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tuckerman, the phenomenon you describe is one of the symptoms cited to me of trishna's decline. my friend's boyfriend is french but we encountered no such questions/concerns at any of the places we went to with him. at anant ashram, in particular, they're not very interested in any such communication--they tell you what's available, you tell them what you want, they bring it, you sod off. probably not unrelated to the fact that they probably don't see enough foreigners there to worry about their possible needs.

Yes, I'm perfectly prepared to believe that Trishna has declined. It's just that I wouldn't know. But it didn't only happen there.

 

At Jimmy Boy I ordered the Jadaloo (sp?) Gosht, which I'd been told was a dish of Lamb with Apricots. Which it was. Except that the lamb was so heavily cooked that it had utterly disintegrated and what I was eating was more or less a meat soup with apricots. When I spoke to the manager about this he told me that Parsee meat dishes were like this. That Parsees "weren't supposed" to eat meat, so the meat dishes were "disguised", as it were. Haleem is another dish like this.

 

Was this bullshit? Or is it true? I ate Haleem at Kandahar and it was indeed a very "liquid" dish.

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sarvana bhavan is veg madras 'urban' food while udipi is traditional karnataka vegetarian fare. the difference is probably subtle, but the natives would disagree. very loudly.

well, that shows you how far i can be trusted with indian cuisines outside my direct experience.

gah mongo..i hope i didnt come off sounding like a pompous ass.

no, not at all--i was playing too fast and loose with my north indian generalizations about southie food. though in my defence saravana bhavan (at least in delhi) does serve all the udipi all-stars.

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At Jimmy Boy I ordered the Jadaloo (sp?) Gosht, which I'd been told was a dish of Lamb with Apricots. Which it was. Except that the lamb was so heavily cooked that it had utterly disintegrated and what I was eating was more or less a meat soup with apricots. When I spoke to the manager about this he told me that Parsee meat dishes were like this. That Parsees "weren't supposed" to eat meat, so the meat dishes were "disguised", as it were. Haleem is another dish like this.

 

Was this bullshit? Or is it true? I ate Haleem at Kandahar and it was indeed a very "liquid" dish.

the consistency of haleem can vary by region--it is a muslim dish that travelled to all the major muslim centers over the subcontinent. i've had excellent versions that have been somewhat mucusy and others that have been thinner.

 

as for parsis disguising their meat, i'm no expert but hmmmmm...i don't recall it being particularly disguised in the parsi meals i've had--it certainly wasn't disguised in the mutton dhansak and sali boti or in the chicken pulao at brittania.

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  • 1 year later...
agree with mongo re detour to goa and kerala. i'd probably add chennai, but wouldnt want to inflict the infamous chennai weather upon anyone.

 

I'm resurrecting this thread because I'm hoping to go to bombay in April and also hoping for Messrs mongo and Tuckerman as well as our other knowledgeable members to advise me :lol: (please please please).

 

I'm just beginning my research and I just re-read this thread and my mouth is already salivating. We can spend up to a week in the city but I'm keen to go somewhere else for a week just after it and go relax as well as eat! Would you recommend Goa or Kerala or both? I've actually also been toying with going to Sri Lanka but husband keeps mumbling something about it being dangerous.

 

Oh, Mongo and T, did you take malaria tablets beforehand or get shots for anything? I checked the malaria websites and they seem to advise it for Mumbai...

 

And Tuck, no tummy troubles, even though you ate at some streetside vendors?

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what a coincidence. i just returned (to delhi) from four days in bombay. here is where i ate:

 

1. m (at the hyatt)

2. swati snacks

3. the legendary anant ashram (no, "the legendary" isn't in the name)

4. britannia

5. ankur

6. indigo

7. golden thali

8. new martin's

 

 

akiko, i'd recommend everything on my list above except m and indigo. those are not bad but basically simulacra of things you can eat far better outside india. basically this is what you want to cover:

 

*gujarati thali places--golden thali is in that genre on my list but you could just as well go to chetana.

 

*malvani seafood places--stay away from trishna, which as per my bombay friends is an overhyped tourist trap; ankur, mahesh lunch home etc. are better.

 

*gujarati "snack" places--you have to have to go to swati snacks. you have to go twice.

 

*anantashram--a bombay institution, but difficult to find without someone who's been before, and impossible to navigate without a hindi or marathi speaker in tow. carry your own water and do not try to take photographs.

 

*parsi food--generally not very good in restaurants but britannia is the best. their most famous dish, however, is not parsi: the berry pulao (an iranian rice dish with barberries).

 

*goan food--new martin's is it. the thing to get is the goan sausage fry.

 

stay away from north indian and south indian places. you've already eaten far better in those categories in delhi.

 

the times food guide is good for information on locations, hours etc. but if you give me enough notice i might be able to organize a local guide for you who is very clued into the food scene. maybe even two of them.

 

if you're able to spend a week in kerala go for it--malayali food is to die for and with the exception of an odd place or two in delhi it is impossible to get decent versions of it anywhere else in india. and let me know if you need specific itinerary advice.

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Mongo, thank you so much for that. I'm going to go looking for a times food guide over the next week. Do you think the specialist travel bookstores in London will carry it? Or will I have to order it from the times?

 

After chatting with husband last night, it looks like we will be in Mumbai 3 or 4 days and two of those days I will be completely on my own (Husband has work) so, Mongo, I may take you up on your very very kind offer of a possible local guide. I'll let you know after we have our itinerary better settled.

 

Husband is leaning towards five days in Goa after Mumbai. Kerala is much bigger than Goa isn't it? And part of the goal for the five days is to get to chill out, preferably by a beach, so right now, Goa is winning.

 

Can anyone tell me what Goan food is like? I'm thinking along the lines of coconut based curries and seafood but I'm just guessing. If I've ever had Goan food, I haven't been aware of it.

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Mongo, thank you so much for that. I'm going to go looking for a times food guide over the next week. Do you think the specialist travel bookstores in London will carry it? Or will I have to order it from the times?

 

After chatting with husband last night, it looks like we will be in Mumbai 3 or 4 days and two of those days I will be completely on my own (Husband has work) so, Mongo, I may take you up on your very very kind offer of a possible local guide. I'll let you know after we have our itinerary better settled.

 

Husband is leaning towards five days in Goa after Mumbai. Kerala is much bigger than Goa isn't it? And part of the goal for the five days is to get to chill out, preferably by a beach, so right now, Goa is winning.

 

Can anyone tell me what Goan food is like? I'm thinking along the lines of coconut based curries and seafood but I'm just guessing. If I've ever had Goan food, I haven't been aware of it.

 

food in goa is excellent as well, but you should know that kerala has better beaches, and fewer people crawling all over them. goa has unfortunately become a magnet for annoying european tourists of the neo-hippie/raver variety. kerala has some amazing spa-resorts where the backwaters meet the ocean. you can explore the rivers on houseboat, swim in lagoons, get ayurvedic massages, eat amazing food, and maybe even go to the periyar wildlife sanctuary.

 

goa is part of the konkan region, and the food has some portuguese influences. a lot of fish, seafood, pork. not everything has coconut in it (though in the indian restaurant abroad "goan" is code for "we dumped some coconut milk into the chicken tikka masala base").

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goa is part of the konkan region, and the food has some portuguese influences. a lot of fish, seafood, pork. not everything has coconut in it (though in the indian restaurant abroad "goan" is code for "we dumped some coconut milk into the chicken tikka masala base").

Some food I had a while back said to be "Goan" seemed to have a lot of vinegar as well as coconut. Was this at least partially authentic, or was the proprietor's real home cuisine perhaps bleeding into the dish?

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goa is part of the konkan region, and the food has some portuguese influences. a lot of fish, seafood, pork. not everything has coconut in it (though in the indian restaurant abroad "goan" is code for "we dumped some coconut milk into the chicken tikka masala base").

Some food I had a while back said to be "Goan" seemed to have a lot of vinegar as well as coconut. Was this at least partially authentic, or was the proprietor's real home cuisine perhaps bleeding into the dish?

 

not everything should have vinegar, but that's one of those portuguese influences. vindaloo (vinegar and garlic) is a goan via portuguese dish, though some other communities claim it as well.

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food in goa is excellent as well, but you should know that kerala has better beaches, and fewer people crawling all over them. goa has unfortunately become a magnet for annoying european tourists of the neo-hippie/raver variety. kerala has some amazing spa-resorts where the backwaters meet the ocean. you can explore the rivers on houseboat, swim in lagoons, get ayurvedic massages, eat amazing food, and maybe even go to the periyar wildlife sanctuary.

 

goa is part of the konkan region, and the food has some portuguese influences. a lot of fish, seafood, pork. not everything has coconut in it (though in the indian restaurant abroad "goan" is code for "we dumped some coconut milk into the chicken tikka masala base").

 

 

I'm going to the travel store now to buy some books about Kerala :lol: I'll have to see if I can convince him. I think he has business he wants to do in Goa (he's a workaholic) so I think that's swaying him. I'd rather have the prettier beach, better culture, and food :lol:

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I think my favorite two days in Southern India were on a houseboat in Kerala. Just truly beautiful . . . peaceful. Didn't see much of Goa, as we ended up last minute going to a resort (not our original plan!) in southern Goa - it was Taj resort in the village Benaulim - so it was more international resort land than anything else. We did have quite good food outside the resort there (not at the resort itself which had lousy food) - and all over Kerala - so no winners on the food scale. I will say that much of what we ate in Kerala had tons of coconut oil, which we adored for the first few meals and then got quite sick of, but we also were not able to do too much seeking out of worthwhile food.

 

Everyone we talked to along the way said that big swaths of Goa have become package-tour nightmares - but heard lovely things about beaches in southern Kerala.

 

I did go to Periyar and did a great half-day walk with a guide (could skip the boat ride they also offer which was not that interesting) but I'm not sure that on a short trip I'd spend the time to get there (we were coming from Madurai in Tamil Nadu so it made sense to stop there before heading to the houseboat).

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Goa strikes me as like Maui or Mill Valley. A lot rich hippies.

 

I went to the other side and enjoyed Madras and Tamil Nadu when I was in India in the 1970s. Mahabalipurim (sp) was amazing and lovely and I have the memory of swimming with black dolphins.

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  • 3 months later...

I got back from Mumbai and Kerala about a week ago but haven't had the time to post anything about it. I had some amazing eats and I'm hoping to get the pictures up on my blog over the next week.... (although this is ambitious, I ate quite a lot). But Mongo :lol: , I did think of you as I posted the first Mumbai topic on my blog. Click below if you want to see some Alphonso Mangoes.

 

They really are incredible.... I believe, I bought one in the UK once and it was not the same. It didn't even taste remotely like the ones I had in Mumbai a little over a week ago. Whatever they do to sterilize them when they are exported may tamper with the flavour... or India is keeping the best of the crop for herself.

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