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Add ground spices and fry. Add chopped tomatoes and salt to taste and let simmer adding a little water if necessary.
Cut paneer into cubes. Prepare a thick batter with gram flour, soda, salt and water.
Dip paneer in batter and deep fry. Drain and put into prepared curry. Cook for a few minutes. Add beaten yoghurt. Do not boil after adding yoghurt, but mix well. Serve hot.
Heat oil and fry paneer till light brown and remove. In the same oil fry spices, add peas and fry. Then add tomato pulp, salt and small quantity of water.
Cook till peas are soft. Add ground nuts and beaten yoghurt mix and bring to boil.
Special thanks to Khazana for providing the special vegetarian recipes and helping with the photoshoot.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
The soul was not fully satisfied with the squids and fish in Mumbai. I wanted more. I know Mumbai has more to offer. But the constraint was time.
You see, I usually go to Mumbai on work. Only once, I had gone on a pleasure trip. Unfortunately, I was all of three years old at that time and blissfully oblivious of culinary delights. Apparently, my sole objective in Mumbai on that visit was to go to the thespian, Dev Anand's place. Don't ask me how I knew about him at that tender age. I just did. Or so I am told.
This time when I visited Mumbai, it was for twelve days. Although, by the standards of my previous visits, an eternity. One visit to Trishna was not going to be enough.
This wonderful colleague of mine, who I knew from my Dhaka days, happens to be a fellow foodie. As I was grumbling about guesthouse food one evening, she told me that she'd introduce me to this whole new cuisine called Gomantak. Basically, coastal Maharashtra food. A little background would not hurt.
I am very fond of food from the Malabar coast. The amalgamation of various spices, the judicious use of coconut milk, the enticing red colour, the abundance, nay dependence on sea food. All factors point to one direction. My stomach! So Gomantak really excited me and I was really hoping to end the day quickly so that we could head out as soon as possible.
Business for the day settled; my colleague and I set out in search of a suitable restaurant, which serves Gomantak. She, having lived in Mumbai for some time, had a fair idea of where to go. I do not argue with fellow foodies. We headed off to a place called <>Sayeeba<> (hope I am spelling this right!). The name does conjure up a different image. I thought of great biriyanis and chaap when I heard <>Sayeeba<>. But, nothing could be more different!
We arrived at the place. Smack on the main road, the place can easily be overlooked. Small entrance, manned by a person in soiled white uniform. Not the best of first impressions.
With no trepidation, I followed her inside. I was with a foodie and I knew I was in safe hands.
The inside was very interesting. A very small, cramped place, with as many tables as they could fit in. Tables are long and communal in nature. It is apparently very common there to share your table with complete strangers.
The soul focus was food, not the occupants of tables. The menu card came. There must have been at least two hundred items that were listed. And I was told that most are usually available on any given night.
Some promising stuff emerged. Mussels, crabs, clams, prawns, a peculiar fish called Bombay Duck, which has nothing to do with the bird!
I took my friend's advice. Started off with an order of fried Bombay Duck. Fish that resembles long strips of something appeared, crisp and piping hot. One bite and it melted in the mouth. I knew we are in for a good ride. Next was the curiously named special prawn masala. One could not be blamed if one expected a run of the mill, average curry with this name. What came was a delicious mix of various spices, in thick gravy redolent of tomatoes and onions.
We also ordered a fish curry. Very light, very pungent, very red, it came with a typical Mumbai fish called Rawas. Extremely fresh, the fish, which was not fried, almost tasted of the sea that was its domicile a while ago.
All this, with steamed rice! Washed down with kokum water. I was in heaven. It was very similar to the Malabar coast food I am so fond of. The only major difference that I could spot was the lack of coconut in the cooking. Satiated, we staggered out around midnight and headed for a scoop of all-natural seasonal fruit flavoured ice cream. But that story is for another day.
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