If you have been reading a few articles of mine, you will know that I am not a food blogger. I want to actively stay away from it because I believe a) the space is too crowded and b) I don’t have much to add, the people doing it are doing a great job already. Plus, when food is put in front of me I am too hungry to waste time taking pictures and simply want to eat it. So when I was recently invited to a foodie event, I was hesitant. But I went along to see if there was a story I could make out of it. And I did get one. In fact, I got to meet Kunal Vijaykar and learn some very interesting tidbits about the food scene and its history in Mumbai.
3 Decades and Counting
We all know there’s a lot of history to the food in Mumbai but this one is a gem.
Kunal told us about a sandwich guy at Poonam Chambers who has been at the same place for the past 30 years. ‘He was possibly one of the first sandwich wala ever,’ says Kunal. I say we get a taste of it. *drools hungrily at screen *
Vada Pav War
I believe this was brought to our notice by one of the other bloggers at the event who extensively cover street food. On Gokhale Road in Dadar, there is a guy who sells vada pav out of a Maruti 800 van. The blogger claimed this was the ‘best vad pav ever.’ Know of him? By him I mean the vada pav guy, of course.
Did you know that Lalbagh has a masala market? The market is a favourite with chefs as they will custom make any masala you want whether it is a family recipe, your own creation or something that you need for an occasion. Sounds real spice baby.
‘When Tarla Dalal launched The Joy of Cooking, a recipe book, it was one of the best selling books of all time. It outsold everything in the store that time including the dictionary, I think, ‘ said Kunal. Gujjus be taking over the world!
The Mistress of Spices
Kunal told us about the time when Konkan Café at the Taj President was launched. Apparently, the kitchen here played host to a lady in a 9 yards saree who was responsible for making the spice that would be used in the food. Sounds pretty cool.
Kunal Vijaykar has launched a new book called ‘Made In India’ which features an eclectic spread of some iconic, some forgotten and some beloved food that India has to offer. The recipes are often simple and tweaked to suit today’s fast-paced life, though some need the effort, perseverance and love that good food demands. In his inimitable style as a food writer of many years, the author has jotted down his thoughts, including some nuggets of information and his mouthwatering experiences alongside his recipes.