Foodie blues.

December seems to have brought along with it an unlikely guest in the form of Mr. Ockhi. I am  not very sure about his supposed intensity, but where I stay – in Mumbai – Mr. Ockhi has left people wondering if it is, indeed, December – the sorta winter month – or June – the monsoon month!

I know, I should not complain about it.  I am warm and dry within the four walls of my house, enjoying the slight chill that December had failed to get along with it! The pleasant dip in temperatures feels wonderful, and  makes you yearn for, and enjoy, some hot and spicy chow!

And, in Mumbai, which other dish can meet your needs of hot and spicy, other than  pao bhaji?

After batata wada,and bhelpuri/panipuricomes pao bhaji –  the food that Mumbai stands for.  A dish made up of a few veggies(potatoes,tomatoes,green peas, capsicum, etc) mashed to a smooth consistency, topped with a huge dollop of butter and served with soft, hot, buttered bread, called ‘pao’ and garnished with  finely chopped onions and coriander.

The aroma that wafts from an eatery, or even the roadside food stalls that serve the pao bhaji can make your mouth water. So, when it rains, the way it is today, or when there’s a slight nip in the air, all you want to do is head to a nearest food stall or restaurant and have a plateful of this steaming hot, spicy and buttery sin!


Hubby, who happens to be proficient in the kitchen, cooks lip-smacking pao bhaji. So, we do indulge our taste buds and our appetite for the same some times. But, on days when we are too lazy to do the cutting and chopping, we just head to our nearest eatery to have our fill.

However, not every eatery serves the dish using the time-tested formula for preparing it. For, very often, one visits an eatery that ruins their dream dish with a  really unpalatable and inferior version of what they had in mind.

Like the other day, when we visited this new food joint in our neighbourhood that appeared cool and classy, to enjoy our favourite. I did experience a sense of foreboding as I entered the place. And, how my fear came true!

To begin with, when hubby placed the order, the waiter brought only one plate of pao bhaji. Hubby and I looked at the plate and each other and decided to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. “Maybe the second plate is on its way,” we thought, and waited.

Surprisingly, the second plate did not arrive, following which hubby enquired if the order had been heard right – 2 plates of pao bhaji. The waiter realised his gaffe and went into the kitchen to work on the second plate.

In the meanwhile, my amused hubby and I began eating what was served to us. But, to our dismay,  the pao bhaji was anything but! Have you tasted the gravy of, say, chhole, or some North Indian cuisine, that has way too much masala and little else?

That was what lay in front of us. And, the pao was clearly past its ‘use by’ date. It had masala smeared on its insides (as if warmed on a pan which had been used the earlier day for preparing something else) , which made the dish all the more inedible.

Hubby whispered to me to just forget about it and we left our table to pay the bill – for what, I know not!

The lady at the cash counter asked if we hadn’t been satisfied with their food. That was all that was required for hubby to give her a good lecture on the art of cooking  the dish in question.

Do you know what the lady replied at the end?

“Oh, but the other dishes on our menu are, definitely,  much better!”

I am glad hubby didn’t catch that remark!

We just stormed out of the place, located another place to go, have dinner. The appetite for pao bhaji  lost, we decided that the next time we wish to eat out, we would rather stay at home and have our humble dal-chawal. Or, prepare our fav dish on a Sunday.

That’s all from me today, at #FlavoursomeTuesdays.

Joining me today, at #flavoursometuesdays are…

Alana Mautone

Tulika Singh

Sunita Rajwade

Do visit will love their posts!

Do you have any  memories,  sweet and sour, revolving around food? If yes, then do share them with me and Sunita, using the hashtag #FlavoursomeTuesdays, and have fun!



Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

31 thoughts on “Foodie blues.

  1. That sounds terrible. I hate it when they overdo the masala and kill all the inherent flavours of the vegetables. That’s something I love about everyday Maharashtrain cuisine – that it uses fewer spices and lets the flavours shine through. That said, I have to admit I pretty much killed pao bhaji for the kids by putting in every conceivable vegetable in it – everything they would otherwise refuse to eat! Oh and I have a good memory to share – once we were at Mainland China and the maitre d’ suggested a dish which we proceeded to order. However we didn’t like it all and he replaced it with something of our choice free of cost. Isn’t that sweet? Also, I’m happy to have linked up with #FlavoursomeTuesdays this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They did not just overdo the masala, Tulika. They had not added the pao bhai masala at all….there was only garam masala! It tasted terrible!
    Good for you all, you got to eat and enjoy your favourite instead of experimenting! :P..and that too, free of cost! Wow!
    I am so happy you are joining us at flavoursometuesdays this week! Looking forward to reading your post, too!
    Thank you, Tulika!


  3. Aww, what a pity! Bad food leaves a rather more lingering taste than other bad experiences! You ought to have put a review on zomato or something. I always worry about eating out. Stale or unhygienically prepared food are my biggest nightmares. Like you said, simple dal chawal at home sounds better than having to endure such unsavory experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Kala. Literally! For the acidic burps you get after eating the food leaves you feeling miserable long after the food has been digested! 😦
      I liked your idea of putting it up on Zomato…will do it next time and vent out my frustration! 😛


  4. Nothing so disappointing as having your heart set on a favorite dish and a restaurant ruining it. To me, any restaurant that does not take pride in every dish they make should close down. Their other dishes are better? Doubtful. (PS I will correct the error you pointed out tonight. I am sorry!)


    1. True, Roshan. I wish they taste the food they prepare, compare it with the rest and then decide if it should be on the menu! But, their loss, entirely. The roadside food stalls were a lot more crowded than their smartly done up eatery!


  5. You will not believe this, but we had Pao Bhaji for dinner at home. Though we have had this dish innumerable times in various restaurants, but we made it at home for the first time in 20 years of our marriage and it was simply awesome. I am kicking myself for not cooking it all these years!
    Sad that you had a bad experience. I wish people focus on food and its taste in restaurants, after all that is the only reason we are going there!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am not. a Pav bhaji fan but a big vada Pav fanatic. But your description of the dish made my mouth water. We do have these visits to restaurants that dont work out, I had quite a few here in Zurich where I go to a new place and end up being disappointed. But unless we try, we would never know and not discover good places. Its worth taking the risk. Hopefully next time works out well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s the ideal way to look at it, Akshata. Unless we don’t experiment, we won’t know! I am glad we went there that day, and just the two of us. Had we taken our friends/relatives along without knowing the quality, it would have been worse!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love pav bhaji. Have you had it at Sardar Pav bhaji at Tardeo. It was lip smacking delicious. It is a favorite dish of mine. Mum used to make it often at home and now I make it regularly. The kids keep doing farmaish for it. After reading your post, I feel like having it now. Must get the veggies to make it soon. Sorry to hear about your experience. I can not understand why restaurants can’t put in a little effort in their dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rachna, maybe they did not stick to the rules of cooking! 😛
      Every dish has a formula that if you do not follow, you ruin it completely! And, there are people who would much rather focus on the physical appearance of their eatery than on what goes on within the kitchen!


  8. Your post made me hungry…pav bhaji is a dish I love and just like you I have had horrible experiences in few eateries. Would love to join flavoursome Tuesday with you guys…long back I used to run a Tasty Tuesday linky..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ohhnooo how can anyone go wrong with Pao bhajji… They have to terrible terrible cook. So awesome that your hubby can make that at home. Hopefully you will find better joints 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh dear!paobhaji is really quite hard to goof up . These guys must be really BAD.
    As for Ockhi- it sounds really terrible and it completely threw me off course .
    Will try and put up Flavoursome Tuesday post today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank god that Ockhi left without giving much trouble.
      And, yes, those guys who goofed up PAO BHAJI of all the things – very bad!
      Waiting to read your post on FT, Sunita! 🙂 We have two guests with us this week! Ain’t that great?


  11. I am not a foodie and do not mind anything done to the dish as long as it is not too spicy or stale. For me, food does what it has to – satisfy the hunger pangs. But I have a foodie at home in husband who can qualify as a food critic. For him, eating good tasty food is like reaching heaven and bad food is equivalent to burning in hell. I have had the honours of sending him to hell many times since I started out as a reluctant cook who cooked really bad 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry, dear Anamika, but I just couldn’t help laughing at those last lines of your comment! 😛 But, don’t you worry. DId I tell you I am a reluctant cook, too! Hubby tolerates my cooking (fortunately, for me!) and often takes charge of the kitchen on Sundays, thereby making up for the trash he has to put up with on other days! Hehehe…

      Liked by 1 person

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