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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Guru Kripa in Bombay: the Ultimate Chaat indulgence on the face of this Earth!


Bombay (or Mumbai as it is called today) is a megapolis that is the quintessential microcosm of the rest of India (check out the book Maximum City: Bombay lost and found by Suketu Mehta, if interested) and well and truly, a melting pot of the diverse cultures that constitute the India of today. This is reflected in the ubiquitous dishes that mask this diverse character of Bombay. Take for instance the Bhel-Puri, a potpourri of multiple, salty, fried ingredients with a base of rice krispies, garnished with chopped onions, chilles and tomatoes, and stirred with a combo of hot cilantro and sweet tamarind sauces to deliver an inimitable explosion of sweet, sour and hot flavors onto your salivating palate! Bhel-puri is perhaps, the “Prima Donna” of the Bombay Chaat clan, jostling for attention with the almost equally celebrated Paani-Puri (called Gol-Gappa in Northern India and Fuchka in Eastern India), with Sev Puri, Dahi Batata Puri, Dahi Bhalle and Papri Chaat as the up and coming wanna-be's!

Now that we have gotten the Bombay Chaat primer out of the way, let’s focus on the illustrious and much celebrated establishment, that in my humble opinion, is first among equals as the primo Chaat House in India, and arguably, the world! I am referring to
Guru Kripa Restaurant, in close proximity to Sion Station in Bombay, that to this day, continues its hallowed tradition of serving the finest Bhel-Puri, Paani Puri, Dahi Puris, Dahi Bhalle, Papri Chaat, Ragda Patties, Special Falooda and Gulab Jamun in Bombay, India and possibly, the globe! Guru Kripa, incidentally, is perhaps, the largest Samosa producer in India, delivering one out of every 3 samosas consumed daily by the 20 million inhabitants of Bombay in cinemas, restaurants and school, college and company canteens! The glitterati of Bombay, are known to order samosas for starters from Guru Kripa for home delivery, for their gastronomical orgies!
Why do I keep going back for more?

So what is so special about the Paani-Puri at Guru Kripa? For starters, it is in essence Sindhi style Paani-Puri, with a filling of dry boondis, in sharp contrast to the commonplace filling of potato and chick peas that is served up by the pedestrian Fuchkawallas in Kolkata, or the Golgappa vendors of Delhi, Benares and Chandigarh, or even the iconic Bhelpuri shops in Bombay’s much visited beaches of Juhu and Chowpatty. Second, the puris are crisper and thin-walled, using a secret formula developed by the Sindhi family that founded the place. And lastly, the “paani” - the hot, sour and sweet flavored sauces (base of Cilatro and Tamarind with assorted spices) are made to their secret recipe and chilled, to deliver an implosion of taste in your mouth that delivers sensual gratification for your taste buds!

Seriously, the biggest challenge I have faced at Guru Kripa is telling the server (whose deft hands can hardly be seen cos’ they are moving at lightning speed serving these up to 5-8 clients at the same time) to stop serving up these little round balls of fiery gratification! Ask Amitabh Bacchan, Hema Malini, Dilip Kumar, Aishwarya Rai and Shahrukh Khan – they are regulars and would heartily agree with me! Incidentally, the owners who started with a hole in the wall serving only Paani-Puri, have now expanded their operations and have turned the entire strip mall into a chaat supermarket, that also now serves pizzas, as well as South and North Indian fast food ranging from Dosas to Chole Bhature.
My Favorites:

Besides the Paani Puri, it would be a shame if you stepped out of Guru Kripa without experiencing the spicy indulgence of their Bhelpuri, Dahi-Batata Puri, Sev Puri, Dahi Bhallas and rounding it all up with a dash of their special Falooda and the Gulab Jamun. The Gulab Jamun, by the way, is served piping hot, with an encrusted pistachio in each ball of earthy delight – culinary hedonism at its best!

Go wild and indulge your palate with the best Chaat Bombay, India and the World have to offer, at Guru Kripa – you will have me to thank for the memorable experience that will have you yearning for more, for sure!

The adventure in Mumbai, India, begins at: Gurukripa Restaurant, 40, Sion Circle, Near D.S. School, Sion, Bandra East, Mumbai, 400022. India. Tel # +91 22 - 24074188‎ / 24091589‎ / 24098122. ‎Click here for the Google Map and Directions.

(via e-mail)
Andy, Thx for sharing your blog. My taste buds are tingling ! Take care, IW
Fri 2/16/2007 9:23 AM
Anonymous said (in Hindi)...
Guru, kya baat hai, Bambai shahar ki yaadein taaza ho gayi! Tumhari blog ne mu mein paani la di! Aagli baar Bombay mein mile to saath chalenge Gurukripa mein paani puri khane. Jiyo bidu!:-) Aapka yaar, Sam
February 10, 2007 8:58 PM


Anonymous said...

Guru, kya baat hai, Bambai shahar ki yaadein taaza ho gayi! Tumhari blog ne mu mein paani la di!
Aagli baar Bombay mein mile to saath chalenge Gurukripa mein paani puri khane.Jiyo bidu!:-)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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