Pancham Puriwala [Fort]

In the bylanes of South Mumbai, many legendary places hide in plain sight. Not that these are not popular, in fact, they are more popular and deserve to be so, than most of the new 21st century eateries. Some have revamped themselves with changing times, some have decided to stay the same, some have fought hard enough but  failed and some have sustained… but what is common for most of these is that they have kept traditions alive…. more so in the way the delicious food is prepared than any other.

Pancham Puriwala is one such legendary eatery in Fort. Famous for the terrific and hearty thali (a full meal, with insane variety, covering all bases – savory main course, dessert(s) and traditional beverages),  this place had been on my list for a really long time.

As the story goes, which most of us have heard time and again, the man who started this legendary place came to Mumbai with dreams in his eyes. He started a Puri vending stall opposite VT (CST) station and his family for generations to come have nurtured it to the famous and iconic eatery that it has become! They place is not hard to find considering people know about it and Google Maps! Though parking space is definitely going to be hard to find! The place is swamped, day or night, weekday or holiday, and why won’t it be? Have you seen the menu and those prices?

We visited here for lunch on a festival day, hoping for less crowd…both on the roads and in the restaurant. While the roads were actually empty (almost), the restaurant was as full as ever. In the 30 mins that we took to finish our meals… the waiting line outside had grown almost exponentially… This kinda made the owner put pressure on everyone sitting to hurry up. The tables here are not meant solely for one group of visitors… if you are two people and are seated at a table meant for four, rest assured, they will fit in another two right next to you! That kinda took by surprise the NRI visitors seated next to  us. But trust me, tables and trivials won’t matter once the delicious food is in front of you!

They have an a la carte menu as well as set thalis of different proportions… choose one depending on your appetite. We selected one Pancham Thali and one Delux Thali.

Here is what came in each thali :

Pancham Thali : 

5
Pancham Thali

6 vegetables/curries : Aloo ki Sabzi, Bhindi Aloo , Chole ki Sabzi , Rajma , Pakodi Kadhi and Paneer ki Sabzi.

3 types of puris : All filled with masala and dal, delicious and not overly oily – Regular masala puri, Palak based masala puri, and Beet Root based masala puri.

Along with these, there was Paneer Pulao, Dahi Bada, Papad, Gulab Jamun and a Glass of Chas.

Delux Thali : 

4
Delux Thali

5 vegetables/curries : Aloo ki Sabzi, Bhindi (mix) , Chole ki Sabzi , Pakodi Kadhi and Paneer ki Sabzi.

3 types of puris : All filled with masala and dal, delicious and not overly oily – Regular masala puri, Palak based masala puri, and Beet Root based masala puri.

Along with these, there was Special rice, Raita, Papad, and Kheer.

Every single curry/sabzi had a marvelous taste.

Aloo ki sabzi was delicious, much like that made in mom’s kitchen, adequately spiced with lots of chilli flakes. Apt to be eaten with rice, puris or even alone! Rajma had a Punjabi style thick gravy with onion and coriander, my favourite! Chole ki sabzi was another delight. Pakodi Kadhi was delicious, not spicy but did not lack in taste either, with the pakoris perfectly soft and having a taste of their own as well! Bhindi Aloo was a tad disappointing compared to the rest of them, a little on the drier side. Paneer ki Sabzi  was a delight with a delicious gravy and soft paneer pieces.

1
Sp. Rice and Paneer Pulao

The Masala Puris were delicious, the masala making them good enough to be eaten alone without any curry. Paneer Pulao had pieces of paneer, beans, and peas and was good. Raita on the other hand (in Delux Thali) was really watery. Dahi Bada had a little more of the sweet chutney, so if you aren’t a fan of that, tell them to skip the tamarind chutney (I couldn’t coz I did not know it would be sweet). Gulab Jamun and Kheer were delicious. Not very sweet and just delicious. Chass was good too and we went for two extras!

We also tried the Gulab Lassi, was was a thick creamy lassi with rose syrup. Delicious, both in taste and aroma. Absolutely loved it!!

2
Gulab Lassi

The Pancham Thali was priced at Rs. 130 (no I did not miss a zero there!) and Delux Thali at Rs. 100. Our total bill came out to be only Rs. 300!! Super value for money, no?

Overall Experience:

Food 🙂

Service 🙂

The Battle: You are kidding right? Try finishing on of these thalis without going… “That’s it, I am done”!!

And finishing that much food with someone waiting behind your back for you to empty the table is a different type of rush altogether.

Pancham Puriwala – Google Maps

Pancham Puriwala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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5 thoughts on “Pancham Puriwala [Fort]

  1. I feel the place here is not up to the mark(overcrowded) but still this type of super pocket frìendly eatery is worth when your friends ask you for treat!..hahahaha😆😉.

    Like

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