Eating Out in Mumbai – Foodie Memories – Khichdi Samrat


One of my Online Foodie Friends did not upload her customary lunch picture on Social Media today.

When we asked her about what delicious food she was eating for lunch – she said that she was not well so she was eating “Khichdi”.

This reminded me of simple eatery in Mumbai where I used to eat Khichdi.

So – I decided to delve deep into my foodie writing archives and pull out an foodie story I wrote after my first visit to “Khichdi Samrat more than 17 years ago in the year 2000.

This story also features in my Foodie Book APPETITE FOR A STROLL (pp 38 – 40).

I wonder whether this delightful eatery in the heart of Mumbai still exists – and if so – is “Khichdi Samrat” still the same unpretentious eatery – or has it changed and become a highfalutin restaurant.

So – Dear Reader and Fellow Foodie – here is the “memoir” – suitably abridged and revised – for you to savour.

Happy “Eating”…!!!

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:


I Spent Six Best Years of My Life in Mumbai – 6 glorious years from the years 2000 to 2006.

During these 6 best years of my life – I lived in EMPRESS COURT – my all time favourite home – the best house I have ever lived in during my entire life.

I wish I could have had my retirement home in that lovely neighbourhood – or nearby in South Mumbai.

But then – can any honest Naval Officer afford a house in South Mumbai…?

Maybe a Merchant Navy Officer can afford a house in “So Bo” (South Bombay) – but if you have spent your life honestly serving the nation in the “Fauji” Indian Navy – forget about Mumbai – you will not be able to afford a home in the heart of Pune – and you would probably have to settle down in some faraway suburb like Wakad or Baner or Kharadi – or in one of those military veteran “fauji ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi where most retired service officers have settled down.

But – in your mind’s eye – you can always hark back – and relive your “good old days” with nostalgia.

That is what I did this afternoon after relishing the delicious “Dal Khichdi” – I reminisced about my glorious evening “Food Walk” in Mumbai to “Khichdi Samrat”.

Eating Out in Mumbai


Mouthwatering Memories of a Food Walk By Vikram Karve

(This an abridged/revised version of a foodie “memoir” written by me 17 years ago in the year 2000)

I have just had some “Khichdi” – no, not the yummy lip smacking “sabudanya chi khichadi my wife gorges and devours by the plateful whenever she is “fasting” – but the bland Khichdi made of rice and dal that you are given to eat when you are convalescing.

It’s supposed to be light on the stomach – it gives you strength – and it helps you recuperate.

My daughter is ill – hence the Khichdi.

The Khichdi I ate was awful – it was fatless – there was no pure ghee in it – as desired by my darling daughter.

In fact – it was so tasteless and insipid that it brought back nostalgic mouthwatering memories of wholesome Khichdi I had savoured at Khichdi Samrat near Cawasji Patel Tank (CP Tank) in Mumbai.

To reach “Khichdi Samrat” – walk up Kalbadevi Road from Metro – turn left at the Cotton Exchange – walk past Panjrapole towards Bhuleshwar – turn right on VP Road towards CP Tank – and soon – on your right – you will see Khichdi Samrat – an unpretentious down-to-earth eatery.

In fact the restaurant is so humble and modest that make sure you don’t miss it and walk on to CP Tank!

It is a small place – but I always found a seat.

Maybe they send out more parcels than have patrons eating in situ.

You can also walk up from Crawford Market – through Zaveri Bazar – past the Gold Exchange and Mumbadevi Temple – to Cotton Exchange.

Or – you can come down from Bhendi Bazar via Pydhonie down Kalbadevi Road – and turn right at the Cotton Exchange.

In case you live in the western suburbs – take a train – and get down at Charni Road station – climb the overbridge at southern [Churchgate] end – turn left – walk straight down Thakurdwar Road – cross Girgaum (JSS) Road – continue past Vinay Health Home (you’ll be tempted to hop in for a Misal) – turn left at Bhuleshwar on VP Road towards CP tank.

When I used to stay at Churchgate – I used to walk down Marine Drive towards Chowpatty – cross the road near Taraporewala Aquarium – take the lane between Kaivalyadhama Yoga Centre and Savitribai Phule Ladies Hostel – (the lane is called Income Tax Lane) – cross the railway overbridge at the southern end of Charni Road Station on the Western Railway – and walk briskly on to my destination.

Don’t try to drive down – you will go crazy negotiating your way – and besides a brisk walk on a hot and humid Mumbai evening will build up in you a voracious appetite – quite conducive – in fact – sine qua non – for total enjoyment of – and – to do full justice to – the delicious nourishing food you are going to partake of in Khichdi Samrat.

Besides – your march through the crowded gritty bustling streets of Mumbai will prepare you for the gastronomic adventure.

You will be surprised – but the first time I went to “Khichdi Samrat” – one Sunday evening – I did not eat “Khichdi”.

Maybe this was because of my “mental map” associating “Khichdi” as convalescence-food.

Or – maybe because “Dal Bati” was listed on the menu board as a “Sunday Special” – and I was curious to sample this dish which I had never tasted till that day – tasty wheat flour balls in scrumptious dal with plenty of pure ghee – it was indeed delicious and satiating.

But – on my subsequent visits – I tried all the varieties of Khichdi.

There are 10 varieties of Khichdi on the menu – ranging from the bland Plain Khichdi to the Special “Dry Fruit Khichdi”

I have tried all the varieties of Khichdi on the menu – one on each visit – and I especially liked the Masala and Vrindavan Khichdi.

Do embellish your Khichdi with a Papad of your choice – there is an impressive array of 10 types of Papads to choose from – and I particularly liked the Masala Papad.

To my delight – I found the other dishes on the menu like the Methi Malai Mutter, Koftas, Kurmas and Paneer gravies very delicious too – and so is the excellent satisfying Thali with a medley of dishes.

So – if you go there in a group – don’t restrict yourself to Khichdi.

And don’t forget to try different rotis and parathas including those made of maka (corn), bajra and the delicious stuffed versions.

Start off with a jal jeera – have chaas to accompany your meal – and end with a Gulab Jamun or Rabdi.

Or – better still – walk down to “Bhaishankar Gaurishankar” nearby to end your meal with some chilled soothingly-sweet Rasgullas.

The next time you are in the heart of Mumbai – do have some Khichdi at “Khichdi Samrat” – or – if you prefer – have a full-fledged meal  – and do tell us all about it.

And – will some fellow Foodie from Mumbai please tell us whether this delightful eatery still exists and is going strong.

Happy Eating.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised Version of My Foodie Article Written by me Vikram Karve 17 years ago in the year 2000 and Earlier Posted Online in my Blogs by me Vikram Karve at urls:  and  and  etc

1 Comment »

  1. 1
    dr. karthik Says:

    the chitale bandhus is what i recall.the bhakarchi wadi, the pedhas,,,,,
    during my last visit to pune recently i passed through the shop but did not feel like stoppinig the vehicle. just asked the driver how it is doing and rushed through to my school friend`s place after my hurried official work of meeting….eatin…..
    mumbai is a separate paradise for food junkies but do not remember the names my friends took me to.


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