Last Time At Samovar at Jehangir Art Gallery
The lovely little café at Jehangir Art Gallery has shut down.Samovar was named after the Kashmiri teapot around whom people huddled together.That's exactly how Samovar was! Warm and comforting and getting people together! This was a café my mother used to take us to when we were kids.She was a journalist and this was close to her place of work.We would enjoy the snacks and then gape at the beautiful paintings at the gallery.
When I read about Samovar shutting down,I knew I had to go there one last time.Rashmi Uday Singh announced on Instagram about meeting up there and I thought that was perfect
Had no idea I would see Usha Khanna,the wonderful lady who started Samovar.She has written a beautiful book called"The Making Of Samovar" in which she describes how the place was inspired by the Parisian cafes she frequented.The book tells you about her struggle to start it and run it,the various famous artists who visited it when they were starting their careers (and continued to do so afterwards) and the wonderful staff that made sure the café was more like a home than a restaurant to all that came there
The menu is based on dishes people yearned for....like rotis from lunchboxes such as kheema roti and alu paratha.The staff contributed dishes such as Goan Fish Curry and Hyderabadi Chicken.
Rashmi Uday Singh' s columns I have followed since she started writing.I met her briefly for the first time at the launch of Made In India cookbook.She arrived at Samovar with a huge balloon for Mrs Usha Khanna.Our table was packed with young bloggers but the surprise of the evening was the cute as a button food blogger Zara Chinoy (six years old)
There were media folks and later I figured out why....they were there to photograph Jaya Bachchan who had come one last time to the café where she and Amitabh used to meet years ago! She very sweetly took our picture!
and Chandni promptly took a selfie! :)
For me that evening the best dish was the Kheema Roti! Simply awesome! The book fortunately has some star recipes such as Roti Kebab Rolls,Jaya's Bengali Pepper Fish,Hema's ,Masale Vangi Bhaat and more!
Samovar was known for its juices such as Guava Juice and Aam Panha,which would have been great for this summer.Mrs Khanna chose those over colas at the café as she did at home for her children,Devieka,Malavika and Siddharth.
What a lovely afternoon that was! Thank you Rashmi Uday Singh! You are an inspiration with your buzzing energy,your thoughtfulness and joie de vivre!
Here's wishing that Samovar starts at a bigger and better place....soon,very soon!!