Some very interesting dishes have come out of the club culture in India that is a hand-me-down of our British imperialist past. Many clubs are a pale shadow of their former glorious past. Many now have outside caterers managing their restaurants, but there was a time when clubs had a big influence on how cuisine evolved in India. Dishes like the Club Sandwich, Cream of Almond Soup, Fish n Chips, Country Captain Chicken, and Bread and Butter Pudding can still be found in many club menus across the country. I've been to many clubs and some of them still retain their original charm.
I’m particularly fond of the ones in Bombay that still try and maintain their old traditions. Some of my favorite Bombay club dishes are Steak Maneckji at Bombay Gymkhana, Awesome Okra at Breach Candy Club, Mutton Dhansak at Ripon Club, and the Eggs Kejriwal at Willingdon Sports Club.
Willingdon has a lovely alfresco space with a view of the lawns. The perfect setting for meeting friends over a cup of tea or a drink along with a plate of delicious Eggs Kejriwal. The story around this wonderful dish is that there was a gentleman by the name of Devi Prasad Kejriwal who got the cooks to make his favorite eggs on toast in a special way. Double fried eggs served on a slice of toasted white bread. Topped with grated cheese and chopped green chilly.
The Willingdon legend is that Mr. Kejriwal had this dish every day at the club and at some point the dish was named after him. The ingredient that sets the Eggs Kejriwal apart from other egg dishes is the coarsely chopped green chilly sprinkled on top of the eggs. One can’t say for sure if the original recipe had cheese in it or the cheese came in later with the rise of the ‘vegetarian’ Amul cheese in Bombay. But the current recipe indeed features a sprinkling of grated Amul cheese.
Mr. Devi Prasad Kejriwal is no more, but his invention and favorite dish lives on. The Yacht Club in Mumbai also has its own version of the dish.
Happy hunting and chowder-on!
To read more interesting features on Indian Cuisine and food from Mohit Balachandran, visit ChowderSingh.Com
Mohit Balachandran is a popular blogger and goes by the online name Chowder Singh. A restaurateur by profession, he worked with the Olive Group for 14 years. He also set up and ran SodaBottleOpenerWala and a Bombay Irani Café. Mohit now works as Chief Business Officer at EazyDiner
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