It’s the Eid time of the year again. And this one happens to be my favorite Eid of them all, The Bakri Eid. A celebration which is famous for sacrificing a goat and feasting upon it. Somehow by some magic, the meat from the sacrificed goat happens to be very tender and tasty. It always tastes better than your regular Mutton.
Eids are always special and my last Eid was made special by Nafisa aunty, the Heart and soul of The Bohri Kitchen. The Bohri Kitchen isnt a restaurant, but it is a Son’s effort to keep his mom away from Indian soap operas. It isn’t owned by a multinational or isn’t a chain of restaurants, but only a house filled with lovely people serving the tastiest possible food. Munaf Kapadia, CEO (Chief Eating Officer) of The Bohri Kitchen, is one of those very few people who drop out from lucrative jobs at Google and venture into the cut-throat food Industry. But he possesses a secret weapon that no one else does. His mother.
(Taken from Munaf’s FB profile)
The mother-son duo run TBK and they do it with style. I was invited here for a Ramzan Eid Fest by Burrp! It was a setting like none other. I enter an almost dilapidated, maybe a century old building located in the oldest possible locality of Colaba. Entering into a grand house I find to my astound a massive thaal placed along with many katoris and a salt holder right at the center. Munaf was a most gracious host and offered me coconut water as soon as I took my seat.
And then started my 5 hour lunch ride filled with insights and tricks of how Bohri food is made and how it’s should be eaten. There are very various styles and quirks which I learned and various traditions which were so different from mine.
I generally do my food reviews in three categories
- Must hogs
- Average affairs
- Give it a miss.
But TBK and Nafisa aunty ensure that I need to let go of the last two categories. Every food item served at the TBK qualifies as a must must hog.
We along with our food guide Munaf started off by having namak from the namak daani. A Bohri tradition of starting off by passing around the namak daani and having a pinch of salt before the feast begins. One of the many traditions I was about to get acquainted with.
We first started with TBK kheema samosas. My mom makes kheema samosas on a very regular basis. But TBK had a very quirky style of eating their samosas. Our eating guide Munaf advised us to take a small bite off the top. Sprinkle some lemon inside the samosas and have it with the chutney. These samosas were cleaned off the serving plates within minutes.
Next up were the Dried Chicken Drumsticks. These were coated with some special secret masala, whose recepie Nafisa aunty willingly shares :P. The magic was such that the drumsticks were huge and the meat inside still very tender. The coating made out of breadcrumbs and egg was crispy and the combination perfect.
Here came another sweet twist to our tale. The bohri tradition mandates that a sweet should be had in between of a meal and not just at the end. This tradition brought the amazeballs Sheer Kurma on our thaal. This time it was a not so secret TBK Sheer Kurma mix (available for sale) was in play and the kheer was rich in dryfruits and a little less on vermicelli. But it was big on taste. This tradition acts more or less like a palate cleanser between the starters and the main course.
Then entered the big daddy of our meal, like Bhai makes entry in his films we had our own hero. The TBK Raan. We had the privilege to have this slow, very very slow cooked raan which was on the pot for 48 hours before it came on our plates and we ate it fast, very very fast which was on our plate for barely a few minutes before it disappeared in our bellys. But like every hero has his own demands our food guide warned us that the Raan has its own. He urged us that if we really had to enjoy the Raan we had to do away with the assortment of spoons and knives and dig into his highness with nothing but our bare hands. Food will only taste better when you lick it off your fingers.
We were served the Raan in two varities the Red masala and the white masala Raans. The White Raan was made in Kaju Gravy and was topped off with coriander and egg, it was generally the more popular raan at TBK. The leg was massive and the meat again delicate. The Red Raan, the best thing I had at TBK was topped off with salli and was as fierce as it looked. It was the perfect spicy.
After a long long silence where everyone was busy using nails as knives and fingers as forks and after a gazillion chews we somehow managed to finish off the Raan. But then on our thaal suddenly appeared the Chicken Bhuna with Aamras. The quirkiest combination of food I have ever tried. Chicken gravy and aamras. Highly skeptical at first I was prodded on by Munaf to try it the Bohri way and my my it was astonishingly good. I came back and told my mom about this who thought I was only kidding when I told her that I had chicken bhuna with aamras. One should really try this for their quirky combo.
Then we turned to Jambhaan or the Main course. The Bohri Biryani and soup. Yes! soup in the main course. The Bohri Biryani was well steamed with tender meat pieces and had potato pieces in it like any bohri biryani would.
TBK may not be a restaurant. But their service is top notch. It isn’t service per se. Since it’s a house there aren’t fancy servers waiting on you. But the system they have in place works wonders. Plates and spoons are accessible and their disposal is very easy. You just keep your used plate on an assigned ledge and like it happens at Hogwarts some magical house elves clean it off while you are digging into the next cuisine they have to offer.
So why do I suddenly douse your hunger horny stomach with this experience I had a few months ago with the photos and the descriptions? Well, simple because you can have it too. The Bohri Kitchen is holding another Eid Feast to celebrate Bakri Eid on 24th of September. You can book your seats (if at all they are still available) at https://www.facebook.com/thebohrikitchen/?fref=ts and to know more about them visit their website http://thebohrikitchen.com/ Also to catch up on the reviews don’t forget to sign up on Burrp! Though believe me TBK Reviews just cant be bad.
I wish Eid Mubarak to all my readers and I hope you have a fulsome feast…Bon Appétit