|Undhiyu at Soam|
Exploring my greener side
My favourite vegetarian restaurant in Mumbai
Unlike the famous thali places of Mumbai, that serve a mix of Gujarati and Rajasthani vegetarian food with the odd spring roll and butter paneer thrown in, the fare at Soam is offered a la carte. I have never really taken to the thali format of eating where multiple tiny bowls are plonked in front of you and where refills are offered before you can catch your breath. I prefer to have fewer dishes on my table and don’t mind one dish meals actually. Which is why, though thalis have many loyalists, I rarely speak about thali joints myself.
Soam has a winter menu on offer right now and I was keen to try that myself. Folks like Sangeeta Khanna have instilled the desire to eat seasonal in me and I am trying to do so to the extent possible.
|United flavours of food|
With the Bombay Street Food Team
|Undhiyu up close and personal|
We had the most famous Gujarati winter dish
of course, Undhiyu/ oondhia. This is a slow cooked dish made with a number of winter
vegetables such as purple yam, brinjal, plantains, unripe banana, peas and green beans and a dumpling called muthia (ingredients could vary). The final dish looks primarily green in colour in the versions that I have eaten. Core to the flavour of the dish is the oil it is cooked in and spices infused into it. I am told that each part of Gujarat has its own version of undhiyu. The
folks at Soam make the Surti version. They serve it with roti or pooris and
some raita on the side.
I have found that the undhiyus that I have eaten to have varying levels of sweetness (mildly sweet to not sweet at all) and consistency (some more oily than others). At Soam it has a prominent garlic after taste as the winter special green garlic is used in it.
|The joy of rekindling childhood memories through food|
Do you have any favourites among these?
As for me, I miss the fulkopir shingara (samosas stuffed with cauliflower and potato), which were a winter must from the sweet shops of Kolkata when I was a kid.
2. An article on winter foods in the Mumbai Mirror where I was quoted
3. An article in the Economic Times on restaurants and Instagram where I am quoted on how chef Thomas Zachariah of Bombay Canteen's Instagram feed helped create a welcome buzz around ponk when he introduced it in his restaurant