lemon


Bade miya, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you? The song hummed in my head as I rushed from work to home to catch my Meru. 5:15, my Nokia phone informed me, as we crossed the Sea Link on my way to South Mumbai. I was on my way to the Regal theater for the Mumbai by Night Tour. But that was still at seven. Maybe, just maybe I could catch a bite at the iconic Bade Miya, a street side stall in Colaba, known for its kebabs. A South Mumbai institution.

“Do you know where Bade Miya is?” I asked the cabbie.

“Behind the Taj,” he replied as he pressed on the accelerator and the robotic woman voice in his cab chanted, “You are going over the speed limit. Slow down.”

Please please please, I hope we make it. We were now stuck in front of the Haji Ali Shrine, inching our way to the beautiful Breach Candy, with its neoclassic architecture. 5:45, my phone clock tells me. Yes, we’ll make it! We’ll scrape through this Mumbai traffic!

I squealed as the cabbie dropped me off and sucked in the charcoal-smoke air. Bade Miya, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you?

An English-speaking vendor tapped me on the shoulder. “What would you like to eat?”

My eyes ogled the full chicken breasts with bones on the skewers. “What’s that one? Which is your bestseller?” I asked in the same breath.

“Chicken tangdi kebab. One hundred thirty rupees.”

“I’m in!” Oh the charcoal smell, the smog, Mumbai I love you! And yes, of course I was starving. I usually eat at five pm.

Chicken seekh kebab

“Take out?”

“No, I’ll eat here.”

He led me to a corner where there were two British tourists, who looked Indian, but it was there first time in India. And sitting in front of me were a young UK couple who were also tourists. We ended up chatting about the local train and places to visit in Mumbai, when my order arrived.

“Waiter, do you have a fork?” He ignored my high maintenance request and handed me a spoon. I took the chicken breasts in my hands. Bite. Chew. Juice. Bade Miya. My my, how can I resist you? I don’t like spice, but all of sudden I fell in love with spice, as I chewed and my nose dripped. Spicy, tangy, juicy, charcoaly. Bade Miya’s tangdi is one of the best kebabs I’ve tasted!

The waiter also slapped this concoction on my table–

I don’t like eating raw onions because it gives me bad breath but I couldn’t resist trying this mix of onions, lemon, chutney and something else. And again, I think I fell in love with spice. This salad of sorts complimented the saltiness of the chicken, and it was spicy, tangy, oniony, savory. It was absolutely delish and worth the bad breath!

The only hitch to my meal was the chicken had blood on its bones so to avoid bacteria, I stayed away from the meat near those bones.

I looked at my phone watch. 6:30 Perhaps I still have time to find a clean bathroom and take photos in Colaba.

Bade Miya just how much I’ve missed you. Yes, I’ve been broken-hearted, blued since the day we parted, why why did I ever let you go? Bade Miya, now I really know, I could never let you go.

Advertisements

Grilled Tilapia from the Philippines

Tilapia is a popular fish in the Philippines. In high school, after our day ended, I would hang out in my best friend Claire’s home. We devoured deep fried tilapia, which we ate with our hands, dipped into a Silver Swan and Datu Puti mixture as we chased away the saltiness with spoonfuls of hot steaming white rice. We never thought of tilapia as health food. It was the food of the common Filipino. It was the fish we grilled on the beach and ate in sidewalk carinderias, which littered the traffic-filled streets of our metropolis.

Imagine my surprise when years later, as I flipped on my TV to watch Oprah, I saw Dr. Oz, Oprah’s sidekick doctor and expert on health and food, tout tilapia as a miracle fish. According to Livestrong.Com, tilapia is rich high quality protein, low in fat and a good source of vitamins.

Louie, a regular contributor to Healthy Eats, would like to share his Lemon Pepper Tilapia recipe! I really wish WordPress had a virtual taste button so I could try these. Perhaps next time I visit, Louie will grill some of these for me and B, and bake us cheesecake :-D.

From Louie's facebook status update on July 14: Todays menu via the garden and friends. Tomato soup (Thanks Sacha) with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (Thanks Simon and Garfunkel). Maple Glazed Lemon Squash (Thanks Sacha), Cucumber/Scallion/carrot Salad, grilled Green Squash / Eggplant Sandwich on fresh Sun dried tomato/Parmigiana cheese bread (Thanks Laurie for my French bread pan, I really like it), and lemon pepper grilled talipia (Thanks fish farmers)

This recipe serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients:
8 tilapia fillets
2 lemons
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fresh dill weed
fresh ground pepper
salt

For the marinade:
Zest and juice 2 lemons. Add the juice to 1 cup of water and the EVOO. Whisk the mixture. Lay the tilapia fillets in a flat pan and add the marinade. Do not cover the pan. Lightly salt and sprinkle dill weed and lemon zest on top of fillets. Grind fresh pepper over fillets. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Grilling:
I use disposable grill covers but fish baskets can be used too.

Lightly oil grill basket and lay fillets on it.

Grill for about six minutes, flip basket, and grill for six more.

Serve and devour! Yum!