I was born in Mumbai, and we moved out when I was only a year old. In the past 15 years, I’ve only visited once and so don’t have many memories of the city. I do, however, know that the people of Mumbai have the unwavering resolve and kindness to welcome a stranger and treat them like an old friend.
Although my dad has been by himself in the complex for over two months, I know he’s not alone. People we don’t know and have never seen or met have extended a helping hand and reached out in every possible way. Some have done grocery runs for him, knowing he doesn’t have a car, and others have picked up his deliveries when he is caught up with work calls.
Many people have also called and messaged mom telling her not to worry and that they are there help. Another large-hearted neighbour who lives a few floors above Papa always asks every other day if he needs anything. One work colleague gave him groceries from their own stock and another lent their car when my mom had to reach the airport late at night when the closure was announced. Mom also reconnected with an old school friend whom she last met 22 years ago, and instantly sent a pile of rotis and food to dad. A very helpful person coordinated and organised the purchase of a vaccum cleaner, and so on. These are just few of the many instances of kindness that the people there have so strongly demonstrated. I’m amazed by the network of support in the community and their innate want to give and share – this complex is truly a microcosm of the spirit and colours of Mumbai.
Most of all I’m so proud of my dad because he’s become an amazing cook! Waiting to try his food soon🙂
This dish in a way is a tribute to the city and is representative of the flavours of Bombay.
1. 250 g chicken breast boneless
2. 1 medium onion
3. 1 medium tomato
4. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
5. 1 whole black cardamom
6. 1 stick cinnamon
7. 2 small bay leaves
8. 2 cloves
9. 1 tsp dhania/coriander powder
10. 1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric
11. 1/2 tsp salt
12. 1/2 tsp chilli powder
13. 1 tsp jeera/cumin
14. 1 tsp keema masala powder
15. 2 tbsp oil + 1 tsp
16. 2 large buns
17. 2 tbsp of butter
18. Garnish-onion, green chillies,fresh coriander, lemon.
1. Mince the chicken at home by hand. Chop the chicken breast into very small pieces in a way that it’s not entirely minced but still a bit chunky.
2. Chop the onions and tomatoes into small pieces.
3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker on medium heat.
4. Add the jeera (cumin), cloves, cinnamon stick, black cardamom and bay leaves and stir for 20 seconds.
5. Add the onions and stir well for 1-2 minutes. Then add the ginger garlic paste and stir for 2-3 minutes till it turns brown
6. Now add the dry masalas, coriander powder, haldi (turmeric), chilli powder, keema powder and salt and stir for another 1 minute.
7. Add the chicken mince and stir well for 6-7 minutes.
8. In the meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan on high heat and add the chopped tomatoes and stir for 4-5 minutes. Then add it to the chicken and mix well.
9. Add 1/4 cup of water and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Reduce heat to low. Either switch off gas after 7-8 minutes or until the first whistle is just about to come. Only open the lid after the whistle has let out steam (approx 15-20 minutes). Check by lifting the whistle with a fork.
10. In the meanwhile, slice the buns into two, heat a pan and add butter. Put the bun face down for 10-15 seconds. It will absorb all the butter and turn a bit brown around the edges.
11. Take a ladle full of keema and put it on the bun. Garnish with some chopped onions, sliced green chilli’s, a bit of chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice on top.
Enjoy this delicious meal remembering Mumbai and it’s lovely people!