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Keema Ghotala at Majestic Pune

Some dishes operate on ‘shock and awe’. When you see them for the first time, you stare at ‘em with your mouth open (atleast for a few seconds). The Keema Ghotala did the same to me.

I’d heard of the legendary keema pao, but of the ‘Ghotala’; never. A few days ago, I was house-hunting in Pune; temporary accomodation, lest y’all think I’ve permanently shifted here. And I saw this nice old looking restaurant called Majestic, with an open air feel, but a ghastly Coca Cola painted wall on the exterior. In fact, between Coke and Pepsi, the aesthetics of Indian streets have been corrupted beyond repair. In the name of free signage, 70-75 per cent is their own horrible signage and a measly 25-30 per cent is for the restaurant or kiosk. How absurd! It's time our boys saw through the ‘American Kootneeti’. Sigh! Anyway!

So I went inside Majestic. It had a nice old world charm; typical Irani cafe serving chai, brun maska, keema and other usual suspects. Scrolling the wall menu, I stared at Keema Ghotala for a few seconds. Ghotala! (scam, or call it mess). Very intriguing! And this wasn’t some creative-artistic alternate place. Its was a straightforward old fashioned Irani cafe!

Now, for those of you who’ve grown up in Mumbai, Pune or adjoining areas, you’ll be thinking; “theek hai”, what’s the fuss about? But if you’re not, then I’m sure the Keema Ghotala will certainly bring a smile to your face. So I ordered it (had to, na) with Brun Maska. I’ve had many a pao and was a bit curious about Brun. Expecting a variant of the pao, I was surprised with what came. I’d say that the Brun is Parsee baking at its best. Hard crumbly-exterior soft-interior and very light. I was impressed by this level of quality produced out of a basic setup and without modern now-can’t-do-without bakery technology. Truly impressive! So the Brun Maska (cut into slices and smeared with loads of butter) came with the Keema Ghotala (very simply pre-cooked mutton keema (minced) scrambled with eggs, onion, tomato, capsicum and spices.

So the Keema Ghotala with Brun Maska at Majestic in Pune was a treat. I had it just a few days ago and I’m already craving it.  Majestic seemed like quite a no-nonsense kinda place, that’s why the sign above says “No reading and writing in the restaurant”. It seems like many a writer or philosopher would’ve whiled away his or her time in this place. So Chowder Singh quitely took out his net book to do some work while waiting for Keema Ghotala. After all the sign said nothing about not working on a laptop or netbook!!

Chowder Singh da jawaab nahin!
Chowder Singh da ilaaj bhi nahin!
Most surprisingly, Mumbai and Pune aren’t the only places where Keema Ghotala seems to have made an impression; the Pakistanis too love this dish and this is probably due to the influence of the Parsee community in Karachi and around. BTW did you know Jinnah’s second wife Maryam Jinnah was a Parsee (Rattanbai Petit; also Nusli Wadia’s grandmom) before converting to Islam to marry Jinnah. Though she never was in Pakistan, the community has presence there; atleast used to.
Well, if you’re in Pune and wish to visit Majestic; here’s the address - Tukaram Gunaji Bidkar Chowk, Camp Area, Pune. Happy hunting and chow-chow!
Mutton Ghotala with pav
Check out the signage dominating the eatery's name!!
the wall menu!!
"no reading or writing"
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12-MARCH-2012 Chowder Singh
Mandira. Its an old place. So decor wise it's not the best. Hygiene wise, decent.
27-FEBRUARY-2012 mandira sinha
I can almost taste it the way you describe it... was it hygenic though?
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