It’s early 20th century. British India. Victorian architecture peppers the streets. A buzzing metropolis is flourishing. This is Bombay. City of dreams. Starry eyed folk from all over India flock to this melting pot to try to earn their fortunes. They bring with them their culture, their language and of course, their food. Street grills, cafes and roadside eateries spring up and line the by-lanes of Bombay.
Dock workers, unassuming underworld gangsters and budding actors arrive to be fed. Mid-rich Hindi songs blast out of crackly transistor radios as diners are served. In south Bombay, one of the oldest parts of the city, an imposing Victorian building stands proud; Crawford market - the wholesale bazaar. A stone’s throw away, smoky open air grills, carnivorous street stalls and roadside dhabas make this area home to what will become one of the most popular eat streets, or khao gallis of Bombay.
Bhendi Bazaar is a salute to the khao gallis of Bombay. To the artisanal way of cooking. Fresh ingredients, cooking from scratch, with care, hands, heart. It was born of two of my biggest passions; good food, and all things Bombay. Having an Indian heritage, I was lucky enough to grow up with great traditional home cooking. Returning home from school to be greeted by the aroma of slow cooked mutton and freshly baked rotis prepared by my mother. I want to share those memories. In a time of quick fix ‘curries’ and jars of sauce, I want to bring back the proper way of cooking Indian food, the way it is meant to be. The way it is in India; fresh ingredients and perfectly balanced spices. Authenticity is an attitude.
For me,foodis neverjustfood.I seeit asstorytelling.
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We source our whole spices from an independent, family run, British spice mill who import directly from India, paying Indian farmers a fair wage. As chillies are so central to our blends, we bring in the finest Byadgi and Kashmiri chillies directly from a long established, family run place in the age-old Mirchi Galli (chilli lane) in Bombay, just beyond Crawford Market. Our spice blends are 100% natural ingredients with no added preservatives or colouring. Each blend comes with a recipe to follow and the core blends (I prefer not to call them curry kits), contain a separate pack of our freshly ground Garam Masala; the finishing spice, to be added towards the end in line with traditional Indian cooking. Whole spices are carefully selected by hand, roasted, ground and packed immediately in our family kitchen, here, in the heart of Yorkshire.
About The Bazaar
Bhendi Bazaar is a salute to the khao gallis of Bombay. To the artisanal way of cooking. Fresh ingredients, cooking from scratch, with care, hands, heart. It was born of two of my biggest passions; good food, and all things Bombay.