Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted your plan to take that long trip? Is the ongoing lockdown making you crave going off-road? Fret not. If you can’t go to the highway, Rocky, Mayur, Prashant, and Abhinandan — the team behind shows like Highway On My Plate, Vital Stats of India, Jai Hind, and Rocky and Mayur's Food Xpress — will bring the highway to you!
So, here goes the newest offering from Newslaundry: Highway On My Podcast. The creators of the much loved TV travel show revisit their travels across India, sharing stories, anecdotes, trivia, and — for when the roads are open and inviting again — recommendations on food, culture, people, and much more.
In this episode of Highway On My Podcast, Rocky, Mayur, Abhinandan and Prashant traverse the coastal state of Maharashtra. Doing justice to its highly varied food culture, the gang eats everything with equal enthusiasm, from Bhel to exotic bird preparations.
The journey begins on a heartbreaking note in the breezy hill town of Mahabaleshwar, where the team’s dreams were shattered once they were welcomed by the caretaker of Hotel Regency. As it turned out, the hotel was so dirty that Rocky decided to sleep in the clothes he’d been wearing all day since he was sure they were much cleaner than the bedsheets. Shedding the memories of their horrific overnight stay, they hit the road to try out some roasted lentils, a speciality of Mahabaleshwar. They also try delicious jams after feasting on Chana .
Driving to the plains, the gang discusses, while in transit, whether monsoons are a good time to visit Mahabaleshwar. Mayur doesn’t think so but Abhinandan strongly recommends it, only for the beautiful waterfalls.
In Pune, they head to Kayani Bakery, a landmark in the city, that’s known for its scrumptious Shrewsbury biscuits. Prashant says the visit to Kayani is one of his more delightful experiences from their travels. They also talk about Pune’s authentic Maharashtrian food, their visit to Dorabji’s, and a place with an interesting menu.
Heading to Nagpur, the team visits Saoji restaurant, which Abhinandan thinks should have a national presence. Rocky advises listeners to beware of the kind of spice that goes into the food, saying Saoji’s chefs typically add half a kg of chillies for a preparation with one kg of meat. Moving from spicy black meat to delicious orange-based sweets, Rocky highly recommends the orange Soan Papdi and the orange Barfi when in Nagpur.
Falling short of time, the gang rushes out of Nagpur for Mumbai, discussing their memorable encounter with Mr Kohinoor, the owner of much-renowned Britannia & Co., an old Irani Cafe that is a part of city folklore. Listeners are also introduced to Mr Tony of Tony Da Dhaba, and how his salesmanship talked them into some exoic food. They feast on delicious seafood at Gajalee while Mayur tries Khichdi at Soam. The team also discusses the history behind Colaba’s iconic Cafe Mondegar and Cafe Leopold.
Speeding off to Kolhapur, the gang shops for chappals and then samples Rajabhau’s Bhel, a local favourite and an example of how India’s street food never ceases to surprise. Prashant talks about Maharashtra’s good and bad vineyards and how locals developed a taste for wine. The group also talks about trying Mastani in Pune, the variety of Paan in Nagpur, and Mario Miranda’s art at Mondegar.
All this and more, only on Highway On My Podcast.
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