Anjali, down from London for a day, had a simple (practically one word) request – galauti. Since we were already at Phoenix, there seemed no excuse to avoid the temptations of Punjab Grill.
As Indian food of any kind goes, this is my top choice in Mumbai. Indian Harvest held my favour for a while, but they closed their doors a few months ago so Punjab Grill is back on top. To Anjali’s worries – of course it does a mean galauti, except that they call it kham khatai (an interesting choice of name, because kham khatai is usually veg – and often called veg galauti). A short wait was rewarded with the requisite mini paratha holding up an ultrasoft mutton patty, a sprig of mint and a single onion ring; the whole thing a perfect bite awaiting only a squirt of lemon.
My favourite on the menu full of great kababs is, however, a vegetarian one – the tandoori bharwan gucchi. In Mumbai, as far as I know, only the Punjab Grill offers gucchi – the very exotic morel – rather than common button mushroom. And the morel is a magnificent mushroom that Punjab Grill tandoors magnificently. They do other magic with morels too – a delectable gucchi masala and a very nice gucchi biriyani, but this is my favourite. Its hard to describe a morel experience – you just have to step into one. While not carrying the ubermystique of a truffle, the morel is still highly prized. Its never been cultivated successfully, so all morels are wild morels – making them very hard to find where they do not grow. In Mr. Kalra’s hands, Punjab Grill’s morels come stuffed with khoya, coated with a dahi marinade and tandoored to perfectly charred edges and assorted droolworthy perfection.
I did promise a second meat – and that came in the form of our lamb chop. Nice, but not the star of the show. No picture for you.