Be it Ganesh Chathurthi or Eid, Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city that celebrates all festivals with equal fervour. Although what makes these festivals exceptional is the love people put into their functionality. This solicitous approach makes me love Mumbai more than ever. For Eid this year, I visited the Kapadia residence, perched in a picturesque location of Colaba. And they showed me how Bohri meal and hospitality is different from any other! Visiting this residence is a testimony of how TBK (The Bohri Kitchen) has got the entire Mumbai drooling over their Mutton Keema Samosas, Shahi rolls, Raan and every single dish featured on the Bohri Thaal.
A concept that came to life the day Munaf Kapadia decided to quit his desk job with Google to launch his mom Nafisa Kapadia’s food enterprise. Today, the whole of Mumbai lauds his decision, or how else would any of us get to indulge in this extraordinary culinary experience? What’s quite incredible about this gastronomy tour is that ever since the opening of this enterprise, Kapadia’s have taken it upon themselves to feed their guests before the family. With that hospitality and warmth, it was only natural for TBK to become everyone’s favourite in a short timeframe.
I felicitously brought-in this Bohri Eid with an authentic Bohri Thaal that seamlessly induced a food coma during a well-organised dining process. As I sat down to savour the Thaal, Mariyam, one of the family members, oversaw us through each dish. (It’s a part of the process!) The meal kicked off with a zesty welcome drink – the Rose Sherbet infused with sabza, a refreshing cooler that helps you cut and run Mumbai’s heat. The lunch, however, started with a pinch of salt and conversations about the traditions of the Bohri Thaal.
Mariyam was quick to reveal, that salt not only activates saliva but also builds an appetite that you need to finish this Thaal. During this conversation, sides were placed on the Thaal one after another, including lemons, Green and Khajur Chutney with Jaggery, and Pineapple raita. Mariyam explained to me how a typical Bohri meal comprises of three elements, i.e. Kharaas, the savoury starters, Jaman, the main course and Meethas, the dessert.
For the Bohri Eid, I tasted smoked Mutton Keema samosas with lemon bites, Shahi Chicken Cheese Rolls with green chutney and Raan cooked for 48-hours in red gravy. The lemon here enhances the smoky flavour of the keema samosas, so, the trick is to keep squeezing lemon juice on the keema samosas while you eat them.
The Shahi Chicken Cheese Rolls, on the other hand, are more like the Indianized version of swiss rolls, except these are a salty appetiser. The spicy green condiment and the Khajur chutney on the side ‘totally’ amplified the taste of these Shahi chicken cheese rolls, leaving my taste buds tantalised. These mouth-melting rolls tasted so good that I ‘simply’ could not stop at one!
The last of the savoury appetisers was the 48-hour cooked Raan in red curry. Garnished with finely grated potato chips, this one was my star dish of the day, alongside the finger-licking Mutton Samosas! This particular dish is so succulent and juicy that you can easily pierce through it with your fingers. Mariyam disclosed that the original tradition requires everyone to put their fingers inside the tender Raan, to pull out a piece and eat it together. It’s not just a dish, it is a custom that inspires mealtime togetherness and what an incredible food-bonding activity this is! Just about perfect for families and corporate team outings.
Next up was the Sheer Kurma from the Meethas section! A sweet surprise, as in India, we customarily eat desserts towards the end of a meal. If it weren’t for TBK, I wouldn’t have figured how important it is to keep changing the palates, from savoury to sweet, to build the appetite for the main course. The Sheer Kurma at TBK was stacked, with generous amounts of dry fruits, and despite a dessert, it wasn’t diabolic. This dessert ‘simply’ rounds up the flavours of all its ingredients and clears your palate, and prepares you for the next course.
Refreshing the palate did work for me, as I was more than ready to dig into the main course that starred a novel Kadhi Khichdi combination. With the main course, I was served, Jal Jeera Soda on the side for easy digestion. Ultimately, the Bohri Thaal experience concluded with ice cream and Magai paan. What a wholesome dining experience! You may book this “Bohri Thaal” dining experience throughout the year, as long as you are a group of 10 to 35 people. TBK organises lunch every weekend, priced at INR 1700 per person. For a customised experience, order a take away from one of their five kitchens, present at different localities in Mumbai. Or even better – Order a “Travelling Thaal,” and allow TBK to bring their home dining experience delivered to your doorstep.