Flatiron Wishlist: Mumbai Puts Me in the Mood for Dal Tadka

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

We are in trouble. As the regular readers already know, I love Indian food (and Pakistani and Bangladeshi and Nepalese…really, anything from that region of the world.) The problem is that over Thanksgiving I visited India!!! And as crazy as it seems, I am now more obsessed with Indian food. In the past, I tried to limit my Curry Hill posts to once a month, but it will be hard moving forward after eating Indian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 9 days. Did you know that dosas make an amazing breakfast?

After browsing an antique shop in the Colaba section of Mumbai, I asked the sales person where she would get lunch. She recommended Sahakari Bhandar, which she described as fast, fresh and hygienic (her word, not mine). All good things when looking for lunch in India. It turns out that the restaurant shares the name and is next door to a cooperative retail shop with fresh groceries. I took photos of the menu out of habit (Zach Brooks has trained me well), but I won’t bore you with those since the menu was about 10 pages long.

An order of paneer pakoda (battered and fried cheese) included about 10 pieces for only ₹68 rupees (or $1.10) and was a great starter for the meal. That works out to about $.10 per piece of cheese!

For main dishes, the dal tadka was an amazing preparation of lentils with spices fried in oil for about $1.14 at ₹70 rupees. (On the way back from the airport, I started to use the find-a-dish-feature on menupages to see who serves this dish locally – and several Flatiron based restaurants offer it!) The mixed veg curry (₹68 rupees) was so obviously delicious that two French female tourists at the next table asked the waiter to identify the dish on the menu for them.

Add in the most flavorful butter naan I have ever had, a roti, a masala tea and a massive bottle of water and the whole meal was about $7 for two people (with plenty of food to spare). It was such a killer meal that I went back two days later with another friend who was also in Mumbai.

And out of habit…

Sahakari Bhandar, opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba, Mumbai, 400 039

Now to find that dal tadka here in the Flatiron…


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