A warm Thursday evening brought with it lots of excitement at the Dawoodi Bohra Jammat in Kandivali. We along with some of Mumbai’s most influential food bloggers were invited by the DBRF (Dawoodi Bohra Women’s Association for Religious Freedom) to cook up traditional Dawoodi Bohra dishes in an exciting competition judged by none other than MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor!

Food plays an integral role in every Dawoodi Bohra’s life. Apart from the detectable and distinctive cooking style, there are certain traditional ways in which food is served. One of the most important and an age-old tradition is the practice of eating in the ‘Thaal’.

The Thaal is large round metal plate, where members of the community eat together, exchange ideas and happy memories over delicious food. It’s a unique and beautiful way of community dining which allows people to bond over food. They start their meal with a pinch of salt which acts as a palette cleanser followed by something sweet. Made up of multiple courses, this makes for a hearty meal!


Traditional Dawoodi Bohra Thaal

Traditional Dawoodi Bohra Thaal.


For the Dawoodi Bohra Cook-off, each blogger was given individual mystery boxes and ingredients along with their recipes. What we found out later, was that each dish made up one course of the thaal, which was heartwarming to see us cook as individuals and come together to eat as one.

The dishes included: Aam Panna (a refreshing spiced raw mango drink), Soddanu (an auspicious dish made of sweetened rice eaten to being a celebratory meal), Malido (a sweet dish made of flour and jaggery), Chicken Kheema Samosas, Dabba Ghosht, Dal Chawal Palidu, Roti and Masala na Bateta.

After drawing lots, we had to cook the famous Dal Chawal Palidu. It is a vegetarian lentil and rice dish which had three different components to it. Dal is the generic name for Indian lentils, while palidu is a flour-based stew, with drumstick or bottle gourd. The rice is then mixed with toor dal (pigeon pea lentil) and served with the palidu.


Dal Chawal Palidu a traditional Dawoodi Bohra Dish.

Dal Chawal Palidu a traditional Dawoodi Bohra Dish.

Cooking for Sanjeev Kapoor was definitely an experience to remember. Cheers to a wonderful Thursday spent!

The Great Dawoodi Bohra Cook-off was powered by DBWRF. The organisation was started by a few Dawoodi Bohra women which acts as a common platform to preserve and protect their beliefs, customs, culture and religious rights. Today it represents tens of thousands of women in India and encourages them to pursue their careers and hobbies successfully, at the same time promoting the rich Dawoodi Bohra community heritage and culture.

It was an honour to be part of this lovely initiative.


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