Food Review: Kari Apla In Mumbai Serves Cuisine Inspired From Traditional Maharashtrian And Kerala Food

Food Review: Kari Apla In Mumbai Serves Cuisine Inspired From Traditional Maharashtrian And Kerala Food

Located in Khar, the restaurant is a Marriage of two cultures

Shruti PanditUpdated: Saturday, June 08, 2024, 02:47 PM IST
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Ebaani and Matthew come from different cultures — Maharashtrian and Keralite. But their passion for food and their professions brought them together. Friendship culminated into marriage and the bond strengthened. They always wanted to start something on their own. Covid-19 pandemic gave them time to plan and do their trials.

They tried varied cuisines at home. Toyed with many ideas… and this continued post pandemic as well; till they finally hit the bull’s eye. Kari Apla — a take on the Malayalam word ‘kariveppila’, which means ‘curry leaf’; also, a blend of that word with the Maharashtrian word ‘apla’, which means ‘ours’! They decided to serve the food that they love and gives them comfort, but with a little twist. Restaurant serves food from other coastal areas of South India as well.

Madurai Mutton Cutlets and a Kokum Soda start my meal. Perfectly textured and spiced cutlets leave hint of black pepper in the mouth, as they easily dissipate.

Then comes the Kadala Curry Hummus with Coriander Seed Lavash. Kadala means black gram in Malayalam. This hummus is made from black grams and tempered with the kadala curry tadka of dry coconut slices, curry leaves, red chillies. The lavash with coriander seeds is an ideal companion for this mildly spiced hummus that has a crunch thanks to the tadka. The Kerala twist is so tasty that you keep wanting more.

Next starter is the Avo Thecha — avocado mashed with Maharashtrian green chilly thecha — served with fried Aloo Papad (Sindhi). An unusual combination, yes, but very tasty. Mirchi thecha and avo together make a great mix and the aloo papad with the Sindhi masalas add to the kick. The Mangalorean Chicken Sukka is a traditional preparation that’s served with a delicious and freshly made rice and coconut bhakri (roti).

They make all their breads at home — varied pavs, lavash, bhakri and the vattayappam (steamed rice cake) as well.  The masalas of all dishes are prepared in the morning, meats and fish are marinated. Dishes are made after you order them in the open kitchen that’s on the other side of the bar seating kind of a set up. Vattayappam is served with Moilee — veg, prawns and omelette. Recipe for the moilee is a secret shared by Matthew’s mother with her son and daughter-in-law. “Yes, we have used my mother’s recipe to make the moilee and Ebaani’s mother’s recipe for Karwari Prawns Curry,” says Matthew. The moilee gravy is just right in consistency and vattayappam, fresh out of the steamer, should be dipped in it a long till soaks up the gravy before breaking a morsel that gives you pleasure.

Banana Wrapped Fish is by far the best dish served here. Thick slice of surmai (king fish) is marinated in traditional Nilgiri masalas, the fish is then wrapped in banana leaves before roasting it slowly on the iron tawa. The result is delectable, subtly spiced, and well-cooked steak of fish that might look like too big a portion to finish but disappears in your mouth leaving your palate wanting for more.

Their Mango Gadbad is the old-fashioned ice cream sundae with mango, fruits, custard and ice cream. But the must have dessert is homemade moist and delicious Banana Cake that’s warmed up and served with a Filter Coffee Ice Cream that they source from a vendor. Don’t miss it.

Average cost for two: Rs 2,000

When: Kari Apla, Shop no 5, Mangal Bhavna, Khar Pali Rd, Khar West, Mumbai

Contact: 08433706258

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