Ten-Second Takeaway

Home chef Anuradha Joshi Medhora brings the cuisine of Indore’s Malwa rulers – which has Marathi, Rajasthani, Mughlai and even Afghani influences – to Mumbai {and we can sample it this weekend}.

Chow Down

As a  major kingdom placed smack in the middle of the Indian subcontinent, Indore’s cuisine is a melting pot of Marathi, Rajasthani, Mughlai and Afghani influences exerted over the centuries – as well as a result of a royal fondness for decadent feasts.

The meat-dominated cuisine is rich like the cuisines of Delhi, Hyderabad or Lucknow. But what sets it apart from its better-known counterparts is that the food weds the techniques of Mughal kitchens with the rustic flavours and ingredients beloved to the local Maratha, Rajput, Gujarati and Marwari communities.

It takes restaurants years to learn and replicate a dish or two from the Malwa repertoire. Luckily for Anuradha, she’s been doing it all her life.

What We Loved

The feast consisted of many courses, and our favourites included a keema and dry fruit dish, a chaat that reminded us of Varanasi, three types of mutton and a yogurt with mutton liver. Here’s what we loved about them.

Traditionally the sasranga, a baked dish, alternates layers of savoury keema with rich dry fruit and malai, to form what can only be described as the most opulent meatloaf we’ve ever tasted. Anuradha makes hers in bite-sized cupcake moulds.

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When it comes to the allu narma dil, not since our last trip to Varanasi have we eaten chaat that made our hearts melt the same way. Imagine a potato cutlet stuffed and shaped more like a North Indian tikki, yet delicately shallow-fried like a Mumbai pattice. But what takes this dish to the chaat hall of fame is the chatpata flavour of theekhi imli.

The junglee maas – traditionally slow-cooked using what was bagged during the day’s shikaar – is a dish made using only dried red chillies {Anuradha uses the local neemedi mirch}, salt and ghee. Carnivores, there are few dishes that highlight the lovely meatiness of Indian mutton (or goat) like this dish.

The santre {Nagpur is close to Indore} ka maas, on the other hand, is all about refreshingly zesty and tangy flavours that come from the addition of the juice of slightly greener oranges. And last but not the least, the khade-masala ka maas – which had the aniseed freshness of a delicate Kashmiri yakhni, as well as the savoury-spicy garam masala finish of a Saoji mutton.

Easily the most interesting and unique dish of the night, kalegi ka raita has the chatpata yoghurt base of a great dahi bhalla with a mustard-kashondi like finish; topped off with creamy-gamey bits of mutton liver. This an offal dish that’d probably even make the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Fergus Henderson quiver with glee.

#LBBTip: The homemade ghee defined every dish. The nutty and rounded flavour of the ghee made it a royal feast.

Go eat all of this – and more – at Anuradha’s next pop-up this weekend at Temperance, Rizvi Complex, Bandra West. The pop-up will begin at 1.30pm, Saturday, 7 August, and will cost INR 1,800 per person. Call +919833549949 for more information.

Check out Charoli Foods {Anuradha Joshi Medhora’s venture} on Facebook here

Photos courtesy: Anuradha Joshi Medhora