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Foodie Apeksha Mehta shares her curated list of ‘Mumbai’s Hidden Gems’.


Name – Apeksha Mehta (Home Chef, Home Baker, Chocolatier, Food Stylist)Instagram handle - @mapeksha

What is your favourite food memory from childhood?
My Mom tells me that I have always been fond of cooking since a kid. Apparently, during a visit to a neighbour’s house dinner, I gave a detailed step-by-step procedure of how-to-make-a-Frankie. All this coming from a five year old impressed our host and my mom took it as a compliment.

Any childhood memories when you cooked something?
I remember being applauded for this innovative dish I created during our school’s ‘no fire cooking’ competition. I made some chocolate ladoos out of random ingredients and all teachers asked me for its recipe. That's where it all begun.

Have you taken you passion for experimenting with new recipe creation further?
Cooking had always been my passion and when you have some super amazing women to look upto. My naani, maasi and mom have been a source of constant encouragement. They constantly enhanced my curiosity and added value to the new recipes I would prep for. Besides these amazing women, I made some great foodie friends who are more than a family now. As much as I love cooking, I am in love with food photography too. I have a shelf full of crockery which I use for my food styling pics.

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What’s your favourite comfort food?
Dal Chawal and crispy Rawa Aloo chips.

3 reasons why you consider yourself a Foodie?
I am more fascinated with experimenting with regional dishes while I travel. That’s where the true flavours lie. Once back from my trips, I do experiment with different ingredients and come up with variations to our existing recipes.

As a passionate foodie, I could travel to any place once I get the pangs to eat something which I liked. Once I travelled from Andheri to South Bombay just to have a mitha paan which was amazing.

What’s the strangest dish you’ve ever tried?
I steer clear from super-odd food combinations but I had eaten Risotto made from purple sticky rice with veggies. Somehow it didn’t really appeal to my palette.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A simple vegetable Sandwich and Dark Chocolate.

What kind of oil do you use most of all?
Sunflower oil or cotton seed oil.

Which is the most over-rated food cuisine?
Gastronomical food and freak shakes are variations which I have never fancied. They are certainly over-priced and low on taste.

Any quirky food dishes combinations you have invented or love feasting on?
Just recently I made sponge dosa and paired it with paneer lababdar. Another favourite is serving Shrikhand with flat puris (the Pani Puri ones).

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Your take on:
Keto diets – An Expensive fad.
Intermittent fasting – Helpful but you need to follow it religiously to notice weight loss results.
Fusion food cuisine – I find them over-rated. Ironically, not all fusion food combinations are flavour loaded.

Which superfoods have impressed you the most?
Berries, nuts and seeds (especially sunflower seeds).

What are your favourites?
Chaat, Pav Bhaji, South Indian food, bread pakoda, sandwiches in any form and combinations from the street food section.
Spaghetti, Dim sums and Middle Eastern food from the exotic section.

Indian street food – Sandwich and Bhel
Indian dessert – Gulab Jamun and Malai Sandwich

Hidden gem restaurant of your city (and why) – Shree Gopal Krishna in Malad for some amazing south Indian food, Sindhi Pani Puri in Chembur Camp, Manjeet in Sion Koliwada for chole bhature.

Over-rated Indian restaurant in your city (and why) – Any restaurants in 5 or 7 star hotels. I don't think the food is that great. Swati Snacks is over-priced. Ram Ashray has lost its charm.

The restaurant you keep going back to - Granville IDC, Borivali for South Indian food. 63 by lane near my house in Kandivali for   healthy yet yummy sandwiches and pastas.

How do you detox your body after an overdose of eating out?
I consume less food and have lots of fruits on the next day. My favourite detox fruit would be melons. Also I prefer consuming hot water during my meals in restaurants.

Any health foods you swear by?
Basic salads and sprouts, consumption of fresh seasonal fruits and a traditional barfi made from Jaggery, ghee and Atta. It's my go to dish when I want to eat something sweet.