The Mumbai Real Food Guide

The Mumbai Real Food Guide


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This post is re-blogged from Feb 2013
I get a lot of email with questions on where to buy grass fed dairy, raw milk, good source of honey, free-range chicken and desi eggs amongst other things in Mumbai I still don’t have all the answers but I plan to keep updating this post as I go along.

In the US after decades of the super market culture and Monsanto, those who have broken free of industrialization of their food are now exploring local farmers markets. They have the luxury of knowing where everything on their dining table comes from. They know how their beef has been fed, how their vegetables have been grown, and whether what they’re eating is really organic or not if they choose to. They have access to some of the best foods (for a price of course) if they so wish.

In India, after decades of being largely organic and natural, we’re now going the other way. Milk in tetra packs and packaged yoghurt are considered healthier than the doodhwala with his milk with rich malai or home made dahi. The packaging looks exotic and the words ‘enriched’ and ‘fortified’ lures consumers into buying. We’re not really asking a lot of questions yet.

Well, I’m asking some questions and I‘ve unearthed a few gems. After all when my infant son does begin to eat, I’d rather feed him food sans chemicals. And yes we could all do with some good real food.

Food Products

Coconut oil: Conscious foods – Stocked at Natures Basket.
Health First cold pressed coconut oil – Stocked at Natures basket.
Maxcare Virgin coconut oil.

Honey – Conscious Food – has a great honey from collected from bees from the Harde plant. You can buy it directly from them or at Nature’s Basket.
Under the Mango tree – is another awesome resource and they deliver right to your doorstep. Fair trade, organic honey without added sugar, farm to table. What more can you ask for? Stocked at Westside Gourmet store and Nature’s Basket.

Dairy:

Milk:
Sita Ram Dairy: Raw bufffalo’s milk, mainly grass fed buffalos and cows. Look out for your local dairy that supplies raw milk and the milk man comes home like in the good old days.
Sarda farms: Raw milk in hygienic conditions directly from farm to home but the cows are grain fed.

CheeseLa Ferme cheese is made in Pondicherry and get their milk from local grass fed cows. They’ve got Parmesan, Gruyere, Gowda, Cheddar, Ricotta etc. They have a distributor in Mumbai, who promptly sends cheese within city limits on the same day and take cash on delivery.
Contact: Samskara Wellness: 24952270 or email customerservice@samskarawellness.com
Cheese Collective: Homemade goats chevre made from Nannies goats milk. Call Mansi Jasani on 9820331841. They have a salted or fruit version and takes a few days to make as she makes a fresh batch per order.

 
Ghee: Parsi dairy has very good cow ghee with a strict quality control on the cows where they source milk. You can buy their products at Nature’s Basket and of course at their very own outlets.
If you live in Delhi you’re in luck. Our very own Desi cow is nearly extinct due to cross breeding by the government. Sustainable Pathways is an NGO dedicated to promoting a Farm to table concept. They supply pure desi ghee directly from a farmer’s home (hand made by the womenfolk) to the highly adulterated and toxic urban tables of Delhi. I’ve spoken to the people behind this initiative and rest assured they are an extremely passionate bunch. Currently, they’re trying to figure out how to supply this ghee to Mumbai but as of now if you’re in Delhi, call Sanjay Bhalla on 9811032815 or 9810635333’

Cream Once again I am partial to parsi dairy as the cream is sold in plastic packets and spoils in two days in the fridge as compared to tetra packs where cream stays good forever.

Vegetables:

Hari Bhari Tokri the blossoming green basket scheme is a scheme by MOFCA, Mumbai Organic Farmers and Consumers Association and is your weekly supply of fresh local produce sourced from local farms within 200 km radius from Mumbai. You partner with the farmers in the beginning of a harvest season so that they know in advance how much you plant. By having a predetermined number of consumers to grow for, partnered farmers will be able to better plan their growing cycle and as a “partnering consumer”, you are assured of quality and, without intermediaries at reasonable predetermined prices. They aim to promote sustainable farming methods.
Fresh, organic, local produce, right at your doorstep straight from the farm! What more could a city mom want?
Contact Ubai Hussain at ubai.husein@gmail.com

The Farmer’s Market: A seasonal coming together of all organic produce vendors. The Farmer’s market is usually on from October to March and is not running during the summer and monsoon seasons.

Poultry

Free range Eggs and Chicken – Noorani egg center – Crawford market – 022 23439141. Any local supplier of desi chicken and eggs is probably your best bet.

Keggs eggs : Stocked at Natures Basket and other local shops. Though expensive these are what I give my toddler as they seem to a better bet than the ones I get locally.

Colaba Chicken and Mutton Center: Desi chicken and eggs. So I asked around in the area I stay and I now get desi eggs from this place. They’re tiny, flavourful, delicious and the yolk is like bright sunshine. They’re around Rs. 120 for a dozen eggs, more expensive than my previous supplier. I would suggest you look around in your locality for a supplier of desi chicken and eggs. (hint: most chicken centers will have it). The suppliers in Parel are the middlemen who get the eggs from the farmers and supply to various centers in the city.
Phone: 022-22021390, 022-22835257

I hope you’ve found this post useful. Do let me know in the comments if I’ve missed some of your favourite foods and do keep a look out for updates. Thanks for reading.