Spicy, but defintely not fishy...Jai Hind

Years back, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, coined the slogan ‘Jai Hind’ to rally his army in our fight for independence. Political leaders still end their speeches with ‘Jai Hind’.

Today though, when a colleague of ours got into cab and said Jai Hind, she was referring to the chain of Malvani restaurants at Mumbai called Jai Hind.

Jai Hind had started as a simple, local sea food joint. They have spread quite a bit since. Branches which come to mind are opposite Kamla Mills (favoured by the office crowd), before Dadar station on Tulsi Pipe Road, Pali Naka (a simple one), Hill Road. The core cuisine here is Malwani.

What begun as an office lunch ended up as a slightly coerced birthday treat from a colleague at the Kamala Mills, Jai Hind today. Apparently who was bullied into it, rather quickly I must say, by the girls in our group. He did look a bit dazed through lunch though he sportingly allowed me to take over the ordering. That's my prerogative when we go out in a group. Still, thanks Ashish!

The food was splendid. Eating it hot and fresh was quite different from what we ordered home a few days back.

The bombil (Bombay duck) stuffed with tiny prawns was a delight. The bite of tiny, spicy prawns, inside the crisp, blander fish shell is a delight. Welcome to the Mumbai version of the Peking Duck. Just look at the picture below. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? I would trade this picture anyday for a picture of Angelie Jolie. Or would I?

We had fried fishsurmai and Bombay Duck – both were out of the world. Surmai (king fish) can be chewy if not fried well. Not at Jai Hind. Here it was juicy and a joy to eat. The masala it was flavoured in really brought it alive. Not literally of course.

The Bombay Duck was nice and crisp. The semolina and egg batter was very faint so one could enjoy the fish. As my mom in law, who loves Bombay Ducks, would say, “worth repeating!”.

We had a lovely prawn chilly fry for the main course - fresh prawns in a thick, fiery, coconut based, red masala tempered with curry leaves. The picture below gives you an idea of its volcanic taste. This is quite different from the vinegar and tomato based, less spicy, Goan prawn chilly fry.

We had this with neer dosas which helped us break the spice. These flimsy dosas were nice, hot and had a slight, pleasant, firmness to it.

We had a chicken sukha too. This is a thick dessicated coconut based chicken dish which Malvani restaurants make fairly well. And it tasted quite different from the prawn chilly fry.

What I liked about Jai Hind was that the fish, prawns and meats were extremely fresh.

In case you are still wondering about how much I ate then I guess the round cheeks are a clear indicator. Must go home and walk today.

Jai Hind is fairly marketing savvy so they have something for vegetarians too. One of us who were abstaining from non veg today had palak rice. This is her favourite here. Her eyes lit up after she ordered a masala papad. This is papad (popadam) garnished with chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander and chilly.

How were these? You are asking the wrong man.

Note: This was a treat so I am not sure of the prices. But I think individual dishes hover around Rs 100 (2 USD)