Mumbai Masala: A New South Indian Joint

Mumbai Masala: A New South Indian Joint

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, June 24, 2024, 10:09 AM IST
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CSMT | FPJ

The area around August Kranti Maidan is now home to a restaurant celebrating South Indian vegetarian cuisine. Earlier there was a nonvegetarian hotel called Lagoon not far from the entrance to the historic maidan. Now it has been replaced by Cafe Srinivasa. It is a small joint with about 10 tables. The air-conditioned place has a pleasant ambience. The modest menu includes, apart from the idli-dosa routine, sevai upma, appam stew, benne masala or plain dosa, paniyarums, puliyogare, bisi bele bath etc. The coconut chutney is authentic. However, the sambar could do with an upgrade. The filter coffee is a tad milky but manages to retain the aroma. The prices are almost easy on the pocket. For a restaurant that is less than two months old, the place really holds a lot of promise. Unsurprisingly, it is already a hit with locals.

Commuters during rain near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus,
in Mumbai

Commuters during rain near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, in Mumbai | SALMAN ANSARI

The Charms Of The Monsoon

Monsoon in Mumbai does disrupt normal life. The streets are flooded despite the tall claims of the BMC. Potholes have become an annual feature. Traffic jams become even worse. Local trains run late, and this is not surprising because mounds of garbage on the tracks are not cleared. But despite all this chaos, the rains have their own charm. There is nothing like getting drenched while walking along Marine Drive or Worli Sea Face, especially if you have a suitably roasted ‘bhutta’ (corn) with red chilly powder and lime rubbed on it. Or for that matter munching hot ‘kanda bhajia’ with ‘khatta-meetha chutney’ from street vendors. If you are a member of any of the clubs or gymkhanas, you can order crispy chilli cheese toast and wash it down with masala chai. But more than anything, we need the rains to fill up our lakes. Like farmers, Mumbaikars are also completely dependent on rains.

Poll Jumlas Are Back Again

With the assembly election almost around the corner, workers are flocking to their respective party offices in their quest for tickets. There is a virtual ‘mara-mari’ with aspirants doing everything possible to wangle the elusive ticket. They press their biodata containing imaginary achievements into the hands of their netas begging for tickets. In some parties, leaders make a killing by auctioning tickets to the highest bidders. The tickets are not finalised till the eleventh hour, as a result of which candidates hardly get any time to campaign. This is one occasion in five years when voters are wooed with all kinds of guarantees, tall promises, and freebies. But then this is how Indian democracy is... whether you like it or not.

Tailpiece

A wag said Mumbai rains are like your girlfriend... you want her for the fun but not for the responsibility.

(Compiled by S Balakrishnan)

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