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Lord Krishna’s birthday or Janamashtami, popularly known as Gokulashtami, is celebrated with great fanfare in India, and, Mumbai is no exception. Dahi Handi is the fun aspect of this festival. Food, naturally plays an integral role too, as Lord Krishna was known to have a fetish for milk and milk products, as well as Poha or flattened rice. Malai Peda, Panchamrit, Panjeeri, Lassi, are popular dishes in Northern India for this festival, but Mumbai foodies too celebrate with several dishes like Malpuas, Kesar Peda, Kheer, Shrikhand. To commemorate this special day, one must, therefore, savour some dishes associated with this festival. My top 5 recommendations:
Malpua with Rabdi at Hitchki, Powai
This fun dining place, serves one of the best Malpuas with creamy Rabdi in the city and one must dig into this dessert on Janmashtami. The piping hot, fluffy fennel-flavoured, Malpuas, simply melt-in-the-mouth with a generous dollop of Rabdi on top.
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Kesar Kheer at Delhi Highway, Andheri East
Savour this creamy Indian rice pudding made with reduced milk, a hint of saffron, as you celebrate this festival. A bowl full of this dessert is deeply satisfying but leaves you craving for more.
Pal Payasam at Thangabali, Andheri West
This is a classic dessert made with rice, reduced milk and sugar or jaggery, and is typically eaten in Southern India for Lord Krishna’s birthday. In Mumbai too, you can get to sample a well-made one at Thangabali. The crunchy, golden, fried cashew nuts, further enhance the flavour and texture.
Shrikhand Puri at Soam, Babulnath
Feast on a plate of Shrikhand Puri anytime, but more so on Janmashtami and enjoy that perfect sweet and savoury balance, as your taste buds relish this sweet treat made of Yogurt and crisp fried Puris.
Special Kesar Lassi at Swati Snacks, Tardeo
You can not go through Janmashtami, without gulping a glass of this sweet and thick Kesar Lassi. Thick sweetened Yogurt, laced with saffron or Kesar, imparting a yellowish hue, makes for an appeasing drink and, of course, a delicious and satiating one too, which doubles up as a dessert.