The Bombay Canteen turned one year old on February 11th. To commemorate the occasion, Chef Floyd Cardoz, Chef Thomas Zacharias, Sameer Seth, Yash Bhanage and Radhika Misra flew their Mothers in from across India, to collaborate on a very special menu.
The Mother of all Menus
In true Bombay Canteen style, the aptly titled ‘Mother of all Menus’ celebrates India’s diverse regional cuisines. Sharing family favourites and recipes passed down from generations, each Mum has contributed two dishes to the menu. I can only imagine what an intimidating and exciting experience it must have been, to have so many Mums in the kitchen – bossing the Chefs about! This very special menu has been printed on a writing pad – so that those who like can jot down their own Mums’ signature recipes if they want. In addition to the main menu, the ‘Mother of all Menus’ is available for eating all throughout the month of February!
If you’re like me, and appreciate home-cooked food in someone else’s house more than in your own – you’ll love these new dishes. I was invited for a celebratory lunch – here are some of my favourites:
Beryl Cardoz’s Kitchen (Bombay/Calangute): We tried the Pressure Cooked Sardines on Toast with tomato, coriander, onion and lime – though I’ve never been a fan of sardines. Her Chicken Xacutti was the best I’ve ever eaten. Juicy chunks of chicken, cooked with roasted coconut, chillies and tamarind, topped with little chunks of fresh tender coconut – sublime!
Iti Misra’s Kitchen (Calcutta): I’ve never had a chance to eat home-style Bengali food before, so this was a treat. The Macher (Bekti) Kochuri and Koraishutir (green peas) Kochuri had enough flavour to hold their own. They were served along with a tasty Aloo Dum – and I couldn’t stop reaching for more! Iti’s dessert of Komola Lebur Payesh (Kheer with orange segments and pistachios – always made on birthdays in her home), was a light and sweet finish at the end of the lunch.
Sunita Seth’s Kitchen (Delhi/Agra): I was expecting to see some Dilli Chaat on Sunita’s menu, and her Dahi Gujiya Chaat didn’t disappoint! The dark horse of this menu – her Phool Gobi Mussalam – looks deceptively simple, but those flavours are fantastic. Whole roasted cauliflower, cooked in yogurt, dried coconut and cashew sauce was one of the highlights of the entire meal. Soaking up the gravy with flaky, buttery bread was just an added bonus.
Cynthia Zacharias’ Kitchen (Cochin): The ‘forbidden’ meat – beef – made an appearance in the form of B**f Cutless. Tender meat, spiced with chillies, cloves and ginger – crumbed and fried – was enough to make any carnivore happy. Her Crap Mappas brought the true taste of a Kerala curry alive. Delicious, slurpy goodness – I was only brave enough to tackle one crab claw from the curry, but it was worth it!
Renu Bhanage’s Kitchen (Pune): Possibly my favourite ‘kitchen’ out of all – Renu’s Konkani Kolambi Curry tastes EXACTLY like the prawn curry cooked at my Granny’s house. It won me over instantly. For dessert, her Ulta Pulta Pineapple Cake (pineapple upside-down cake) is Yash’s favourite – and it’s easy to tell why. Moist, delicious, cake with caramel and juicy bits of pineapple and cherry – what’s not to love?!
In addition to the new food, there are also a couple of the Mums’ signature drinks on the menu. My choice for the afternoon was the Renu-inspired Strawberry Tulsi Shandy. For all you craft beer lovers, try the Darling-jee – brewed with Darjeeling black and Earl Grey tea by Gateway Brewing Co. just for the occasion.
Congratulations to the entire team at The Bombay Canteen – and here’s to another year of delicious food and drinks!
Follow @blehlovesfood on Instagram for more delicious photos.