Mumbai, the commercial and economic powerhouse of the country. The seemingly endless opportunities brought about by this city has been attracting migrants from all over the country. With most of the large companies headquartered here, it is truly a pot-pourri of cultures and communities. Migrants from far off states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to neighbouring states like Gujarat and Karnataka, each region lent something unique to the palette. One of the earliest settlers in Mumbai, the mostly trader community of Gujaratis, brought with them their distinct flavour profile. The indigenous people of Mumbai have embraced their culture and food with open arms.
The climate of Gujarat is hot and dry and thus their produce,too, reflects the same. The staple crops of the state are wheat, jowar, bajra and maize. The food evolved,thus, incorporated these flavours. Due to the huge Gujarati population in Mumbai, quite a few outlets serving authentic Gujarati food, have stamped their presence in the minds of people.
A typical Gujarati Thali consists of dishes which are distinctively, sweet, salty and spicy at the same time. If reading this, you are craving Gujarati food already, check these five restaurants in Mumbai, which will surely make you come back for more:
Shree Tacker Bhojanalay (Kalbadevi)
This place is an institution and has been the winner of Times Food Award for Best Thali multiple time. Although, for first timers, locating this place can be a little tricky, the trouble is totally worth it. People keep coming back for the consistent quality of food they have maintained. Each of the farsans and sabzis, the five types of rotis (jowar, bajra, makai, wheat and bhaakri) and the rice variety are worth a mention.
Average cost for two: Rs 1000.
In addition to the regular Chetana Regular Thali, Daal Baati Thali (served with Baati and Panchmel Daal) is highly recommended. The Sunday&Holiday thali is the regular thali, but served with Puranpoli/Thepla/Bikaneri parantha and an extra sweet. They also have a Healthy Thali. It is served with a soup and salad.
Average cost for two: Rs 800.
Maharaja Bhog Premium Thali (Goregaon East, Malad West, Juhu, Powai)
This outlet is a must try for all thali lovers. The fact that this restaurant has so many outlets, vouches for its popularity. They serve a blend of Rajasthani and Gujarati delicacies. The Daal Baati Churma, Cheeku Halwa, Puranpoli and kadhi are highly recommended.
Average cost for two: Rs 850
Samrat Restaurant (Churchgate)
People throng this place for their Gujarati fare. This restaurant has been consistently dishing out wholesome food since long. The Kadhi, fried Gavaar, Thepla and Fruit Salad is highly recommended. The Masala Khichdi is totally lip-smacking.
Average cost for two: Rs 900.
If wish to have good food on a budget, this is the place to head to. The highly recommended Gujarati Thali comes in two variations: Surti Thali and Surti Deluxe Thali. The Ammras-Puri, special undhiyo and Daal Dhokli are to die for. They also have unique ice-cream flavours.
Average cost for two: Rs 400.
The key to enjoying any cuisine is an open mind. A particular dish might not appeal to you at first, but it can grow on you. Cuisines like Gujarati, with their innumerable snacks, sweets and savoury delicacies appeal to wide palate, especially vegetarians. These listed restaurants are sure to prove a gastronomic delight. Go on, indulge!