Look, There’s Charcoal In My Food!
Charcoal Pav Bhaji at Masala Bar, Bandra.
Charcoal ice-cream, anyone? A trend that was first introduced last year by a New York ice-cream joint – Morgenstern’s in Manhattan is now a rage in LA with the opening of Little Damage – Soft Serve Ice-Creams earlier this year in February. Miles away in Mumbai, India, cafes and eateries have followed suit to give Mumbaikars a slice of charcoal in their food. From ice-creams, breads, frozen yoghurt, juices and even pav bhaji and macarons, you name it and you can find it in the city.
For the uninitiated, edible charcoal is activated carbon, which is made with coconut ash as well as bamboo ash, and is completely safe for consumption. Taste-wise, it has earthy notes. We scouted for some eateries in Mumbai and spoke to chefs about this new trend that is slowly picking up among food lovers.
Carbon Bhaji, Carbon Pav @ Masala Bar Masala Bar’s take on contemporary Indian food has taken the city by surprise. Now their latest offering is an ode to one of Mumbai’s favourite street food - pav bhaji. “Our Charcoal Pav Bhaji is infused with diluted charcoal dust along with the bhaji, which gives it a burnt look but tastes exactly the same,” informs outlet chef Saurabh Modi. Talking about their breads, the dough for the pav is also prepared with charcoal. So what you have in the end is a mini bun that is round in shape, skewered in a satay stick, drizzled with enough butter to make it rich and tasty.
Price: Rs. 295 + taxes.
Address: MasalaBar, Level 1, Gagangiri Apartments, Carter Road, Bandra
Charcoal Ice-Cream & Charcoal Waffles @ IceKraft IceKraft seems to be the first ice-cream parlour in Mumbai to offer original charcoal ice-cream. Black Triple Threat is a jet black ice-cream that has a distinct orange flavour with a subtle earthy taste of edible charcoal. If you are on the adventurous side, you can pair this with charcoal waffles with Nutella and maple syrup on the side. Price: Ice-cream (Rs. 215), carbon waffle (Rs. 165), Nutella dip (Rs. 25)
Address: Shop No. 5, Meera Co-operating Housing Society, Opposite Windsor Grande Residences, Near Mega Mall, Oshiwara.
Activated charcoal lemonade by Raw Pressery Juices The charcoal drink ‘Detox’ by Raw Pressery is one-of-its kind and the first-ever cold pressed activated charcoal juice made with a concoction of organic honey, lemon, pure H2O, rock salt and edible charcoal. “The charcoal used for the production of this juice is a food grade charcoal made with coconut shells where the latter is heated to a point where the shells form coal,” informs Aditya Pattanath, Manager PR & Communications at Raw Pressery.
Price: Rs. 150 Available online here as well as supermarkets around the country.
Charcoal & Lemon Macarons at Olive Bistro.
Charcoal Bagel, grissini & macarons @ Olive Bistro Olive Bistro’s Smoked Salmon and Charcoal ash bagel with avocado mousse, Ash grissini with roasted garlic aioli and Charcoal ash and lemon macaron were part of a special menu, which are set to make a comeback in monsoon. Executive sous chef Abhijeet Bitla from Olive Bistro, Goregaon says, “One has to be very careful with how much charcoal is used in a particular dish. At Olive Bistro, we make in-house activated charcoal ash by burning the bamboo on a very high heat turning it porous and absorbent.”
Address: Olive Bistro, 3rd floor, Store No. T2, Oberoi Mall, Off Western Express Highway, Near Dindoshi Depot, Goregaon East.
BBQ Paneer in Charcoal Burger at The Rolling Pin Cafe.
BBQ Paneer Burger @ The Rolling Pin The BBQ burger here is prepared with nothing but charcoal ash. You will be wondering if the black burger tastes like a regular burger bun. These buns enjoy the same consistency as regular bread, but the edible charcoal adds the dark colour to it. Owner Aditya Gupta says, "It is something unique and since people are always looking to try out different and interesting combinations of food, this adds excitement to a meal. The charcoal too, adds a slightly crispy, burnt texture to the bun, which makes it more flavourful compared to regular burger buns."
Price: 250 + taxes
Address: 12, Janta Industrial Estate, Senapati Bapat Road, Opposite Phoenix, Lower Parel.