We ate across Mumbai with not a care about our weight just so that we could bring you Mumbai's most appetising grub under 39 calories
Kale and pomegranate salad. Pic/Sameer Markande
Byline: Anju Maskeri, Kusumita Das, Snigdha Hasan, Dhara Vora Sabhnani, Suman Mahfuz Quazi, Shunashir Sen and Nasreen Modak Siddiqi
Kale and pomegranate salad
35 calories (50 gms)
At: The Wine Room and Bar, Bandra West
Rs 175 + taxes & 8879101350
This detox salad is tossed with pistachio and pomegranate, for freshness, and a dash of balsamic vinegar to add some acidity. "We chose to add the salad to the menu because of its high fibre content, powerful antioxidants and close to no fat," says head chef-founder Sahil Arora.
35 calories (for 1 roll)
At: Shizusan, Phoenix Mills
Rs 545 (whole plate) & 33956182
Sriracha blush. Pic/Bipin Kokate
This sushi is rolled with avocado, cucumber, jalapeño tempura and cream cheese, and finished off with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce. "Japanese food is huge in Thailand, and Sriracha, a Thai sauce made with chili pepper paste, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, is widely accepted as an ingredient by sushi chefs. With this in mind, and that the Mumbai palate loves its spice, we were encouraged to introduce the dish to the menu," says Chef Paul Kinny.
Steamed fish with lemon oil
34.5 calories (for 180 gms)
At: 12'O Clock Hunger, Dahisar West
Rs 320 & 33956182
Steamed fish with lemon oil. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
This is a slow-poached Indian salmon served with white onion roullie and natural lemon oil. Chef Roger Gonsalves says the fish is marinated with coffee beans, basil, aged orange zest and salt, wrapped tightly, and set aside for a day. Post marination, it's poached in a rosemary broth and served with an onion sauce and natural lemon oil, giving it a tangy aftertaste. "Because it is cooked by poaching and the nectarine is fresh, it is a low-cal dish."
38 calories (1 glass)
At: Aaswad, Dadar West
Rs 40 & 24451871
Kokum sharbat. Pic/Ashish Raje
The sharbat made of the 'cool king' of Indian fruits is packed with tanginess and amounts to just 35 calories (if you have it minus sugar, that is). Semi-dry kokam is soaked in water for four hours and ground to make a smooth, ruby blend. More water is added and the mixture is strained. The finishing touch is cardamom and cumin powder to balance the tanginess. This guilt-free coolant gets a double thumbs up from us.
Methi and arugula Salad
At: The Bombay Canteen, Kamala Mills
Rs 275 & 49666666
Methi and arugula Salad. Pic/Bipin Kokate
A refreshing way to keep Mumbai's humidity levels down is to dig into TBC's methi and arugula salad with lime chilli dressing, toasted sesame and peanuts. "What makes it unique is the use of chhoti methi [baby fenugreek], a superfood grown locally. It has a mildly bitter aftertaste, slight crunch and fantastic cooling properties," says Thomas Zacharias, executive chef.
33 calories (2 pieces)
At: All Heart, Lower Parel
Rs 150 & 8850510436
Bruschetta cracker. Pic/Ashish Raje
Everybody loves a slice of bruschetta. It's this belief that saw Aniket Karia, founder, All Heart, introduce the bruschetta cracker, made with olive oil, tomato, garlic and basil. "Since we promote healthy eating, we decided to replace carbs in the bread with our healthy seeded crackers," says Karia.
Water chestnut dumpling
37 calories (1 dumpling)
At: Asia Kitchen, Saki Naka
Rs 335 (for 4 portions)
Water chestnut dumpling. Pic/Sameer Markande
One of the most important factors when determining if dumplings are healthy is to check if they are steamed, pan fried or deep fried. Steamed dumplings are your best healthy option, says corporate chef Ram Chandar.
25 calories (1 cup)
At: August Café, Andheri West
Rs 150 & 30151202
Iced Americano. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
This cold brewed black coffee without sugar was introduced at the café when it launched. Since the café claims to get coffee connoisseurs, they source the best beans to serve the brew on the rocks, says proprietor Daksh Gupta.
Creme de la roquette
22.17 calories (for 220 ml)
At: Mondo Fine Dine, Dahisar West
Rs 649 & 65566636
Creme de la roquette. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The creme de la roquette is umami velloutte-flavoured with fresh arugula essence, finished with pimentos butter. "The arugula leaves are blanched in vegetable broth to reduce their bitterness, and blended to a creamy purée. This purée is mixed with chlorophyll, extracted from the veg broth. It is added to almond milk and cooked to a soupy consistency," says Mondo's proprietor Sagar Neve. Only one gram of pimentos butter is used — that's a mere 7.17 calories.
38.5 calories (half cup)
At: Hoppipola, Khar
Rs 195 & 7625073615
Smart bhel. Pic/Ashish Raje
There's a reason why the folks at this beer-lovers hangout have chosen to name one an appetisers the smart bhel. Made with watermelon cubes, pear, cucumber, olives and iceberg, drizzled with olive oil, lemon and honey, it's the snack that the health conscious dream of. "It carries the freshness of watermelon, sweetness of pair and honey, balanced with the sourness of lemon. The lettuce adds crunch, creating a symphony of flavours," says chef Harman Sawhney.
35 calories (15 ml)
At: Xico, Kamala Mills
Rs 700 & 33716042
Tequila shot. Pic/Suresh Karkera
What's Mexican cuisine without tequila? "Most of our cocktails are tequila-based and quite popular too. Those keeping a check on their calories tend to opt for shots," says head bartender Shobit Shetty.
Vegan beetroot, coconut and ginger soup
38.5 calories (half cup)
At: The Pantry, Kala Ghoda
Rs 245 & 22700082
Vegan beetroot, coconut and ginger soup. Pic/Bipin Kokate
This soup is a mix of super healthy beetroot, sweet potato and ginger, drizzled with fresh homemade coconut cream. "The creamy soup is full of nutritional benefits and ideal as a light meal to beat the heat. Both beetroot and sweet potato are underground vegetables and all-time favourites; adding ginger to it gives it the perfect warm element," says Subhash Shirke, executive chef.
Roasted masala papad
At: Dishkiyaoon, BKC
Rs 60 & 8291139404
Roasted masala papad. Pic/Sameer Markande
There's nothing quite like biting into a crunchy, roasted masala papad while you glug a chilled beer. Alcohol aside, the thin sun-dried wafers can be your go-to chakna if you're watching your diet. One roasted urad papad contains 33 calories with 0.29 gms fat, 5.39gms carb and 2.3gms protein. At this BKC eatery, it comes topped with chaat masala and is served as a cocktail snack, on request.
35 calories (1 cup)
At: One Street, Bandra West
Rs 600 & 8108669680
Veg adobo. Pic/Shadab Khan
Based on a take on the popular Filipino meat dish, this one is made using vegetables like pumpkin for the base, giving it a healthy, vegan and gluten-free character. It's a hit with the vegetarian guests, says says Kelvin Cheung of Aallia Hospitality.
30 calories (1 cup)
At: Pa Pa Ya, all outlets
Rs 295 + taxes & 7400433430
Miso soup. Pic/Sameer Markande
Japanese cuisine is incomplete without a bowl of miso soup. Made by sautéing miso paste and simmering it with stock, this slim soup comes in seafood, chicken and tofu variants. It is healthy, easy on the stomach and a must to begin your Japanese meal with, says chef Sahil Singh.
Egg white omlette
At: Grandmama's Café, Juhu
Rs 250 & 7400092994
Egg white omlette. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Their exhaustive menu is proof that they serve the discerning palate. Made with egg white and a "tasty secret masala", this low-fat breakfast is the best way to add protein and key nutrients to your day (although critics argue, yolk nahin khaya toh egg nahin khaya!) "The masala helps bring in some zing. It's a popular breakfast order," says chef Amit Vaidya.
38 calories (50 gms)
At: Fan Club, Kopar Khairane
Rs 295 plus taxes & 33126169
Spaghetti zucchini. Pics/Sneha KHarabe
For those who are gluten-intolerant or calorie conscious, zoodles or zucchini noodles are a delicious replacement for pasta. Try spaghetti zucchini, a warm salad of zucchini noodles tossed in a homemade Italian dressing served with almonds. The all-rounder health veggie is low in carbs, high in fibre and a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin C.
Bhut jholakia paneer tikka
36 calories (1 piece)
At: The Bombay Bronx, Cumbala Hill
Rs 280 & 7710044666
Bhut jholakia paneer tikka. Pic/Ashish Raje
Bhut jholakia chillies or ghost peppers are not for the faint hearted, but if used to marinate paneer, they offer just the right degree of kick. Stick to tucking into just one melt-in-the-mouth tikka and you would have earned just 36 calories. The SoBo eatery's founder Nakul Kumar sources the red, plump, chilli variant from Assam.
Cous cous upma
36 calories (125 gms)
At: Garde Manger, Vile Parle East
Rs 350 + taxes & 7045004488
Cous cous upma. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The tiny grains of crushed durum wheat semolina lend themselves perfectly to the South Indian breakfast favourite, upma. The recipe belongs to Parvinder Singh, who keeps the preparation simple by sticking to the basics — tomato, onion and curry leaves with a drizzle of olive oil. Fun fact: 60 grams of couscous make for just 15 calories.
37 calories (1 cup)
At: Arth, Khar
Part of a set thali at Rs 1,400 & 30151369
Burhani raita. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
It's the garlic in the burhani raita at this Khar eatery that makes it more flavourful than others. Chef Amninder Sandhu tells us that the curd is made in-house, with garlic juice, black salt and cumin powder, before it's tempered with fried garlic and whole red chillies. "It's perfect as an accompaniment to biryani, but it's less cooling than normal raita because of the garlic."
37 calories (per shot)
At: D:OH outlets
Rs 225 + taxes & 62360452
D:OH Spronic. Pic/Ashish Raje
Here's a cool twist to your espresso shot. The D:OH Spronic, as the name suggests, is a shot of espresso (5 cal) with tonic water (32 cal) served in mason jars rim-lined with lime to balance out the bitterness of the coffee. Pawan Raina, general manager, says, "Mixing tonic water with espresso has been done in the West for a while. It's a great way to kickstart your morning, and something new for coffee lovers to try."
33 calories (120 ml)
At: Cafe Madras, King's Circle
Rs 35 & 24014419
Rasam. Pic/Atul Kamble
With the rains setting in, few dishes can beat the comfort of a glass of hot, peppery rasam. And given the calorie count, which is acceptable to even the strictest weight watchers, this is what you should swap your aam milkshake with this season. Devavrath Kamath, third-generation owner of the eatery, shares a few ingredients from the secret rasam recipe. "We use pepper, tomatoes and a negligible amount of oil. What we have vehemently refused to do is make a Jain version of a dish that gets its punch from garlic."
34 calories (100 gms)
At: Myxx, Juhu Rs 450 & 2266955500
Broccoli cake. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
This air-fried dish was inspired from an Asian dish called turnip cake. "We gave it a healthier twist by making it with broccoli. It's now low on calories and is a source of vitamins C and K, antioxidants and a folic acid," says chef Sameer Bhalekar.
23 to 31 calories (per roll)
At: Estella, Juhu
Rs 725 + taxes (4 portions) & 7999998232
Tuna roll. Pic/Satej Shinde
This little roll of health whipped up by the chefs at this sea-facing Juhu restaurant has sashimi-grade tuna tossed in a sesame Sriracha sauce, and is served with wasabi and soy sauce. While the calorie count varies between 23 and 31, depending on your choice of topping, the beauty you see in this photo comes topped with thinly shredded spring onion leaves, caviar and a cucumber slice. At just 27 calories, it's worth gobbling guilt-free.
34 calories (half glass)
At: The Yoga House, Bandra
Rs 165 & 8655045001
Lemongrass cooler. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Christened The Pure, this lemongrass drink is quite popular on the 'sattvik' menu at this hip Bandra space. "Lemongrass is a cooling herb, rich in vitamins and antioxidants that help release toxins from the body and fight infections. Spiced with cardamom that has similar metabolic benefits, the concoction nourishes the soul and revitalises the mind and body," says Yoga House's Mansi Bajaj.
36 calories (per bowl)
At Taftoon, BKC
Rs 289 + taxes & 49735748
Kitchari soup. Pic/Ashish Raje
This is an interesting Ayurvedic broth of cinnamon powder (2 cals), chopped ginger (1 cal), salt to taste (0 cal), crushed black pepper (1 cal) and a bay leaf (0 cal). Black rice (20 cal) is added to the broth along with freshly-sprouted green lentils (12 cal). "The recipe has its roots in the Vedic era and its basic property is to cleanse you and set you up for the rest of the meal," says Milan Gupta, head chef.
35 calories (50 gms)
At: The Quarter, Opera House
Rs 400 & 8329110638
Duck carpaccio. Pic/Bipin Kokate
This one's for the adventurous, considering that a carpaccio is made with raw meat. It involves curing the duck with citrus, such orange or lemon, and then marinating it skinless with vinegar and mustard overnight. The meat is then rolled out and frozen, before it's sliced thinly and dressed with vinaigrette. It's served with rocket leaves, parmesan shavings, capers and orange slices.
At: South High, Kamala Mills
Rs 145 & 65588866
Parboiled dosa. Pic/Ashish Raje
Unlike the classic variety where the batter is made with rice and black lentils, the parboiled rice (ukda) dosa is a low-calorie snack. "Parboiled rice is better than regular rice as it usually goes through a process where the starch gets stabilised. Parboiled by the volume (1 cup for example) has 38 calories. Being low in fibre, it is easy on the digestive system," says chef Muttu Swami Nadar.
Raste ka popcorn
31 calories (1 packet)
Raste ka popcorn. Pic/Ashish Raje
Non-flavoured air popcorn is your best bet if you are looking for a fuss-free low-cal bite. Almost every street market will have a vendor. It's rich in fibre with minimum fat and carbs. Some studies even suggest that it contains more anti-oxidants than fruit and vegetable. The next time you inch for a bag of fried chips, or the buttered microwaveable kind, know that a cheaper, healthier version is around the corner.
Almond milk and spirulina panna cotta
At: Smoke House Deli, Pali Hill
Rs 210 & 9152017980
Almond milk and spirulina panna cotta. Pic/Ashish Raje
A healthy panna cotta is not an oxymoron. The almond milk and spirulina panna cotta at Smoke House carries agar agar and egg yolk. Chef Glyston Gracias says, "The almond milk is boiled over low flame, and mixed with egg yolk. To that, we add agar agar and spirulina powder. The mixture is stirred well, strained into moulds and set. It's served chilled with toasted sabja." That's a whole dessert made only of superfoods!
Asian exotic vegetarian soup
38 calories (300 ml)
At: Cornucopia, Kings Circle
Rs 140 & 24087982
Asian exotic vegetarian soup. Pic/Atul Kamble
If you are a fan of the meaty texture of mushroom, this vegetarian soup could be your go-to option for satiating hunger pangs. The base is a broth made of mixed veggies with a generous helping of shitake mushrooms. For another healthy twist, the soup is served with spinach, garlic and sprouts, added after it is cooked to keep their freshness intact. Served as part of the Soup of The Day menu, it's available twice a week.
Moong methi palak dhokla
36 calories (1 piece)
At Rajubhai Dhoklawala, Kandivali West
Rs 30 per 100gms & 9821356977
Moong methi palak dhokla. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Dhokla is a relatively lighter Gujarati snack and when you make it with base ingredients of moong, methi and palak, it gets a nutritious twist. "It's the unique combination of the three ingredients that makes the dhokla delicious. Everyone's loving the taste of it," says proprietor Jayshree Badiyani.
16.4 calories (for 50 gms)
At: Raasta Khar
Rs 220 & 33126123
Mushroom salad. Pic/Shadab Khan
This caramelised mushroom salad has arugula leaves and Gouda cheese. Rich in Vitamin B and low on calories, the warm salad is popular for its sweet, nutty, caramel and meaty flavous. Mushrooms are lightly sautéed to retain their meaty flavour," says chef Ankit Gupta.
At: Culinary Tales, Andheri West
Rs 180 & 8879512431
Almond milk. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
Almond milk, now a common sight on supermarket shelves, is a boon for those who are lactose intolerant. It's free of cholesterol, lactose and dairy, low in fat and therefore, low in calories too. One cup of plain, unsweetened almond milk is no more than 30 calories. Patrons of this beverage warn it's an acquired taste, though.
At: Khandani Rajdhani, Ghatkopar
Included in the thali price (R515); unlimited serving & 62380800
Chaas. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
This yogurt-based desi drink is seasoned with a spices and is high in calcium, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, prevents dehydration and is known to fight acidity and aid digestion. "Chaas soothes the stomach post a spicy meal and is a regular at every household. Since we serve traditional Gujarati food, with our thali, we offer unlimited serving of chaas. No one goes away having just one glass," says chef Maharaj Jodharam Choudhary.
Chicken mizo stew
35 calories (small cup)
At: Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, BKC Rs 695 & 8452900900
Chicken mizo stew. Pic/Suresh Karkera
This is a hearty combination of two dishes from Mizoram, where locals eat steamed chicken with black rice, flavoured with organic herbs that are high in nutrition and easy to digest. "This is one of the most celebrated recipes of Mizoram. When I first tasted it, I knew I had to put it on the menu because of the richness in taste and nutrition. It is our most popular dish," says Saurabh Udinia, chef de cuisine.
At: A Ramanayak's, Matunga
Rs 30 (for 2) & 24012422
Pepper idli. Pic/Atul Kamble
"When you are an exclusive idli house, you ought to give variety to your customers," says Satish Rama Nayak, who opened doors on Dussera in 2005 with the intention of serving the softest idlis in town. Our pick is one simple idli, peppered with, well…black pepper.
32 calories (2 spoons)
At: Bay Route, Cuffe Parade
Rs 395 & 9029008335
Hummus. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Rich in protein, hummus has a natural tendency to reduce calorie intake, making it effective for weight loss and balancing blood sugar levels. "You can never get bored of hummus because there are many ways to flavour it — with roasted red pepper, chipotle, tapenade, basil pesto, etc," says chef Ajay Thakur.
At Plate and Pint, B Desai Road
Rs 60 & 23683655
Dill pickle. Pic/Sameer Markande
The unmissable tang of dill pickle makes it an ideal companion for American food. Restaurants typically serve spears alongside a burger or sandwich, but it's more than a sidekick. Packed with minerals, vitamin K and antioxidants, it is a low-calorie ingredient (4 cal in one spear). But don't OD since the brine is a sodium powerhouse.