Sundays are all about leisure, and The Mumbai Market by Karen Anand - Summer Edition was just that! After hosting 60 markets in eight different cities, this year's first Mumbai Market was held at the Westin Woods of The Westin Mumbai Garden City, on April 7, 2019.
With an outdoor setup in Westin's gorgeous green space, it was a day well spent albeit hot! I reached the market at around 2 pm and the weather simply did not want to agree with my outdoor Sunday plans (I would have been happier had it been an indoors event, thanks to Mumbai's crazy humidity).
However, all the exciting food stalls and products awaiting me at the market distracted me from the heat soon enough. On offer at the Mumbai Market were all things sustainable, natural and organic. I liked that it was an intimate and small market which allowed me to do justice to all the stalls and also gave me the opportunity to chat with the creators behind the produce, products and services.
Foodie Guilty Pleasures
While every edition of Markets by Karen has more than just food to offer, I personally went to the Mumbai Market only for the food. I discovered the following food brands at the market that managed to tease my palate in the right way.
Keya Foods: First on my list of foodie discoveries is the dried spice herbs and seasonings from Keya Foods. These can be sprinkled on just about any meal and promise to take your favourite dish to the next level.
Paul and Mike: The very first bite into this beautifully packaged chocolate bar made my eyes go wide with amazement. The surprise elements, like actual big pink peppercorns, packed into this chocolate bar make it feel like a flavour party in my mouth! The cocoa is both farmed and fermented by Paul and Mike before being converted into bars. The brand promises innovative flavours like Pink Peppers, Jamun and Piedmont Hazelnuts.
Price: Rs 250 onwards
Cocoa Planters: They've been in the coffee estate business for three decades and their products are not just tasty but also narrate a beautiful story of the transformation from cocoa beans to final product. On offer are items like cocoa powder (with a surprise element!) and chocolate buttons.
Price: Rs 250 for a bottle of cocoa powder
Optimal EQ Foods: Most ready-to-eat breakfast options available in the market today have earned a bad reputation for being unhealthy thanks to the hidden sugars they pack in. Priti Chawla creates breakfast and snack options that are naturally-made and contain natural sweeteners. From fruity and nutty granola mix options to nutty dates and oats bites, there's a lot to pick from!
Price: Rs 475 for the pictured jar
La Frux: Most nut butters may claim to be healthy but are actually heavy on sugar. That's not the case with the nut butters from La Frux which are jaggery-based. Their stickiness is hard to miss and the reason they're like that is because the butters are a pure blend of only nuts. In this preservative-laden world, I was happy to be indulging in something pure!
Price: Rs 460 for a jar of All Natural Almond Butter
The Fromagerie: If you want to taste the best Grilled Cheese Sandwich in town, then The Fromagerie should be on your radar. Their Brioche Buttered Sandwich with a selection of fillings is to die for and of course, there's LOTS of cheese in it!
Lily Aunty's Gourmet Masalas: From my observations of the busy stall, I could tell that Lily Aunty's Manglorean Ghee Roast Masala and Baffat Curry Masala are their fastest-selling products! Lily Aunty's products weave a beautiful story around Coastal spices and take you on a culinary journey. No matter what you pick, you won't be disappointed.
Price: 250 for Lily Aunty's Sunday Curry Masala
Earthon: If snacking between meals or munchies with TV is your thing then you must turn to healthy snacking. Earthon gives you healthy but tasty munchie options like beetroot, okra and carrot chips. Their products are organic, they ensure farm-to-table procedures and use a roasting technique so there's no unhealthy frying or fishy oils here!
Price: Rs 100 onwards
When it came to beverages, there was something for everyone at the Mumbai Market! Whether you're a tea person, coffee fanatic, wine connoiseur, beer guzzler or mead lover! Since I was already melting in the heat, chugging a variety of refreshing drinks down my throat came as a welcome respite.
Dancing Leaf: Although I'm not a tea person, I was curiously surprised by the range of teas that the Dancing Leaf had to offer! From exotic flavours like Hibiscus & Muskmelon and Blue Pea Hue to Jasmine Mandarin and Tranquil Berry, it was an exquisite tea affair that will certainly excite tea lovers.
Nandan: If Starbucks is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think coffee, Nandan will certainly change your mind! Yahvi, owner of Nandan and a passionate coffee enthusiast herself, brewed us a cuppa Cappuccino and we were left spellbound. If someone can make a basic cappuccino exceptional, you can imagine what they do with their other coffee innovations. If you're a coffee lover, Kodaikanal's Nandan has a range of coffees that can be made with no equipment or with the most fanciest one!
Reveilo: Since I'm not a wine drinker, I was lot at sea at this stall but the Reveilo representative reccommended I try a sweeter version. Their wines are fruit forward as they are meant for easy, casual drinking. It was unlike any other wine I have tried so far and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself wanting more.
Price: Rs 675 onwards
Moonshine Meadery: What's a mead, you ask? It is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, mixed with various fruits and spices. Moonshine Meadery is bringing back the oldest drinking tradition and how! Their most common flavours are Apple Cider and Earl Grey but I particularly likes their Coffee version. It had a full-bodied flavour and the outstanding aroma of freshly-brewed coffee!
While I was busy surrounding myself with food at the market and some more food (because food is bae) and some drinks too, I completely forgot about shopping! I stumbled upon Bottega Periera, a Chennai-based lifestyle brand that offers everything from cushions, mats, bed sheets to curtains and table runners. Every print I came across was different from the last and a work of art! I also spotted the Safe Cup stall whose product is a quantum leap for menstruating women.
Wait. That's not it! While the sun was setting and the moon was ready to say hi, the count of people at the Mumbai Market steadily multiplied. The crowd was mingling and networking, there were games to keep the children busy and some live band performances for the grown ups. My agenda of eating, drinking and having a ball of Sunday was satisfactorily fulfilled at the Karen Anand's Mumbai Market and I went home happy, a full tummy and bags full of gourmet love.
Think of her as a delicacy. She could be a red sauce penne pasta or refreshing strawberry smoothie. A little sweet, quite tangy and unapologetic on the palate. Her soul is that of a gastronome, mind of an illustrator and heart of a writer. She uses these ingredients to plate up tasty stories about food at India Food Network as an Associate Editor. Be it her blogs, articles, reviews or food shows; she promises a wholesome affair.