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Lounge loves: Mother of All Menus

The Bombay Canteen's first birthday party with food Ma made

Puris with aloo dum. Photo: Nayan Shah/Mint<br />
Puris with aloo dum. Photo: Nayan Shah/Mint

What’s not to love about a birthday party that goes on for 18 days and promises maa ke haath ka khana to boot? Not your mom, silly, but all the mothers of the principals at The Bombay Canteen (TBC) are revealing their deepest kitchen secrets to celebrate the first year of Mumbai’s clutter-breaking Indian eatery. It helps that the team traces its roots to places across the country. So, in keeping with the eclectic nature of its regular offerings, the “Mother of All Menus" has dishes from Goa, Bengal, Kerala, the Konkan and Uttar Pradesh/Delhi.

“Floyd and his five siblings have always loved my Chicken Xacuti ( 575)," says Beryl Cardoz, 85, over a crackling phone line. “I’m quite looking forward to seeing what his customers make of it!"

That is not to say the five women whose dishes are being showcased during the celebrations had it easy. “I had to submit five-six recipes and only two got selected," says Sunita Seth, 61, a teacher at the Delhi Public School in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. “But the Dahi Gujiya Chaat ( 225) and the Phool Gobhi Mussalam ( 375) are both labour-intensive dishes that people rarely make at home nowadays, even for celebrations."

As testing was the customization of home dishes for restaurant purposes. “I suggested an unusual machher kochuri (a puri stuffed with bhetki, 425; vegetarians can opt for a pea-stuffed puri, 375) that my mother used to make," says Iti Misra, 75. “That will need to be fried on order. But the Komola Lebur Payesh ( 190)—a payesh is something Bengalis typically have instead of birthday cake; this one uses the seasonal santra (orange)—can be made ahead."

Oh, and special cocktails ( 400-600) are available too, including a sinful gin Aperol concoction—but the moms take no responsibility for that.

The Bombay Canteen Mother of All Menus is on till 29 February at Unit-1, Process House, Kamala Mills, SB Road, Lower Parel, Mumbai (49666666). Open from noon-1am.

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