Rolls that rock and kosha mangshos that shock...Hangla's, Lokhandwala, Andheri




Quite a few of my friends had mentioned a little restaurant called 'Hangla's' at Lokhandwala Mumbai recently.


'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.
Notes:
  • 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

Comments

The rolls look great! I love Indian food because of the breads...
Sharmila said…
I wonder what drives these people to zero in on such names ...I try to find some humour in them ... there is restaraunt named Nola in Calcutta.
Btw ... the itchy throats may be due to too much of ajinomoto that joints always use ( they call it tasting powder). :-)
Scarlett said…
I feel like having Mutton Roll & Kosha Mangsho now! I shall...and I'll have the nice stuff from Kasturi :))
Mumbai Diva said…
ok...seems very close to office so the rolls are a good option for lunch.
But nothing compares to the rolls at Calcutta. There is also Anjan Chatterjee's ( Oh! calcutta and Mainland China) chain called Only Rolls and samosas. There's one near lokhandwalla. I had an egg chicken roll. Not bad. A colleague tried the chicken peppercorn roll. She liked it ...and she's from calcutta!!
:)
The knife said…
@jessica, your comment made me realise how blessed we are on the bread front. From the bengali luchis to the ubiquitous chapatis which come in all sizes and shapes to the parathas and kulchas and bhaturas of punjab to the dosas and appams and uthapams of the south and the goan paos and kick a@*#; bakeries. And to think that many of us are rice lovers! BY the way i hAVE heard of a bengali couple That sells rolls in NYC and have made a fortune. have u heard anything?
Kirti Poddar said…
Now we all know what "tough" luck is. On a serious note, my experiments with beef kosha have left me with mixed feelings. If you get the hideous beef from Joseph's at Rs 100/KG, you have to pressure cook it for ages and only then it becomes soft. Our kitchen sounds like a steam engine while its pressure cooking!

I think I will make some kosha mangsho soon, you are invited
The knife said…
@Sharmila...ajino moto, I thought it was motor oil.

Actually most of the Bong places at Bombay have monotonous names - Calcutta Club, Oh calcutta, Hooghly, Kolkata Connection.

Hangla stands out. But then one doesn't have to sound gross to stand out

@Kirti: i saw some good looking beef cubes at Marks other day. I prefer to buy my mutton from the fresh seller at bandra and, now Khar rather than at cold storages. The stuff is far fresher. Waiting for the invite.

@Mumbai Diva: thanks for telling me about Rolls and Samosas. there is one near Danai at Khar. I thought it is a part of Only parathas because of the font. Will check it out after reading your comment

@Scarlett: hope you had better luck with the rolls than you did with Bar B Q.

There used to be a place calld kasturi at Khulna in Bangladesh where I went for fieldwork in my IMRB Calcutta days
Kalyan Banerjee said…
Have quoted this post at Potpourri: The Carnival of Bengali Cuisine.

Interestingly, Nishant has a different take: http://talkreviews.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/hangla-bandra-authentic-bengali-street-food/

Cheers!
The knife said…
Kalyan...thanks for putting my post on your site.

That's the beauty of the blogosphere (re Nishant) ... you can have multiple opinions. Tastebuds are fickle after all.

But all I can say is that me, fellow Bongs and Bongs by marriage have all lampooned their kosha mangsho and chicken rolls.

I would consider myself an expert here just as I would never claim to give the definitive word on butter chicken
em said…
interesting!
The rolls are truly magnificient at Hanglas but their main dishes do not stand a chance. For people interested in main course should head to Calcutta Club just ten mins away from Hanglas, near th oshiwara police station. It's better than oh Calcutta an has some great dishes and some rare to find sweet dishes like paatishapta :) itscheaper than oh Calcutta and the couple who run it are very nice. The rolls at Hanglas of course are maginificient, did I mention that :)
The knife said…
Anirban, thanks for writing in. Completely agree with you on Calcutta Club. Did you know that they used to serve when they had opened? Then stopped as they didn't have enough kitchen space.

I'd written about C C earlier

http://finelychopped-k.blogspot.com/2008/12/food-my-grandmom-would-approve-calcutta.html
Anonymous said…
Calcutta is famous for rolls, there are varieties of rolls, like egg role, double egg roll, chicken roll, mutton roll, panir roll, egg-mutton roll etc. Calcutta is famous for foods. then punjabi foods r also good.
Anonymous said…
Kolkata street foods are variation of north indian and some brithis foods. like,
rosogolla (origin- british because of panir, it called panir ball)

rolls - (origin - british)

kebabs and biryani - (origin - laknow type muglai- mughal)

kosha mangso and fish kaliya, paturi - (origin bangladesh)

chops - (origin - british)

payes - (bangladesh)

chanachur - (rajasthan - marwar)
Anonymous said…
Kolkata Biryani is more famus than your mutton roll and kasha mangso, personaly I do not like hydrabadi style biryani, because it lacks original mutton and basmati rice flavours. After all Biryani is a north indian dish. and andhra is a southan province of india. You can find biryani in each and every street corner in kolkata, it is so so famus, good quality mutton biryani is Rs.130. bad one is Rs.80. If you taste original biryani of kolkata, you never can forget it. Its one of the most tasty dishes of the world(not only india).