I visited Mumbai for the first time back in 2011 and despite only the one visit, it remains my favorite Indian city. My husband, Arjun’s sister was living there at the time and we took our (then) baby boy, Shiv on his first trip to India to visit Arjun’s family. Mumbai charmed me with its seaside beauty and the incredible range of food. We had totally authentic amazing Chinese food at the Hyatt, quintessential French Crepes at Suzette in Nariman Point, and the most amazing Indian seafood at Mahesh Lunch near Juhu beach. One of my fondest food memories is the lunch we had at the famous Parsi restaurant called Britannia which has been around for decades. Even British royalty have dined there and the sweet owner will show the letter of appreciation sent by Prince William to anyone who will listen. The Parsis are a long time immigrant community in India that originally hails from Iran. They are of the Zoroastrian faith and fled their home country to escape Muslim persecution back in the 8th or 9th century.
One of the dishes that everyone talks about from Britannia is the berry pulao. Basically, meatballs are simmered in a tangy tomato gravy and baked with rice. There are tart little berries called barberries and sweet browned onions distributed throughout the rice. One taste of this magical stuff and I’ve been jonesing for it ever since. But finding a recipe for it is surprisingly hard. The Britannia owners have never revealed how to make this dish and it remains a closely guarded secret.
I first attempted the recipe back in December and was pretty happy with the result. I’ve made a few tweaks and subbed out the white rice for cauliflower rice (a cinch to make in the food processor) and now this mouth watering recipe is Whole30 compliant. The best part is by adding the cauliflower rice it basically becomes a one pot meal. If you would prefer rice, please feel free to substitute it. Also if you can’t get your hands on barberries (I found mine at a middle eastern grocer) cranberries are a fine substitute. Chaat masala is a delicious blend of tangy spices like dried mango powder and black salt. It is easily available at any Indian grocer or even online. Garam masala is easily made at home which I prefer over the store bought.
My Whole 30 ends next week but I think I will continue to make this dish with the cauliflower rice. Seriously, it is so so good. Give it a whirl and see if it doesn’t convert you too.