TACO TIME: Kali Mirch Chicken Taco @ The Bombay Canteen
I apologise in advance for this. I know most of my readers will not be able to hop the next freighter to India to try this extraordinary taco, but it's worth celebrating the fact that our treasured national dish has reached such far away shores and is being honored in a sophisticated and loving way. And with a sense of humor.
Chef Thomas Zacharias, of Mumbai's hip Modern Indian spot The Bombay Canteen, studied at the CIA and lived in New York for 3 years. He confesses not to have visited Mexico as of yet but got to know our cooking in the best New York venues. He explained to me, on my recent visit that “We don’t have good Indian restaurants in India that pay tribute to the diversity of cuisine in this country. I have traveled to at least 25 different food cities and regions. There’s incredible food you only find in people’s homes. So we wanted to showcase the diversity and nuances of our food. But we also thought, 'let’s have a little fun'. So we do things like Indian “tacos” that are playful but still have context.”
Lucknowi Kali Mirch Chicken Taco is the most recent manifestation of this love letter to Mexican gastronomy. "We wanted to have a little fun so we thought why not do our version of tacos; the "tortilla" is a very typical gujarati bread called tekla made with garbanzo flour and fenugreek leaves. This filling, "Lucknowi kali mirch" means spicy black pepper chicken from the city of Lucknow. It's topped with spinach chutney and potato parmentier.
The Bombay Canteen
Unit-1, Process House, S.B. Road, Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office, Lower Parel, Mumbai, India
Note: For those who read Spanish, see my article on eating in Bombay in Food & Wine