Mumbai Food: Indulge in authentic East Indian delicacies at this Kalina food stall
There is something reassuring about finding an East Indian food stall right within a gaothan, or a village for the community
There is something reassuring about finding an East Indian food stall right within a gaothan, or a village for the community. It's a bit like finding a dumpling place in the middle of China Town in western cities, since the authenticity of what you're going to eat is more or less guaranteed. But what's even more reassuring is when you reach the said stall at around 8.30 in the evening and find that they have sold out almost everything they serve - such as chicken and potato chops, vindaloo and other curries - after they opened for business only at 7 pm. It puts an added stamp of authenticity on the fare. And that's exactly why we approach the last-remaining buffalo tongue roast (Rs 60) at East Indian Fast Food, which is essentially a cart in Kolivery village in Kalina, with a great degree of confidence.
The young, bearded man running the stall fishes out a plastic packet in which the pre-cooked tongue is stored. He then empties it on an impossibly clean tawa and heats it for a few minutes, till the whole spices in it start sizzling. The pieces of tongue sit on a bed of Kashmiri red chillies when the dish is served to us on a paper plate. But the first taste we get is, surprisingly, a tangy one - unbeknownst to us, the meat had had lemon drizzled on it before being stored in the packet.
This sourness is the overriding flavour of the dish, but it doesn't reach a level that forces us to close our eyes and pucker our lips as if we have just bitten into a raw tamarind. On the contrary, it's perfectly balanced out by the chillies, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and small amount of ghee that the tongue was roasted with. And overall, we can safely report that it is the best tongue dish we have ever had in the city, even though we have had this meat an umpteen number of times before, since we are not averse to any part of any meat, be it offal or entrails, or pigs or beef.
Timings: 7 pm to 8.30 pm, or till stocks last (closed on Sundays)
At: Kolivery Village, Kalina, Santacruz East (ask for the stall once inside the village)
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