The turn of the last century witnessed an overwhelming Zoroastrian population from Iran migrating to Bombay, fast developing into a bustling commercial hub. The Iranians were industrious and aided by fellow Iranian Parsis and propelled by their love for tea, went on to set up a string of humble cafes. Cafes that served, needless to mention, tea.
Before long, the cafes had become synonymous with the city of Bombay, the menus had expanded, the bakery had been introduced and the cafes had emerged as the de facto haunts for Bombayites – those time-stops-still places you went to to chat with friends or read a newspaper or listen to cricket commentary on the radio or just watch the city go by. Over endless cups of Irani Chai.
The fortunes of the cafes dwindled. The younger generations were not too keen to run cafes. Competition became fierce. As flamboyant cafes and delis took the food scene of the city by storm.
That hypnotic aroma of baking that lingered out from the kitchens.
GOD IS GREAT).
And their to-die-for mawa cake.
Mawa cake, the melt-in-your-mouth khoya cake perfumed with cardamom powder, guaranteed to transport you to food utopia.
So not surprisingly, when B Merwan and Co, a century-old Iranian cafe, downed it’s shutters, the city mourned.
And lo behold, they did rejoice when the cafe reopened in a couple of months.
Inspired by the iconic mawa cake from B Merwan and Co, the Iranian cafe that has earned a legendary status in the crowded culinary landscape of the city.