5. Blessings and Curses
6. The Alpha Male
7. Goa Magic
Excited to see an eatery of the brand that is synonymous with pickles, I decided to breakfast at Bedekar’s on a Sunday. It’s a good thing I asked how the food is prepared or I might have never learned that it is far from fresh! The poha (which I had gone there for) and their upma (also something I wanted to try) and everything else is packaged and frozen, including the greasy stuff that they defreeze and deep fry in hell knows which oil. Even the khichdi is kept frozen for months and is in no way nutritional or even tasty. Perhaps the Bedekars believe that the crap they’re selling as healthy foods can be preserved like their famous pickles. Not wanting it to be a complete waste of my time, I took a selfie at Bedekar Tasty Foods before walking out, never to return again. RATING: 0/5
As if it isn’t shameful enough that Mumbai has zero exclusively vegan restaurants, its fancy eateries are embarrassing the city with mostly insipid fare that has been disappointing all the vegans. I’m a busy man who works six days a week, has cats to look after, bands that make music, and idiots to argue with on Facebook, so when I visit restaurants (that don’t even serve alcohol) three suburbs away for meals that aren’t cheap, it better be worth my time.
I ate my first vegan pizza at The Village Shop a year and a half after going vegan, and their Vegan Warmer (450/-) wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t make me want to eat it again. I had the best pizzas as a non-vegan at Alfredo’s, and The Village Shop‘s pizza didn’t do much for me.
However, I would go back for their Shiitake Falafel (a really good mushroom burger, 425/-) and The Nutwich (walnut pesto sandwich, 395/-).
The Birdsong Cafe uses cashew cheese too, but is extremely stingy with it. Their Bird Song Marguerite (tomatoes and vegan cheese, 385/-) would have been really something had it been loaded with the cheese. Even those who’ve had the Farmer’s Pizza (it has a lot more toppings) have observed that The Birdsong Cafe is terribly miserly with the stuff that everybody wants more of on their pizzas. But the biggest disappointment was their Almond Pesto Pasta, a dish so bland that I had to leave it midway. When you’re paying five hundred rupees for a pasta, the restaurant should have some vegan cream or vegan butter or vegan whatever the fucking dish needs, yeah? I won’t be going back to The Birdsong Cafe even though their vegan cold coffee is the bomb.
When it comes to being lethargic, Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe takes the fucking shit-cake. It is fucking understood by anyone who has ever eaten a slice of pizza that a pizza without cheese is like bhelpuri without chutney, but Ray’s Pizzeria has the fucking nerve to say things like “It is said that cheese is one of the 12,733,028 pizza toppings, so try our cheese-less pizzas.” And all their vegan pizzas are cheese-less, because these lazy pieces of shit want your money and want to seem cool by having “vegan options” on the menu but don’t want to make an effort to give you vegan cheese. Would Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe have the shit in their ass to convince non-vegans that they don’t need cheese to enjoy a pizza? Because it’s easier and cheaper to steal milk from cows and buffaloes that have been tied to a spot, forcefully impregnated, injected with hormones, separated from their children, and will eventually become another topping on their fucked-up pizzas, right?
So now here’s what any restaurant that wants to offer the vegans a pizza should do:
My band Solar Deity will be performing on Sunday, November 20th at Ahimsa Fest 2016 in Vile Parle West. Come for the tasty cruelty-free food, the cooking demos, movie screenings and of course an hour of Black Metal. Free entry! The event is from 10 am to 10 pm and Solar Deity will perform the unholy ritual from 1 pm to 2 pm.
I HAVE BEEN cooking for over a year now and am on the verge of quitting it completely because it is highly stressful for me and also a fucking waste of my time. I am to be served and fed, not to lose my jet-black hair over how much salt to add. “Add salt to taste” tells me nothing, so I’ve almost always added either too little (that was easily fixed) or too much.
What I’m sharing is a recipe of the most comforting food I’ve eaten: tameta nu shaak. My mother and grandmothers used to make this at least once a week and I’d always shown my appreciation by wolfing it down with several chapatis (rotlis in Gujarati, 13 is my record) slathered with ghee, followed by a bowl of rice with dollops of ghee on it. I would then drink several glasses of cold salted buttermilk.
Ghee is not vegan; I can’t even stand the smell of it anymore and it comes from tortured, enslaved, exploited cows and buffaloes, so don’t eat it. Ghee is also extremely unhealthy as is dairy in general, and just look around at all the “pure vegetarians” sick, fat and crippled by disease caused by their own eating habits. Buttermilk is not vegan either and is a byproduct of animal exploitation, but I still love buttermilk, so I make dairy-free buttermilk (I’ll post the recipe someday) when I’m really in the mood for it.
So here’s how to make this tangy tomato curry:
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a kadhai, add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds and let them crackle. Then add ¼ teaspoon hing (asafoetida) and stir for 30 seconds because you have nothing better to do, and then throw in ½ kg of diced tomatoes, add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder and ½ teaspoon cumin powder. Now add a few small chunks of jaggery, exactly 1 teaspoon of salt (not “to taste”, motherfucker – exactly one teaspoon) and let this whole business simmer for a while. When the tomatoes are soft and the aroma is in the air, you’ll know this shit is ready, but stir it about for a bit if you want to feel important.
There’s no need to top it with sev because there’s no need to make things crunchy and you’re no Tarla Dalal, so shut the fuck up and keep stirring.
Now serve it hot with chapatis or rice to four people or give them the finger and eat it all yourself. Fuck them. You’re vegan and you deserve a tall glass of cold salted vegan masala chhaas with this vegan/vegetarian/Jain/halal/kosher soul food.