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What to Eat at the Kala Ghoda Arts Fest 2016

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) takes place over 9 days in February each year. Celebrating one of the most iconic and culturally significant districts of Bombay, the festival is a great way to explore and educate oneself about Bombay’s diverse heritage.

KGAF (6th – 14th Feb 2016) is a Literature, Food, Music , Art, Cinema, Dance, Theatre and Cultural Festival wrapped into one. Now in its 17th edition, it has grown tremendously both in size and attendees. This will be my fifth year attending, and I couldn’t be more excited!

The Food & Crafts Festival at KGAF (6th – 17th Feb 2016)

Apart from all the activities that populate the KGAF schedule, this year there’s an entirely new section (from 5pm to 10pm) celebrating Food & Crafts from Indian entrepreneurs at the nearby Cross Maidan. Curated by Nicole Mody (who has also authored the newly launched festival cookbook – Flavours of Kala Ghoda) and Roxanne Bamboat (The Tiny Taster), you can be assured that the food here is worth the fuss. A handful of the stalls will be changing on Friday, so make sure you check them out before then!

Here are some of my favourites so far (in no particular order):

  • KAVO at Stappuย 

Serving up some kick-ass homemade pork (and chicken) sausages, KAVO at Stappu’s stall has been a huge hit. Don’t even think twice, just order and devour!

  • Waffle House

Feeding your Waffle addiction has never been easier. If the heavenly scent of waffles being baked doesn’t get your tastebuds going, I don’t know what to tell you. Their Caramello Waffle was an absolute delight to inhale – crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, drenched in a salted caramel sauce. Need I say more? Going back for seconds (and possibly thirds), today!

  • Sadhana Kitchen

The dark horse of the Food & Craft section has to be Sadhana’s Kitchen. Run by a Koli lady – Sadhana tai –ย the keyword here is seafood. Fried up right in front of you, it’s incredibly fresh and smells like the sea. If you love shellfish, you must try her Rava Fried Prawns and Khekadi (Crab) Curry. There’s also Fried Surmai (Kingfish) fillets that are as long as my forearm, Chicken Biryani and Prawn Pakoras that I can’t wait to try.

  • The Kalimpong Kitchenย 

Dumplings, galore! Family-run, the Kalimpong Kitchen specialises in momos. Made-to-order, we tried the Steamed Chicken Momos and the Chicken Pan-Fried Momos with Garlic Sauce.ย Both were delicious, though I preferred the latter because of the spicy sauce.

  • Pack-a-Pav

Started by Bandra boy Rohan Manglorkar, don’t underestimate these power-packed paos! Their Mutton Shammi is a dreamy, soft patty worth salivating over. My personal favourite – their Herbed Chicken Seekh –ย is both tender and flavourful. Both meats come encased in a soft pao, slathered with a spicy garlic chutney and a cooling yogurt-based basil dip, topped with crunchy fried onions. The colourful fryums on the side finish up the presentation and voila – ready for eating!

  • Kaboom!

The prodigy of Ballard Estate, Kaboom’s food is locally-sourced and varied in cuisine. My standard favourites are the Jerk Chicken Sandwich and the Nutella Toastie.ย I’m looking forward to trying the Nasi Goreng and Banh Mi at their stall as well. Chefย Rehan Mehtaย is a promising new addition to their team. More about Kaboom here.

  • Bawi & Billi

A culinary collaboration between Bawi Bride and Hungry Cat Kitchen, Bawi & Billi have been dishing out some serious comfort food. Their Kheema Fries really hit the spot! Other eats I want to try here are the Parsi Lagan-nu-Custard and Hoisin Pork Burger.

  • Sodabottleopenerwala ย 

Before you get your tongue in a twist trying to pronounce the name, try their Goan Choriz Pao and Chicken Farchas. You’ll thank me later!

  • Bhuira Jams: ‘Made by Happy Mountain Women’ reads the tag on Bhuira Jams’ bottles. Handmade, with a lot of love, their jams actually taste like real fruit and not synthetic flavours. Quite thrilled with this discovery, and so I picked up their Cape Gooseberry Preserve, Three-Fruit Marmalade and Guava Jelly. Their Black Cherry Jam, Spicy Plum Preserve and Tomato Chutney were also delicious to taste.

Follow @blehlovesfood on Instagram for live-updates of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Stay tuned for more additions to this list!

Other stalls you should check out, for some non-edible goodness are:

  • Purkal Stree Shakti for amazing patchwork design quits, books, pillowcases and more.
  • Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) for tote bags and t-shirts, whose sales will benefit Bombay’s beloved four-legged strays.
  • Lumbernotes for hand-painted wooden murals to hang at home.
  • The Souled Store for your favourite TV/Movie merchandise – t-shirts, notebooks & more.
  • Skygoodies for some adorable DIY paper crafts to decorate with.

You can also find me on Twitter & Facebook!


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