Trotters, Bheja And More: A Guide To Eating The Nasty Bits In Mumbai

8923 Interested |

In a city that’s the home of the Beef Ban, where does one go if one feels like being offal-ly bad? We’ve lined up the best of the nastiest bits for you.

Anything Offal at Bombay Canteen

Crunchy crackling garnish on vindaloo tacos, a luxurious and creamy bheja fry, a perfectly cooked chicken liver tikka {even some French restaurants don’t treat their Foie with such care}, and a melting-off-the-bone oxtail, the good folk at Bombay Canteen know how to be innovative about offal and yet treat it with tremendous care and respect. Their latest menu addition enriches lip-smacking chicken ghee roast with a creamy puree of chicken livers. Chef Thomas, we dare you to do a fish or pig’s head next.

Butter Bheja at Jaihind Lunch Home

Only available in their Bandra outlets, this dish has a rather misleading name and thus is a hidden jewel on their seafood heavy menu. You’d think that this dish was about adding yummy chunks of bheja to buttery makhni sauce, but think again! What it is instead is a delicate curry that can best be described as creamy chunks of bheja, that have been delicately butter poached in a light sauce spiced with some powdered masalas and lots of kasoori methi and fresh dhaniya.

#LBBTip: Don’t waste this dish on a tandoori roti or naan. Its nuances are best enjoyed with roomali roti or neer dosas.

Kaleji Raita at Charoli

If Bombay Canteen can cook a mean chicken liver, then home chef Anuradha Joshi isn’t far behind with her mutton kaleji. Unlike any offal dish you’ve had, this dish combines the chatpata yoghurt base of a great dahi bhalla with creamy-gamey bits of mutton liver. Easily the most unique offal offering we’ve come across in Bombay.

Pork Trotters At Ling’s Pavillion

Baba Ling, the restaurant’s chef and owner is known to be quite unforgiving of vegetarians and his love for pork. Trust him to do the ordering but make sure to earn extra brownie points by requesting the off the menu pork trotters. These meatier, fattier cousins of paya are braised to tender, melt-of-the-trotter levels of deliciousness and best served over some bacon pot rice.

Nalli-Nihari at Noor Mohammadi Hotel

Nalli aka bone marrow is an ingredient that most meat-eaters either adore or absolutely hate. But if there’s one mecca all nalli eaters head to then it has got to be Noor Mohammadi. Melt in your mouth beef or mutton shank, that’s been gently simmered for hours in rich and savoury stew, and then topped off with the most generous dollop of buttery bone marrow – that’s Noor Mohamaddi’s Nalli Nihari for you.

Bara Handi At Soorti's

If Noor Mohammadi has the most talked about Nihari, then Soorti’s has the most kinds of nihari-like preparations. After the shuttering of Vallibhai, this is probably Bori Mohalla’s last surviving practitioner of the fine art of Bara Handi – a technique that’s all about simmering offal and the tougher cuts in delicately spiced wheat or daal-based gravies, further enriched by the adding fat or marrow. Our picks – the pichota {buff/oxtail} and bhel {a medley of different cuts and gravies} wiped clean with khameeri roti.

Fried Fish Roe at Fresh Catch

Most people know Fresh Catch for its fantastic xec-xec crabs and Rechaad fish fry. But for just a few months of the year they serve the best rawa-coated fish roe pakoras. Nothing like the fancy orange roe that you see on California Sushi Rolls, these humbler fish eggs take on a buttery-gamey, almost Bengali chaana-like texture when cooked. Best enjoyed with a cold beer or some piping hot dal-chawaal.

Khiri-Kaleji at Nice Fast Food Corner

If you’re a fan of all things fatty, then try the Khiri Tikkas {yes that’s udder tikkas} at Santa Cruz’s popular kebab joint. Meaty, fatty, crunchy and chatpata all at the same time, the only caveat – these babies must be had fresh at the stall. Eat them cold and they turn into rubber.


Copywriter by profession, Delhi-ite at heart and Bengali by blood, Auroni Mookerjee used to make ads for a living. Now, he keeps himself busy writing about food and feeding Mumbai's hungry hordes through Grandma Mookerjee’s Kitchen, and The Curry Brothers.