Litti-Choka in Andheri

litti-chokha, andheri

What does a litti-lover do after moving to Bombay Mumbai? Especially after being a regular visitor to the Litti shop in Kothrud, Pune for 3 years, and feeling nostalgic about it (also nostalgic about the litti shops in Bihar/Jharkhan railway stations)?

Set out on a mission to find an outlet over here.

The efforts paid off handsomely. And I’ve found two places which offer amazing litti-chokha in Andheri itself. And my friends on Twitter have already sampled their fare and made them quasi-famous amongst their friends.

1. The first is a bunch of shops on the R K Paramhans Marg (old Nagardas Road) near the Andheri subway on the east. When you cross the subway and keep going on the newly made left side of the road, you come across a series of garages and tyre shops. And small eateries. Last I checked, at least two of these eateries also serve litti-chokha in the evening. I’ve eaten in Mahalaxmi (their signboard is no more there thanks to the weather) which is right next to the Exide shop, and must say that their bharta was out of this world. The other outlet is called Saipraasaad, which is 3-4 shops away towards the subway.

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23rd May 2014 Update: Litti Express has shut down. They have reopened as Food Temple. But are we interested in that?
2. The other is near Lokhandwala in Andheri West. In the lane next to the Lotus petrol pump (diagonally opposite to the Versova Cinemax), there’s a shop by the name Litti Express. The exact address is shop No. 979, New Link Road, Near Lotus Petrol Pump, Andheri West. The portions are small compared to the Andheri east shops, but it still tastes brilliant nevertheless. They do home delivery as well if you’re nearby and lucky (that is, they have enough delivery boys working that day), just call 022 2674 1460, or 98 69 284115.

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Bloggers, alias Hoggers

A very dear friend of mine had once described a good span of time as one where at the end of it you don’t remember the exact details and what-happened-after-what, but just experience a mellow happy feeling. And several days later also when you look back at that time, the first thing that hits you is the same happy feeling.

The afternoon of the eighth of September is almost in that happy place in my mind. Thanks to an impromptu blogger meet, which comprised of a few bloggers from Pune like Purnendu, Ekta, Maansi, Nilanshu and yours truly, joined by Biswajit from Mumbai. It was Biswajit’s brainchild, to get us all together, to have a relaxing conversation over lunch where we’d get acquainted and have an exchange of ideas, stories and whatever we felt like exchanging. And few places in the East of Pune are better suited for such a huddle as The Cafe at the Hyatt Regency.

The Cafe is Hyatt Regency Pune’s multi-cuisine restaurant, with a really soothing ambiance, with cuisines from the world over, right from salads to the Mughlai to the Oriental to the Continental to yummy desserts and enticing mocktails, and it’s all served in style.

I’m not really qualified to pen a review of a Hyatt restaurant. I barely tried more than 2 dishes, so engrossed was I in trying to take pictures of whatever I saw around me. After what I think was 3 rounds of taking pictures around the restaurant & the kitchen, and 2 rounds of serving myself some of the food, I started catching the drifts of conversations that were going on around me and tried to join in wherever I could – about blogging in general, about each other’s blogs in particular, about Maansi and Purnendu having read Fifty Shades of Grey and not having liked it, about Minoti having a blog which she doesn’t maintain religiously, about Maansi having decided never to read Harry Potter (shocking!), about Hindi literature, about contemporary literature and the latest films.

I’m sure there were various other topics we discussed, but I don’t remember all of them now.

All that I remember from that afternoon is that same mellow feeling that one gets after having spent a relaxed afternoon indulging in discussions over what excites them with really cool, dynamic people.

Doodh!!!

Know what this is?

a kadaahi full of milk

Yes sir, this is a hot steaming kadaahi full of milk. Sweet, thick and mixed with tasty nuts & saffron (kesar), it reminds me of the good ol’ days in Indore, when a glass full of such milk was a delicacy we used to enjoy in the neighbouring market after dinner.

Where do you get this? In the chaat/food court at the ground floor of the Ozone supermarket building (next to the Pizza Hut/Crossword building) in Aundh.

How much? A big paper cup for Rs. 15.

Widest? Really?

If you have seen or been to a Dosa Plaza restaurant anywhere, you must have seen their tagline “The world’s widest menu in dosas™”.

And if you have been in Dhanbad for more than a day, you surely must have seen the restaurant Waikiki at Bank More.

How are they related, you might ask?

Well, if you have eaten at Waikiki, which by the way is an excellent up-market restaurant, you would know what the link is. Waikiki’s menu runs in pages — I would guess more than twenty pages — and it’s filled with dosas for most of it. Last I counted they had 140 different types of dosas.

And Dosa Plaza themselves claim to have 104 different types of dosas in their menu. Can they claim to have the world’s widest menu in dosas when there clearly is at least another place where you get a wider range?

Dosa Plaza’s claim also carries a ™ sign — which means that they have registered it as a trade mark. All this raised a few questions for me:

  1. Can one trade mark a phrase, which is a claim?
  2. While registering a claim as a trade mark, do the authorities check the validity of the claim?
  3. Is it ethical for Dosa Plaza to make such a claim, AND trade mark it, when it is clearly false?
  4. If Waikiki now decides to contest that claim and wants to trade mark this claim themselves, will they be able to?

Any trade mark lawyers/experts here?

Idli anyone?

Yesterday was another day of gastronomic exploration for me.

My friends took me to a place called Simply Idlicious in Aundh. This is another small but tasty place, where you get good authentic ethnic food for cheap. Idlis, dosas, set dosas, curd-rice were the more mainstream south Indian dishes that you can get there. Scratch beneath the surface and there is a good range. Even the coffee tasted like authentic south Indian ‘kaapi’. Though I did not like the idli (but my friends swear by it, calling even Vaishali’s idlis useless in comparison), the rest of the dishes were yummy. Do give it a try if you are in the neighbourhood.

It is located behind the Cafe Coffee Day in Aundh, the one opposite Shivsagar.

Bong food next

After the homesick Biharis, it’s the turn of Bengalis.

Just behind the Sweet Chariot off Ferguson College Road is a small quaint eatery called Bay of Bengal. It is not an airconditioned fancy place, but it serves amazing Bengali food, right from veg shukto to Ilish maachh preparations. And it is not too expensive either — I had actually thought I could order the entire menu and still not overshoot my daily budget!

And the ambience is quite like a small Calcutta joint.

Litti chokha!

Are you a Bihari in Pune who is feeling homesick? Or are you a non-Bihari who wonders what delicacies Biharis have to flaunt? If either is the case the place to go is Anandnagar on Paud Road, Kothrud.

Over here in a shop called Litti Chokha you get awesome litti chokha. I just finished a plate and a half myself!

Here’s a picture to show you what it looks like:




Update:

They have moved from their old Anandnagar outlet to just across the street, near MIT, Kothrud. You can navigate to their location using Google Maps:

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