'Hangla' (hang la) In Bengali means 'greedy'... and not in a very nice way. So this is quite an unusual name to put it mildly. My sources told me that the rolls (parathas with egg and/ or kebab fillings) here are pretty good. Rolls are the flag bearer of Calcutta's street food and are rarely available at Mumbai. Not at most of the Bengali restaurant at least which go in for main dishes and not street food. I had also heard that Hangla's stocks Bengali dishes but no one had much to say about these.
Lokhandwala is not really a part of my stomping ground and I had not been to Hangla's despite hearing about it. An opportunity came up yesterday as we had a workshop at the Fun Republic building at Andheri Link Road. Hangla's is located close by at the beginning of the Lokhandwala circle. You reach there after taking a left from Infinity Mall on the Link Road, when headed towards Kandivli, and then heading straight. Hangla's falls on your right.
I rushed there after the workshop. I ordered an egg roll (Rs 25/ 0.5 USD). This was fantastic and compared with the best rolls in Calcutta. My request for fried onions was heeded to by the affable Mr Amitabha Gupta at the counter. This was nice as I remember that the nutters at the Calcutta Roll Centre, at Bandra, refused to fry the onions in my roll when I last went there.
The roll didn't have any sauces in it. Instead it was flavoured with lime, chopped green chilly and salt. It was quite like the rolls one gets at Lindsay Street at Calcutta. Biting into the piping hot egg roll took me back to my school days when I would have an egg roll every day after school before I went out to play. It was definitely one of the best egg rolls that I have had in my life.
I then packed two mutton rolls (Rs 45/ 1 USD each) and 2 kosha mangsho (Rs 120/ 1.2 each) and 2 parathas for Kainaz and me for dinner.
I saw a couple of huge rats just beside the shop beside a dustbin after I received my parcel. Not a pleasant sight. Friends later joked saying that the street food experience wouldn't be complete without these. Well, all I have to say is that I never associated rats with Calcutta and that I have rarely seen rats camping beside street food stalls at Mumbai. This was an unfortunate first.
Anyway, getting back to the food, the mutton roll was fantastic, even after we reheated it in the micro at night. The mutton stuffing had the pliant softness of the mutton in roll shops such as Karco and Badshah at Lindsay Street, Calcutta. Both Kainaz and I really enjoyed it. The fried onions (as per our request) added a nice sweetness to it. I felt the stuffing was a tad salty but Kainaz didn't think so. Overall, quite heavenly.
See the making of the roll and the end masterpiece in the pictures below.
We then had the kosha mangsho (Bengali dried mutton in spices).
Let me give you Kainaz's take first. She liked it though she felt that it paled in comparison to the mutton rolls that we just had.
I felt that the kosha mangsho sucked. The dish was too oily. Restaurant kosha mangshos can be oily. But this was not oil, it was rocket fuel. Both Kainaz and I woke up at night with itchy throats thanks to the toxic oil.
And the mutton? I have often written about tender cuts of mutton that we have had at Parsi places such as Britannia, Elphinstone and Ripon Club and Bengali places such as Oh Calcutta. The mutton in Hangla's kosh mangsho was the other extreme. It was so tough that it would make any self respecting chewing gum seem as soft as butter. I got to exercise my biceps while trying to break the pieces of mutton.
My sources were right. The rolls rocked. But the other dishes were not quite there. Though I must admit that I didn't try the regular Bengali dishes such as fish curry, mochar ghoto or even biriyani. But I think I will stick to the rolls that they make in front of me after my experience with the unbreakable kosha mangsho and after seeing the frolicking giant rats.
- Hangla is apparently open from 1130 AM to 1 AM
- It is a stall and doesn't have any seating as such. It is a stand and eat or take away operation