Afternoon Voice

Simply Saraswat, A Homemakers Restaurant

Simply Saraswat, restaurant in Borivali, Mumbai serving authentic vegetarian Saraswat cuisine, along with innovative fusion varieties of dosas and idlis.

The restaurant which is seven-months-old that offers a cuisine dedicated to the Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin community owned by Mrs. Rashmi Ravindra Ubhayakar, a 54-year-old homemaker who decided to bring out the culinary secrets of her Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin kitchen to the wider world, to widespread acclaim and appreciation from patrons.

Appe, a fluffy avatar of Dosa, priced at Rs. 70

“The Saraswat community hails from the Karwar region of western India. Their antecedents, though, are shrouded in mystery. Much of Saraswat food revolves around fish, coconut and cashewnuts. Coconut is an important ingredient, along with spices like vedgi chillies (which add a dash of red though they are not so pungent), fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds etc. Interestingly, the food is cooked in very little oil.”

Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins (referred to as Bhanaps or Amchis) are a sub-caste of Saraswat Brahmins (believed to have originally lived on the banks of the Saraswati River in Kashmir) settled along the Konkan coast, primarily concentrated in the states of Goa and Karnataka. Their origins are shrouded in mystery, but they are said to have migrated from the north after the mythical Saraswati river dried up.

Kele Phodi, Banana crispies, priced at Rs. 50

For lunchtime and dinnertime meals, there’s a whole range of options — from vegetable preparations of  the cuisine consists of curries and vegetables prepared with fresh coconut, curry leaves, tamarind, mustard, sprouts, pulses (dals). Typical dishes are Batata Song (potatoes cooked with tamarind, onions, garlic, chili powder and turmeric), Kairas (ground coconut base with spices, capsicum, potatoes, tamarind and peanuts), sukke (ground coconut base, spices and a variety of vegetables like potatoes, peas, cauliflower, okra) and ghashees and ambats, both coconut-based gravy dishes.

To cater to your tastebuds, the menu for the thali at Simply Saraswat changes daily, and includes many of these original Amchi dishes not usually found outside a Saraswat kitchen.

Surnoli, Indian pancakes topped with asli desi ghee/makhan, priced at Rs 80

For breakfast, the Bhanaps are known for preparing an extensive range of pollos (dosas), made from a variety of ingredients. Simply Saraswat itself has some 15 varieties of authentic Amchi pollos on offer, including Pan Pollo, Teen Daali Pollo, Bhopla Doddak (Pumpkin Dosa), Surnoli and today’s special items like watermelon pollo etc.

The ambience at Simply Saraswat is homely with Mangalore-tiled roof, traditional stone seating and sketches of coastal Karnataka like Murudeshwara beach and the rath yatra of Chitrapur. The warmth with which the owner attends to patrons completes the feeling of homeliness and tradition.

Nimbu Shikanji, a soothing refreshment drink. Can have with Soda or Plain.

The people’s voice:

“A homely feel is what I got when I entered the place. It’s not jazzed up with decors, no expensive chandeliers, no ear-bursting music, its simple. Staff is quite friendly and polite as well. Food wise, I went in for the tadka mini idlis. Idlis were delicate, with mustard seeds and red chili tadka. The real deal for me were the chutneys! The whole place itself, right from the owners, staff and even the crowd are quite warm and friendly. It’s a perfect place to take your family for a quiet little meal.” says, Neel Indap.

“Simply Saraswat is a pure ethnic delight. It’s a really sweet place to be gives you a homely feeling with the owner explaining you all the dishes and how they’re made. There’s nothing that I can complain about. The place is calm and serene. I had ordered the dosa platter since I’d heard a lot about it, which lived upto my expectations”, said Vidhi Parmar.