Princess Nalli Nihari... A Royal Indian Feast at Gallops, Mumbai

Most landmarks in our family are characterised by food, travel and taking a break from work. Seems like our eight anniversary today is only going to be about food.

We went to Gallops for lunch. Gallops is really a special occasion place with its old world charm and exceptionally good service. Chandeliers, leather backed chairs, high ceilings, heavy wooden doors and waiters who keep an eye open to ensure that your side dish doesn't reach you without the main course and that there is a finger bowl by your side the moment you are done with the gravy, all are part of the Gallops experience.

As is staring lazily at the green race course through the boughs of the trees through the huge windows. Gallops is at the famous Mahalaxmi Race Course after all. An oasis of green peace in the middle of the concrete desert of Central Bombay. This is particularly a treat during a wet monsoon afternoon. (And no, you don't have to be a member of the race course to eat here)

Birthday celebrations, Valentine's nights, wedding dinners (and a guest list which didn't reach double digits) ... Gallops has been a big part of our lives together. It was an apt place to go to for our anniversary. Shared memories. And new discoveries. And wonderful food as always. A good suggestion from the wife.

And I am not speaking metaphorically when it comes to new discoveries. Gallops earlier meant continental highlights such as prawn thermidor (A MUST HAVE), liver pate, batter fried prawns, roast pork and double chocolate deserts to us.

And then we discovered the Indian fare at Gallops. If the continental dishes are sublime then the Indian fare here is regal and epic.

The shammi kebabs are definitely the best in town. They take time to come to your table, especially for a starter but are worth every minute of the wait. Juicy, mushy, squishy ... Mills and Boons meets a gossip rag.

And then there is the nalli nihari. A dish which I strongly think should be brought out on a cavalcade of elephants accompanied by royal pomp and fanfare. It is a dish meant for a Mughal Emperor and not mere mortals like us. Lamb shanks which are huge and yet soft as candy floss, a gentle giant. You get six to a plate and you would need the five Pandavas to finish it... and their half brother Karna too. Three people can make a meal out of this with rotis. It is served in an astonishingly delicate sauce, creamier than the best of silks. We are not too fond of curries in most Indian restaurants in Mumbai. The gossamer gravy of the nalli nihari at Gallops is an exception.

A nice malpua with rabri is a good way to finish an Indian feast here. The malpuas are light, slightly crisp and sweetened just right in a perfect marriage with the milky, calm and cool rabdi. The harmony of crunch and cream.

Note: My trouser waistline wants to put in its two bits and says "you ate too much".

(A main dish, two soft drinks, rotis and a dessert come to Rs 750 odd or 15 USD and is enough for two and the doggy at home)


Rhea said…
The picture of the Nalli Nihari dish is making me hungry and it's 9.30 in the morning in Voorhees, NJ. What I'm trying to say is.. WHAT AM I GONNA DO NOW??? :-(((
Kalyan Karmakar said…
whatever you do, don't do muesli and orange juice :)
Gia Fernandes said…
Happy Anniversary! Congratulations to you and Kainaz.
Gallops is really wonderful. I haven't been there in a decade I think, but this post brought back lovely memories of lazy lunches and divine dinners!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
thanks so much C C...drop everything and go there :)
Sharmila said…
Happy anniv K & K! I have wanted to taste nihari at least once ... forever .. am still waiting for a chance. :-)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Thanks Sharmila...come over to Mumbai...our treat... and you won't have to wait till number nine
Moonshine said…
Gallops has been one of our favourite places too!!! That was the place we went out on our first ever date (dreamy eyed look i have on my face now)!!! And thats where we used to take everyone .. whoever came visiting!!!!

Though i heard recently that Gallops shut down and they heve opened Olive there!! Was really sad.

Thank you so much for putting this post up.. now all seems well with the world!!! :)

And Happy anniv :)
Gia Fernandes said…
How come I have to drop everything and go? No invite for me? :(
spice and more said…
That sounds and looks delicious. I hope to be visiting India and Mumbai later this year so will have to start a list of 'places to eat' with this one on it! (I will be writing to ask for more suggestions closer to the date :)).
PNA said…
Anniversary wishes to the both of you....delcious post KK...
Kalyan Karmakar said…
CC: OOOOOOOOPS... we'll always have Infanteria

Moonshine, our first 'big day' after we started dating, K's birthday was celebrated over a luch at Gallops. And our first Valentines too. And our first, er scratch that out, wedding dinner :) Olive is there at the Race Course but at a separate place

PNA... thanks a lot

Spice & MUST...will start planning for you
Anonymous said…
Is it open for non-members?

Gaurav said…

Gallops has been decent for Indian but except for one very memorable working lunch, the conti has always been disaster.

do they still open for breakfast?
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Kaus, yes anyone can walk in

Gaurav, their contintental fare is slightly buttery and starchy and old school. The meats - prawn, pork chops bring them alive. I can quite relate to what you said as I doubt whether they would be good in the light, delicate cooking which romances vegetables the best.

Don't know about breakfast but didn't see a section in the menu
Magical Homes said…
A very happy anniversary to you, even though the wishes do come in a bit belated. was in delhi, at home, and decided to refrain from even touching the laptop leave alone blogging.
k said…
"A dish which I strongly think should be brought out on a cavalcade of elephants accompanied by royal pomp and fanfare." Nothing could have described it better
Kalyan Karmakar said…
M D, thanks so much. Hope you enjoyed the chhutti. I blogged when i was travelling abroad. But that's because I enjoyed it and did it from biz centres. Wouldn't touch my work laptop

K: perhaps like the song in the Hrithik Ash Gowarikar flick