Since moving to Dubai, we’ve learnt a lot about Indian cuisine and its many nuances and variations, but Maharashtrian food is a new one on us.
It’s the cuisine of the Marathi people, from the Indian state of Maharashtra, which includes the hectic Indian capital Mumbai. If you love Indian street food and demand vegetarian options galore, welcome home.
Where to try it in Dubai? Manisha’s Kitchen in Karama is typical of the homely eateries that this neighbourhood excels in.
Leisurely weekend breakfasts are one of our guilty pleasures and this cosy veg-only cafe is the perfect place to indulge. Its nyahari or morning menu is the perfect lure to gather friends and jump-start your day off. Even if you’re a complete novice who needs a dictionary and a knife and fork, staff are patient and happy to help.
Keen to sample a little of everything, we choose the mini tiffin (AED 18) – a tray filled with smaller portions of poha, sabudana khichadi, misal, bata vada and sweet sheera (semolina). The misal pav is just perfect – sprouted beans in a tangy gravy, topped with shavings of raw red onion, scooped up in a soft bun (pav). Pav pops up again when we try the Indian veggie ‘burger’ vada pav – a deep fried potato pattie squished into a bread bun.
Our friends indulge in a full portion of khichadi (AED 11) – a nostalgic mix of sago and potato just like mum used to make. The small pearls are soft and lightly spiced – like a nourishing and savoury rice pudding.
Four steaming hot pooris breads served with our potato bhaji (AED 12) are thicker than we’re used to, with a hint of spices and soft, waxy chunks of potato. Choose from dry or gravy – either way it’s a filling breakfast.
Luxuriously glossy yoghurt dish shrikhand (AED 14) is flavoured with cardamon and mango. It looks and tastes like a dollop of sugary dreams and is served with more puffy deep-fried bread, because calories don’t count at weekends.
A round of coffees with cardamon, a lemon sarbat, plus a takeaway for later (don’t judge us) and the total bill is AED 134 (including VAT).
Dubai Week dines anonymously unless otherwise stated.