the East Indian chicken moile, which is originally made with duck, and stew that uses goat meat, the fresh green masala, garam masala and veggies. We also make indel and sarpatel, which are close to the Goan vindaloo and sorpotel. The difference is that we don't use onions in both the dishes. Indel is made using ground Kashmiri and pungent chillies, jeera, turmeric and vinegar, and sarpatel with bottle masala," says Sybil Rodrigues, member of the Panchayat, who also runs the Facebook page Sybil's Kitchen, where she shares recipes of East Indian dishes.

Rodrigues also recommends sweets such as cordial (made with coconut and sugar), milk cream and marzipan. The students from the hospitality department of St Andrew's will also sell East Indian fare made under the mentorship of chef Michael Swamy (he is the author of The East Indian Kitchen). Their menu offers pork roast, sausage rolls, chicken liver fry and fruit custard. "The bottle masala is made using around 30 spices and can be used to cook a variety of meats and vegetables," says the chef. For your sweet craving, pick treats made by the students with special needs from the college. Other dishes on offer include chicken moile, chicken cutlet, potato chop, handbread and fugias (made with maida, water and milk). Barretto informs us that they will also open an East Indian art gallery at St Andrew's.

ON: February 1, 5 pm to 10 pm
AT: St Andrew's quadrangle, Bandra West.

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