For decades people have looked up to Bombay (I still prefer the good old British Name) for any possible culinary stint may it be the strict up notch high scale diners, mid segmented restaurants or the small size cafe’s and food stall available all across city. In all these years there are few places that have sprung up really well on the food map of Bombay one such place is Bohri Mohalla in Bhindi Bazaar area of town.
This place is the main residential hub of Bohri Muslims which hail from Gujarat and have been quite early settlers of this whole area, They come from strong business backgrounds as even their name depicts , Bohri/Bohra is taken from Gujarati word “vehru” which is gujarati for trade. They work till late hours come back home and like to go out with their families till late night or even early mornings involving themselves in lavish gastronomical spreads which even run as late at 3 A.M.
The area could be a mere disappointment to you on an initial visit if you don’t have an experienced person guiding you to the right spots as there is a mother lane spreading into several by lanes each leading forth to some age-old time-tested food joint . You can start your ride from Indian Hotel which becomes very hard to find even if you are standing right in the face of it as there is absolutely no signage to pinpoint that this is the one. You can go with the classics here like the Bheja tawa, Mutton bhuna special (The special is only an extra egg though), Baida (egg) roti. All the food is of the freshest quality as it’s cooked right under your nose and there’s no peppy kitchen cover up stint involved. Bheja (brain) is one such thing which most of the people are scared of eating out as it’s the thing you can easily go wrong with and it rots really fast too.
Next up can be the Khichda from Shahi darbar which is just a sign board stuck over a little pole and the man serves Haleem (he prefers to call it Khichda) from a big handi. The major difference in Haleem and khichda is Haleem is the one with grinded spices while the latter comes with Khade masale, not much of a disappointment as INR 30 cannot get you beyond this with all the meat, pulses and spices and hours of cooking involved. Haji Tikka can also be the place to visit if you looking only for skewers and do not wish to mingle in the curry ride they have a big variety and do some great cooking.
Once you are thru with all Mughal fare and still hold tingle for some sweet then you have 2 great choices adjoining each other the first one is Taj Ice-Cream where a down to earth old man dressed in traditional Bohri white dress is spotted running 125 years old shop which can unarguable give any Ice-cream maker a run for their money all across Bombay. They specialize in fruit blended ice-creams done as per the season ranging from Mango(Alphonso), Peru(guava), Strawberry and Litchi .While the next door neighbor have perfected the art of making Firni and do some really great tasting blends of it with natural fruits and even serve the plain original versions too. You can even try their Khaja or the Malai which is done in several flavors ranging from mango to black-current and several others done throughout the year.
This whole area starts burning post 7 P.M. and goes on easily till 2 to 3 A.M. This is one of the many pocket friendly rides of Bombay where PLF (Pocket Loosening Factor) stands at 500 for 2. As most of the single dishes range from 50 to 100. A stark thing to remember is that Indian Beef is regarded as mutton in most of the low scale Bombay joints all thanks to the massive consumption of it now these are merely the highlights of the area and there is so much more to be explored, covered and explained but all in good times .