Usal, Vada, Misal trail in Mumbai……


When most Ghatkoparites ( read my Gujju friends)  would religiously flock to Matunga’s list of south Indian joints on a Sunday morning,  I decided to go further south to explore the staples Wada and Usal that Mumbai thrived on 4 decades back till the Idli/Dosa came into the picture.

Puneri Misal
New Anand Bhavan

New Anand Bhavan at Kalachowkie, Chinchpokli a 30-35 seater eatery with just Usal, Misal, Wada and Kanda Bhaji (Pakoras )on the menu was our first. We settled for a wada usal, this fiery usal for the non-chiliphilics could cause an instant heartburn but for the heat lovers you would love the perspiration as you eat, no!! From east we came to the west at Thakurdwar, Girgaon  searching for B Tambe ( aka Sujata Upahar gruh) only to find the restaurant shut but their sweet shop next door open and when asked; they were happy to direct us to Vinay health home ( by Tembe’s ) which was two hundred metres away. With an air-conditioned section too this place was buzzing, Puneri misal a sweet and hot style was my straightforward choice and we also ordered a Thalipeeth for my Puneri friend, remember he had Bedekar and Katakir in his arsenal for Misals.The Misal was lovely but  with no loni (white butter) on top of the Thalipeeth, they surely committed a sacrilege. We ended with a Piyush, loosely put; a thinned down version of Shrikhand or a yogurt based drink flavoured with nutmeg, cardamom and saffron. For me this was the best Piyush till date, better than Aswad and way better than Panshikar, both in Dadar. We were stuffed too soon I must say, may be the ‘spice’ took a toll and we called it a morning.

Vada Usal
Vada Usal
Puneri Misal at Vinay Health Home Girgaon
Puneri Misal

I had more places in Girgaon on my list, the known Panshikar and Prakash and the cult Special tea house at Prarthana Samaj. The first two like Sujata and Vinay are also known for its Maharashtrian snacks like poha, sabudana Wada, aloo wadi, kothimbir wadi, shengdanyachi usal etc and the third for its intense usal.

Till my next then!


P.S: I am glad that I can find solace at Bhat Vishranti Gruh, Chembur close to where I live for all my ‘usal’ needs.


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