Lagan Nu Bhonu at SodaBottleOpenerWala

Every wedding in any region of India is an occasion celebrated with utmost zeal and passion. We all have a fair idea of how weddings are in the north and south but little we know about a Parsi wedding. A decent Parsi boy’s matrimonial ad says ‘With a large home in Baug, seeks a decent Parsi girl from a good family. Girl must know at least 15 edu preparations. No vices must drink alcohol.’ Well all pun intended, but Parsis like to keep it simple yet sumptuous when it comes to their Lagan Nu Bhonu or Shaadi ki Thali. To introduce this feast to us SodaBottleOpenerWala celebrated its three glorious years with a month long wedding food festival. 

The restaurant already has a very homely and cosy vibe to it but with the festival on they treated each diner as a guest at a wedding. Everyone is firstly served a Pallonji Soda which is raspberry flavoured soda. As authentic the bottle is so is its taste. Very few actually have the palate for its pungent taste but the parsis love it. Then you can choose from Vegetarian Bhonu or Non Vegetarian Bhonu. Each of these curated thali has 12 items. We tasted both so will take you through each its delightful preparations. 

The Vegetarian Bhonu was my absolute favourite. Such simple and classic dishes; it was such a comforting meal. To start with the Papeta Anjeer na Cutlis; a simple potato cutlet stuffed with coconut chutney and dry figs, deep fried with a bread crumb coating to give it a crisp exterior and a soft-sweet centre. Then for condiments a Kachumbar which is a simple mixture of cucumber, onions and tomato cut in cubes and tossed in lemon juice, a Vengana nu Achar and Lagan Nu Achar. Former is an eggplant pickle with a strong hit of garlic and spices, the later one is a sweet and tangy pickle. They also serve Saria Papad which are crisps made of rice and sprinkled with some paprika. Now for the absolute show stoppers, Masala ni Daar; a comforting combination of three dals and veggies like brinjal, potato, mint leaves, ginger and garlic made into a fine paste and added in the dal. I could easily have 2-3 servings of this with soft Rotlis or roti. Next, a subtle and tangy preparation of pumpkin and broad beans known as Kora Papri no Patio. They also serve a Vegetable Pulao which has some very earthy flavours with a Badami Papeta ne Paneer which is chunks of paneer and potato in rich almond gravy, the sweetness and the nuttiness of almonds make it for a very hearty dish. Oh my god just writing about this is making me relive the meal and drool all over again! 

 In the Non-Vegetarian Bhonu a few items like the 2 pickles, rotli, kachumbar, papad and dal are the same. They serve a mouth-watering Chicken Pulao with Gos no Sas which is mutton simmered in almond gravy. Two additions to this Bhonu are Macchi no Cutlet and Chutney Edda na Pattice. The first one, Rawas fish fried and then mixed with spices, coriander, salt and roux to make round patties, then dipped in beaten egg, coated with bread crumbs and fried till golden brown. Chutney Edda na Pattice is a boiled egg coated with a potato mixture with coconut chutney. The variety of dishes and tastes that will touch your palate while binging on this feast cannot be explained with any count of words. 

For those with a sweet tooth, you get a strawberry mousse in a kanchi ka glass which has a very balanced flavour and is not too sweet. Also, a piece of plum cake with a strong brandy sauce.

The meals are served in a traditional thali lined with a banana leaf. Each dish compliments the other and the thali depicts a perfect balance of textures and tastes. This rarely happens to me but the vegetarian bhonu was my favourite this time. 

It’s simply Bon Appetit or rather I should say Bhonu Appetit! 

Review By : Ritika Dhawan for Foodmaniacs
Compiled By : Vickrham (vicky) 
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