Belagavi wakes up to Bohri cuisine

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Belagavi is a mini-melting pot of different cultures across the world, where Maharashtrian and north Karnataka food is spiced with and Goan and Karwari delicacies, but the real foodies would know that our city has many more influences which have over years brought delight to the taste buds of those who love to experiment with their palate.

Belagavi has welcomed every cuisine with open hearts and healthy appetites. We have never been disappointed though and today we are blessed with Irani, Parsi, Savji and many more. But one cuisine which was always there but not in the plates of common citizens is the elusive Bohri food. Yes, you heard it right, the Bohri cuisine, the authentic Gujarati non-veg food is in town, and looks like it’s going to be a ball.

The Bohri’s have traveled a long way from Yemen, grueling through the middle east, the Arabian Peninsula and the beautiful heaven of Gujarat , but what they have ensured is that they have picked up the best of spices and the most delicious recipes on every pit stop moving further south into India. Bohri or Bohra cuisine is mainly nonvegetarian but they do plenty of justice for lentils.

A few years ago, there was hardly any chance of sinking your teeth into a Dabba Ghost or slurp on Mutton Khicada unless you could wangle an invitation to a Bohri friend’s place. With the Bohris being a close-knit group, their culinary delights did not reach far and wide, until recently. Earlier, people had no idea from where they could get Bohri food. Now, the scenario has changed with Zahabia’s Kitchen, 134, High Street Camp, Belagavi, which is now serving authentic Bohri food.

Zahabia Barafwala working in the kitchen
Zahabia Barafwala working in the kitchen

Rolls, Kebabs, Baida roti, rich Haleem and khichda, chilled firnis and, of course some great desserts are delights one can indulge in here.

Zahabia Barafwala, has been cooking for over 18 years Bohri cuisine and many would have indulged on the Raan or the Mutton Patveli at the Food Festival. All the year round she used to make on order a few dishes but with the growing demand from the foodies now she has opened Zahabia’s Kitchen, which also has dine in.

Zahabia’s KitchenZahabia’s Kitchen

Bohris are Trading community who came to Belagavi in the British era, but who finally settled here and spread their influence on not only the trade and commerce but also the culinary landscape.

Their way of handling lamb is old school, where the meat is simmered over a long period to reach a stage where it is soft and juicy with the masalas it was cooked in.

Zahabia’s Kitchen

Mutton Khichda is a specialty — made of delicious, slow-cooked meat and lentils and garnished with thin slices of garlic, birasta (fried onion), mint leaves, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon.

When you’re here, reserve your appetite for Dabba Gosht, Mutton Lagan Sheekh, Mutton Patveli, Mutton Harabhara Kheema, Chicken Baida Roti, Mutton Khicada, Mutton Haleem, Biryani Lucknowi style, kebabs, Boti, Bheja fry, Bohri-roasted raan, nibble on cream tikka, or scoop up a fiery red mutton with a Ghee-laden Gakhar and other skewered fare, hot off the sigdi. These dishes must be had steaming hot, with dollops of tangy mint chutney, onion, and mint leaves.

After such a feast those taste buds need some cooling down with some amazing desserts such as Creamy n crunchy Watermelon, Tender coconut delight, Soufflés and Frini’s.

Address: 134, High Street near Canara Bank Camp, Belagavi Contact: 9663218558

With inputs from Dr.Madhav Prabhu 

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