In praise of the Gujarati thali

Published in The New York Times – All you can eat, all over Mumbai *** The Gujaratis are best known in Mumbai’s culinary scene for thalis, restaurants offering several courses of all-you-can-eat platters of food with a variety of subtle flavors. The restaurants take pride in leaving their customers full; one has a Web site…

Mumbai’s poster boys

It was Haji Abu’s grandfather, and then his father, who passed on their love for Hindi cinema to him. Mr. Abu turned his hobby into his profession, opening the Poster Shop some time in the early 1990s. Twenty or so years later, his tiny shop at Chor Bazaar (91-98704-40970) is crammed with thousands of old…

Everything you want at Crawford Market

It is not easy to imagine this in today’s Mumbai, but it wasn’t long ago that anything considered “foreign goods” was hard to come by in the city’s markets. An exception that continues today is Crawford Market, in South Mumbai, where residents and visitors alike can find Western items like Camay soap, Kraft cheese, Fa…

Visiting a Historic, and Hidden, Area of Mumbai

Khotachiwadi, a historic area of Mumbai, is like Platform 9 3/4 in the Harry Potter series: invisible to all but those who know exactly where it is or are determined to find it. The narrow lane leading into the wadi, or hamlet, does nothing to inspire confidence and, like Harry and his friends, you need…