India is truly a confluence of rich heritage and culture. Numerous invaders and empires ruled over our country at different times in history. These occurrences and invasions have left an indelible impression on our culture and more so, on our cuisine.
No other invading party influenced the way we cook more than the Mughals. The Mughals from Central Asia, under Babur, made inroads into India in the 16th Century. They brought along with them, their distinct way of cooking. The cooking style, combined with the styles from Northern India gave to the Mughlai way of cooking.
Mughlai cuisine’s distinctive way of cooking is in its use of spices. Depending on whether spicy or mild flavour is required, ground or whole spices are used. This cuisine has greatly influenced the North Indian, Hyderabadi and Awadhi school of cooking.
Although there are Mughlai Restaurants all over Mumbai, but if you want a slice of the real deal, only one name comes to mind-Sarvi. Sarvi was established in 1914 with an aim to cook and serve food par excellence. This place is an institution in itself. It has been serving authentic Mughlai delicacies for years now. The kebabs here are absolutely melt-in-the-mouth and not that greasy. It is situated opposite Nagpada Police station in Byculla.
A good reason for its huge patronage could be its pocket-friendly menu. The average cost for a meal for two is Rs250. People don’t mind traveling from far to taste the delectable array of Mughlai dishes. If you are yearning to taste its lip-smacking food, here’s a list of highly recommended dishes.
- Seekh Kebab: It is probably the most sought-after item on the menu. Another option is to have it with paranthas. The kebabs are crisp on the outside and tender and moist on the inside.
Do not miss the mint chutney and sliced onions – mint helps to break down muscle fibre in meat – hence gorge on the same.
- Paya Soup: Paya is essentially goat bone marrow. The mildly spiced paya soup is a hearty one, made perfect by using the choicest herbs and condiments.
- Bheja Fry: This one is also highly recommended. You can either have it with Paav or Tandoori Roti.
- Mutton Masala Fry: Prime cuts of mutton cooked in a carefully measured concoction of herbs and spices. It is not for the faint hearted who don’t like it too spicy.
- Bheja Masala: Lamb brains sauteed with Indian spices. Best had with roti or bread.
- Aab Gosht: It is a traditional Persian stew.
- Kheema Pulao
- Persian Roti
You must try this jumbo sized roti to go with all the dishes!
Apart from the above, one can try their Tongue Masala Fry, Brain Bhurji, Bhuna Gosht and Chicken Afghani. But if you are in the mood for some dessert, please keep in mind that they serve only custard.
Sarvi personifies the adage that if the food is delicious, little else matters. Next time you are scouting for some lip-smacking Mughlai food, you know where to go. As most of the patrons swear by, the taste will linger on your tongue for a long time to come.