Fasting and feasting at home
Let’s face it, unless you are willing to get a little wet (and) wild in the rains, an iftar walk in Mumbai seems pretty much ruled out this year. But don’t lose heart: Two of the city’s best new home cooks have made sure you sample the best of Ramzan feasting even if you decide to stay cosy (and clean) indoors when it is pouring outside.
For something a little less DIY, you can order their box-packed lunch dabbas through “Boxed” by Trekurious.com for Rs.400 every Thursday. You can expect anything from Daal Chawal Palida with Kebab ni Tarkari, Mutton Biryani and Kaari Chaval with Dabba Ghosht to Paaya and Mutton Kheema Khichdi; Mutton Undhiyu and The Great Chicken Rosht; and Kaju Chicken meets Mutton Biryani.
Over at Suman Khan’s AchchaKhana.com, Shia and Bohri specialities are cooked fresh daily as per orders placed 12-to-24 hours in advance. Khan claims she grinds all the spices herself, a practice she picked up from her Punjabi mother and grandmothers growing up in Lucknow while her husband Irfan, also a Lucknow native, shops for fresh vegetables, meat and seafood for her every morning.
We highly recommend her dum biryanis (from Rs.800/kg) for iftar parties. Get the mutton dum biryani unless you have no choice but to compromise for a chicken or vegetarian version. A kilo is served in a gigantic aluminium foil box with a large tub of garlic, aloo (potato), doodhi (bottle gourd) or boondi raita and is good for a family of six to eight. Her melt-in-your-mouth galouti kebabs are easily on our top five in the city as are her vegetarian shammi kebabs, all cooked and smoked with desi ghee.
Another reason to love AchchaKhana.com is that even their rotis and parathas travel really well across the city. If you must do breads, surprise guests with saffron and milk-infused Sheermal, Peshawari Katlamba Paratha or the Kheema Paratha.
All the food is packed in leak-proof plastic and aluminium foil containers and delivered in insulated bags. At a house party a couple of weeks ago, we fed our extended family of 20 and it was probably the only time we didn’t cook and serve anything but papad, which was made at home, to our guests. Compare this to a Chinese, kebab or pizza take-out for any other night of catering to guests at home and you’ll have to go shopping for chips, julienne veggies, whip up a dip, boil rice, roll out chapatis or assemble other easy appetisers at the very least. The Khans do a really good job of sending you everything you might need for an impromptu party (including cutlery if you ask nicely). Don’t forget to order dessert and shop for some vanilla or dried fruit and nut ice cream; it goes really well with Suman Khan’s warm home-made Pineapple Halwa or Shahi Tukda. If you want to play it safe or offer party guests more variety, there’s also Rawa Halwa and Kheer.
The Bohri Kitchen, see www.facebook.com/TheBohriKitchen for more details or call 98194-47438 to place an order. AchchaKhana.com, see www.facebook.com/AchchaKhanaKhao for more details or call 90299-51961 to place an order. Both home chefs only cater and deliver within Mumbai city limits.
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