Village, The Soul Of India, Mulund (West)

Village, The Soul Of India, on the first floor of the Nirmal Lifestyle Mall seemed to invite us every time we visited the mall. With a number of people going in and out, this place always looked happening in the otherwise quiet mall.
Intrigued by the charming entrance and the name, we decided to pop in for lunch.
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The  manager gave a heart-warming welcome and escorted us to our seats. The staff are dressed in traditional Gujarati wear.
You are greeted with a welcome drink as soon as you enter.

Ambience – The place is spacious and can easily accommodate around 100 people at a time.
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The name is apt for the literally village-like setting… decorated trees, bicycle, etc.
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The jail themed seating –
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Food – Veggies delight! They serve Chinese, Gujarati, Punjabi, South Indian and Maharashtrian food.
They also have couple of Chaat or street food counters and a counter serving desserts. Starters are served at your seat. Main course is buffet system.
I specially  loved the marble-sized Potato Vadas.
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The Punjabi Counter:
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The neighboring Roti Counter serves Chapatis, Puris, Phulkas and Puranpolis. Puranpoli straight out of the pan and served with a stream of Ghee (clarified butter)  is super-delectable and a must-have. I crave to go back here for just that.

Other Attractions – Crushed and flavored ice or Gola is unique. Although, it wasn’t as good as expected.
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The Bangle Counter – Ladies, rejoice! Customized bangles made right in front of your eyes. I got one for me with my name etched on it.  The guy hails from Jaipur and has inherited this business from his forefathers. He also caters to various functions and parties and charges on an hourly basis.
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There’s also a Puppet Show, traditional dance and DJ playing songs on demand.

Plus Points – Full marks to the ambience. The place is full of energy and entertainment. Worth spending time with family and friends, perfect for all age groups. We went for lunch and landed up spending two whole hours. They organize birthday parties and other functions on request.
Service is superb. Staff is friendly.

Minus Points – very few. Food is average.

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Raw Banana – South Indian Style

I am a great fan of banana in all its varieties, specially the yellow skinned (elaichi) ones. This is one humble fruit that’s perennial and there to serve you at all times of the year. Its loaded with nutrition and pack a good energy punch.
If you think bananas are just for monkeys, think again. Reasons – Bananas combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. They can cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes. Topping it all, its a blessing for insomniacs like me.

Raw bananas serve as a good starter when deep fried as chips. This time I thought why not make it as a part of the main-course. Foodies with a sweet n sour tooth will enjoy this one.

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Ingredients:

  • Raw bananas – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Corriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger paste – 11/2 tbsps
  • Garlic paste – 2 tbsps
  • Tamarind pulp – 1 tbsp
  • Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Curry leaves – 10
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Oil – 5 -6 tbsps

Method:

1. Peel and cut thick round slices of raw bananas. You can also cut bananas vertically to make long slices
2. Put them in a bowl, add salt, turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tbsp ginger paste and mix well.
3. Heat 3 tbsps oil in a non stick pan or a wok, add the bananas slices and saute
4. Chop onion and tomato.
5. Heat 2 tbsps oil in the same pan. Add fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves and onion and saute
6. Add remaining ginger paste, garlic paste and tomato and mix
7. Sprinkle little water, cover and cook on medium flame
8. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder and mix. Add ½ cup water and salt and mix well
9. Add the sauteed bananas slices, tamarind paste and mix gently. Reduce heat, add a little more water, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes
10. Garnish with corriander

P.S. : Skip the tamarind paste if you want it less sour.
When served hot, its a great companion for chapatis, rotis or appams. Infact, I also loved it just like that even when it was cold.
The sweet-sour flavours of the banana are irresistible at all temperatures 🙂

 

Shiv Sagar Restaurant, Juhu

Shiv Sagar is every veggie’s delight. The location of this restaurant is what makes you come here for more. It is bang opposite the famous Juhu beach.
I’ve been a regular at Shiv Sagar since more than a decade and I still enjoy the same routine – fill my tummy with the veg delicacies served here followed by a mighty walk at the Juhu beach.

They have a vast menu comprising of South Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Continental and Italian and an array of juices and desserts. Shiv Sagar’s “Pav bhaji” is the famous of all. Its a legend. Even chaats, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas and pastas are all there.

You will always find the place crowded. But their quick service ensures you aren’t kept waiting for more than 10 minutes. The ambience is warm and seating accommodates from a couple to a family of six or more.
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My every order has to have the legendary Pav-bhaji in it. I’ve also tasted the Butter Idli with sweet dahi, i.e, curds and I absolutely loved it. I also love their Cheese Masala Dosa, Tawa Pulao. For drinks, I always go for Cold Coffee or Strawberry Milk Shake. Sweet Lime Soda is very refreshing.

During this visit, I decided to cheat the Indian menu with the Mexican. So this time it was Mushroom Beans Enchiladas and Spinach Lasagna. I ordered them one after the other. Reason – This was the first time I tried something different in this restaurant. So I wanted to take my own sweet time to savour each of them.
First came the Mushroom Beans Enchiladas which had a tangy flavour. It is pieces of tortillas with mushrooms, beans, sweet corn topped with three different cheeses and served with salsa dip.
shivsagar6Spinach lasagna is again a cheesy delight. Soft wanton coated with 3 cheeses and a mixture of spinach and paneer i.e., cottage cheese in white sauce underneath. I absolutely loved it. Every bite was sinful!
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The pictures are mouth-watering, aren’t they? So were the dishes. I absolutely nailed it with my new order. Finger-licking good!!!
As usual, there was a desperate need for a walk on the beach after this yummilicious meal.

Cafe Bean Garu, Powai

Weekends for me are all about treating my taste-buds with a new fare each time. This weekend it was Cafe Bean Garu in Hiranandani, Powai. This place is on the first floor above Haiko supermarket.
The cafe is in an open space and close to the elevator. So do not expect too much from the ambience. Around 12 tables provide the seating. We were the last ones to order, yet the staff were more than pleasing to serve.

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For a South Indian food fanatic, this place doesn’t disappoint. The menu is South Indian with a contemporary touch to it. We ordered for a Pesto Cheese Dosa, Mushroom Biryani, Cold filter coffee and the traditional hot Andhra filter coffee. I loved all of it. The mushroom biryani bowled me over.
A meal for two would amount to anywhere around Rs. 500/- so it doesn’t hurt the pocket at all.

If I am in the mood of savouring the South Indian food with a Continental twist, I am sure to visit this place again !