Mumbai is a multicultural city that celebrates all holidays with equal fervour, be it Ganesh Chathurthi or Eid. What distinguishes these festivals, though, is the passion with which they are organised. This devoted mindset has made me fall in love with Mumbai even more than before. This year, for Eid, I went to the Kapadia house, which is in a beautiful Colaba neighbourhood. They also demonstrated how unique Bohri food and hospitality are! Visiting this house exemplifies how TBK, The Bohri Kitchen, has made Mumbai drool over their Mutton Keema Samosas, Shahi rolls, Mutton Raan, and every other item on the Bohri Thaal.
Munaf Kapadia’s vision came to reality when he chose to leave his desk job at Google to help his mother, Nafisa Kapadia, begin her food business. Today, the entire city of Mumbai applauds his decision; otherwise, none of us would be able to partake in this incredible gastronomic experience. What’s remarkable about this culinary tour is that Kapadia’s has taken it upon themselves to feed their guests before the family from the business’s inception. With that kind of kindness and warmth, it was only natural for TBK to quickly become everyone’s favourite.
I welcomed this Bohri Eid with a real Bohri Thaal, which induced a food coma through a well-organized dining procedure. Mariyam, one of the family members, was watching over me as I sat down to enjoy the Thaal. It’s a part of the process! The lunch began with a zesty welcome drink, a Rose Sherbet seasoned with sabza. It is a refreshing cooler that helps you cut and sprint through Mumbai’s heat. The lunch, on the other hand, began with a grain of salt and a discussion on the Bohri Thaal’s customs.
Mariyam was quick to point out that salt not only stimulates saliva production but also increases hunger, which is necessary for finishing this Thaal. During this discourse, lemons, green and Khajur Chutney with Jaggery, and pineapple raita were all placed on the Thaal one by one. Mariyam explained to me that a traditional Bohri dinner is made up of three components: Kharaas, which are savoury appetisers, Jaman, which is the main dish, and Meethas, which is the dessert.
I tried smoked Mutton Keema samosas with lemon bits, Shahi Chicken Cheese Rolls with green chutney, and Raan cooked in red sauce for 48 hours for the Bohri Eid. The secret is to keep squeezing lemon juice on the keema samosas while eating them, as the lemon intensifies the smoky flavour of the keema samosas.
The Shahi Chicken Cheese Rolls, on the other hand, are more akin to an Indianized version of a swiss roll, although a salty one. My taste receptors were titillated by the spicy green condiment and the Khajur chutney on the side, which completely intensified the flavour of these Shahi chicken cheese wraps. These mouth-watering rolls were so delicious that I couldn’t stop at just one!
The 48-hour cooked Raan in the red curry was the final of the savoury appetisers. Along with the finger-licking Mutton Samosas, this was my standout dish of the day, which was garnished with freshly shredded potato chips! You can easily pierce through this dish with your fingers since it is so luscious and juicy. The traditional ritual, according to Mariyam, demands everyone to insert their fingers inside the tender Raan, pull out a piece, and eat it together. It’s not just a dish; it’s a tradition that encourages mealtime connection, and what a fantastic food-bonding activity it is! Ideal for family get-togethers and corporate team outings.
The Sheer Kurma from the Meethas section was next! Desserts are often served after dinner in India, so this was a pleasant surprise. I would not have realised how important it is to continue shifting the palates, from savoury to sweet, to develop the appetite for the main dish if it weren’t for TBK. The Sheer Kurma at TBK was piled high with dried fruits, and despite being a dessert, it wasn’t diabolical. This dessert simply brings all of the components’ flavours together, clears your palate, and gets you ready for the following course.
I was more than eager to plunge into the main course, which had a new Kadhi Khichdi combo, so refreshing the palette worked for me. I was offered Jal Jeera Soda on the side with my main entrée for comfortable digestion. Finally, ice cream and Magai paan brought the Bohri Thaal experience to a close. What a delicious meal! As long as you have a party of 10 to 35 people, you may arrange this “Bohri Thaal” eating experience at any time of year.
Every weekend, TBK hosts a meal for INR 1700 per person. Order takeout from one of their five kitchens located around Mumbai for a personalised experience. Better still, order a “Traveling Thaal” and have TBK transport their home eating experience right to your doorstep.