Ravenous, I walked the hubbub of Bombay’s streets
Looking for a late night bite to eat
Sights, sounds, smells assaulting my senses
A throbbing indication of the city’s lures and romances

Through the smoke, I saw a shimmering light
For a hungry man, a wondrous sight
A streetside kebab vendor preparing his wares
Hoping the likes of me he could ensnare

Chicken, mutton, prawns and fish
Each, spiced and marinated to make a tasty dish
Drumsticks, wings, patties, chunks and mince
And body parts which would make you wince

Gurda, kapoora, khiri and bheja
Not for the squeamish, you need kaleja
With dahi and a hundred different masalas
Lovingly applied by the tandoor-wala

There was seekh, shami, silky reshmi, pasanda, pahari,
Chaapli, Afghani, malai, kakori, hariyali and spicy achari
Bhatti, tangdi, garlicky lasooni, gingery adraki, and Bihari
Sikandari, sutli, kalmi, kastoori methi and peppery kaali miri

Shikhampuri, tikka, chunks of burra, melt-in-the-mouth galouti
Angaarey, tundey, sholay, dora, smoked dhuandar and fiery red boti
Accompanied by chatpata chutney, pyaaz, lime and roti
My tummy was growling, taste buds were going naughty

Ajwaini, saunfiyan, badaami, kathi, hearty Patiala and Jalandhari
Banjara, Nargisi, patthar, chandni, paankhudi and makhmali
Meat met marinade for a burst of flavour
Every bite, a delicious bite to savour

Lahore & Amritsar, Lucknow & Hyderabad shared a platter
Complemented by chilled lemonade and friendly chatter
Mild Irani chelo and Turkish doner
Hung out together on a busy street corner

Then, as I stood there oglin’ and salivatin’
Realisation dawned, I’d turned vegetarian
My options were spinachy hara bhara or cheesy paneer
And so my appetite remained but I lost my good cheer

I stared at the aloo, broccoli, simla mirch and mushroom
The khoya khubani and coconut led my food lust to doom
Wilting like yesterday’s leftover mint & coriander
I walked on forlornly, chased by insatiable hunger


This one linked below will go well with the eats, I guarantee you that! Cheers!!

seekh = also called sheesh or shashlik, is meat cooked on a skewer
gurda = kidneys

kapoora = testicles
khiri = udders
bheja = brain
kaleja = liver
dahi = yoghurt

masalas = spices
tandoor-wala = the man tending to a traditional mud oven
achari = pickled
chaapli = beaten flat, like a slipper
malai = cream
hariyali = green
pahari = rustic, from the hills
bhatti = oven cooked

tangdi = whole leg of chicken, on-the-bone
sutli/dora = tied with a string
kastoori methi = fenugreek
kaali miri = black pepper
burra = typically, beef
angaarey/sholay = charred on a flame

boti = finger-sizedΒ 

chatpata = spicy
pyaaz = onion

roti = chapati/naan
ajwaini = flavoured with caraway seed
saunfiyaan = fennel flavoured
badaami = almond flavoured
patthar = cooked on a hot stone
chandni = with edible silver foil
makhmali = velvety
hara bhara = stuffed greens, typically peas & spinach
aloo = potato
simla mirch = capsicum
khoya khubani = made of raw banana, curd & apricot



  1. hahaha, dikra tu toh mast non-vegeterian dishes just kept pouring from your poem, Kunal but I liked the best when you turned into a vegeterian. Badhi maja phoos thai gayi. Hahahaha too good, you made me laugh. For sure waiting for Whisky. ne pachi kiskhi.

    Liked by 2 people


  2. Kunal, do you remember our midnight sojourn to khau Gali badhe miyan for the meaty treats during our college days? Some where in colaba. These verses bring back that memory. Please Keep posting . Love your work.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. This is foodgasm ! Super one ! Am salivating and I just already had dinner ! To have read this on the night before Eid , feels like I missed out on the Iftaar treats this year . Thank you for this vicarious tour and my sympathies to your tummy for missing out on these ! I hope your ghaas poos is doing you good .

    Liked by 1 person


      1. Nope! So I’ve been thinking about it and then I was stuck behind this chicken truck – y’know the ones they use to transport them, with cages and all – at a traffic light and I couldn’t look the birds in the eye. That was the trigger. I’m like 90% there, there are days when I fall back and there are days I travel, so…

        Liked by 1 person

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