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The Bohri Kitchen: Serving Mumbai's lesser-known cuisine

By Harnoor Channi Tiwary
Last updated on: February 20, 2015 15:48 IST

You don't need to visit a super-expensive restaurant for great food.

Earlier this month, Harnoor Channi Tiwary listed out off-the-beaten-track dining options here.

The Bohri Kitchen is one such unique dining option:

It is one thing to walk into an impersonal restaurant and something another thing altogether to be served a meal cooked with love at someone's home.

It is the same argument whether a home-cooked meal specially cooked for you tops a dinner reservation at a fine-dine restaurant.

The intrinsic pleasure one gets, knowing the love and toil that has gone into the dishes adds to the flavour of what you are about to eat.

The Bohri Kitchen (TBK) is built along similar lines.

Nafisa Kapadia throws open the doors of her lovely house to 8-12 guests on weekends to serve them a meal cooked with the greatest care.

Recipes that have been handed down generations in her family; each dish is unique.

Bohri Cuisine is one of the hidden secrets of this city, grossly under-represented on the food scene.

The Bohri Kitchen is here to change all that, and how.

As you climb up the rickety vintage wooden stairs of this century-old building in Colaba, you can't help but feel like you have been thrown back in time.

Her son, Munaf (the CEO or Chief Eating Officer of this venture) ushers you into their quaint home.

The house is charming, reminding me of my grand-mother's ancestral home, nothing like what I have seen in the cramped maximum city.

We took a seat in the living room, eyeing the well laid-out table, our stomachs in eager anticipation of what was to follow.

The meal started with a refreshing drink, a home-made lemon ginger ice-tea infused with mint.

The chilled tangy drink is the perfect antidote to the city's humidity.

My wait was over and starters were served promptly.

Triangular Mutton Kheema Samosas were stuffed to the brim and fried crisp.

 

The meat was perfectly spiced and the samosa not too oily.

Surprisingly, it is the vegetarian starter that had me going back for more.

The Nariyal Kebabs had herbed potato mash and coconut filling, moulded into ovals and deep fried. It is not often in my books that a vegetarian dish overshadows its non-vegetarian counterpart but that is the phenomena that I witnessed that particular afternoon.

The starters were just a precursor of all the goodies that were yet to come. Mains flowed in and the Chicken Roast caught my eye.

A delicious thick gravy with generous amount of chicken pieces and boiled egg, it went perfectly with the flaky parathas served alongside.

Unlike many places, the vegetarians had more options to choose from than their meat-eating counterparts.

The spread included Palak Paneer, Mixed Vegetable Curry and a Kadhi that tasted very different from the ones I've had before.

Each dish was unique in its combination of flavours and handpicked by Mrs Kapadia to complement the others on your plate.

I saved some appetite for the Mutton Biryani and am I glad that I did so.

This was the highlight of the meal for me, besides the warm camaraderie of the diners.

The rice was so flavourful that it could even be enjoyed without the meat, which was absolutely delectable.

Teamed with Pineapple Boondi Raita, the biryani scored on taste, authenticity and honesty of flavours.

The dessert, Gajar ka Halwa, ended the meal on a high note. Time flew by at TBK, the banter, the warmth of the hosts and the food making this a memorable afternoon.

But I wouldn't suggest you take my word for it; go try it out for yourself! It's an afternoon well spent.

Price: Ranges from Rs 700 to Rs 1000 depending on the menu

Contact: You can sign up for a meal on their Facebook page or write to them here: thebohrikitchen@gmail.com 

Harnoor Channi Tiwary
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