In this food loving city of Mumbai, people are always out on a hunt for authentic food, but eventually wind up at a Chinese or Italian restaurant. There isn’t a lack of Malwani, Goan and Parsi restaurants in the city, but the one question we always ask ourselves is — “Yes this food is tasty as F*ck, but is this AUTHENTIC enough? ” Where do we draw the line between authenticity and something that is just there. Well there is only one answer and that is go to the homes of the local people, and eat what they eat, drink what they drink and find out about their clans/families or culture. Well we are lucky that there are companies now that have started with “Authentic Meal Experiences” in local peoples home and MealTango.com is one of them. They offer a wide variety of experiences by local home chefs in and around Mumbai, Pune etc. They are also present in cities around the world, doing the same thing, offering Food enthusiasts a lovely experience. We went for one such experience and it was definitely one worth going for. The food was made by Soumitra and his lovely wife from the Pathare Prabhu clan.
Our Hosts and a brief History about Pathare Prabhu clan:
On meeting Saket Khanna, one of the co-founders of MealTango.com at an award function, we were introduced to the concept of curated home cooked meals. Since the first one, was at a short notice we were asked to check out the next one. Boy oh Boy!!! were we in for a treat. If a meal is titled as “Check out the Seafood fare” by Soumitra, then They had me at Seafood!!! We were informed that he belongs to the Pathare Prabhu clan who are one of the oldest residents of Bombay. On a nice and refreshingly free Sunday, we made our way to Oshiwara where he stays for a culinary treat as well a brief history of the Pathare Prabhu Clan. We were welcomed by his wife Manju, we could see the table was already set, and could get the aromas right till the lift outside. Soumitra our Chef is a graduate from a Hotel Management school but due to circumstances could not pursue his dream in the industry. However, even after entering the Finance field and doing pretty well at it, he does miss cooking and through MealTango he’s living the dream.
2. कोलंबी गोडे आटले – A sweet brown prawn curry (kolambi gode aatle)
3. बोंबील मेथकुटाचे – Bombils in achaar masala (bombil methkutache)
4. काट्याचे भूजणे – The Ghol fish spine in onion masala, stewed with onions and chillies (kaatyache bhuzne)
5. मटण गोडे – The red mutton and potato stew (Mutton gode)
6. करंदीचे लोणचे – Shrimp pickle (karandiche lonche)
7. तळलेले घोळीचे – Pan Fried Fish (Tarlele Ghodhiche)
The Meaty Affair:
To all our readers it may seem to be a very heavy and spicy affair all these dishes put together by the foodie couple, but in fact, it wasn’t. We ate a lot of food and it wasn’t heavy nor did it burn our guts, the spice was so nicely masked with the use of caramelized onions or coconut milk that we couldn’t stop eating!!!!!! The pao and steam rice, absorbed and held all the sauces/ gravies and also lent its own texture to the dishes. We had to sit and wait for at least 20 minutes for the food to digest such that we could have our dessert. Soumitra told us their clan does have desserts similar to the Pooran Poli, but that day decided to stick to a simple yet yummy Lemon souffle. Though it wasn’t set enough, it was light, with crumbs of biscuit in the center and lemon rind which contributed to the zing of the dish.
(This meal was sponsored by Mealtango.com but honest views have been given by the reviewers. Inclusive of all taxes this meal for two was for ₹ 2575)
Do it yourself:
This is just for all you foodie enthusiasts, Mr Soumitra was kind enough to share the recipe of this really tasty Kolambi (Prawn) Gode Aatle. Its tasty as hell and can be eaten with Rice or Bread/Pao.
Grated fresh coconut- 1 cup
Parbhi Sambhar powder – 1.5 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Prawns – 12 nos
Prawn heads – 2 nos
Tamarind pulp – 2 tbsp
Besan – 2 tbsp
Cloves – 2 nos
Cinnamon – 0.5″ stick
Oil – 1.5 tsp
Hing – 1 pinch
Onions 2 medium
Heat oil, add a pinch of Hing, splutter, add cloves and cinnamon, splutter, add chopped onions and cook on a slow flame with a pinch of salt till brown. The grated coconut to be used for coconut milk- 1 cup water to get thick extract and 2.5 cups water after squeezing out the thick extract for thin.
Add besan, tamarind pulp, prawn heads and dry masala to the browned onions. Cook for a minute and add the thin extract. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 mins. Strain after simmering and put back on the flame… Now cool on a very slow flame without covering. Add prawns and season with salt and sugar. Add the thick extract and mix. Allow it to mix well while on flame but do not let it come to a boil (it’ll split). Take off the flame after a minute or two. And there you haveit — Authentic Kolambi Gode Aatle.