Mahrukh lives with her husband, son and daughter in their ancestral home in the old-world Ness Baugh, situated in South Mumbai. By profession Mahrukh runs a beauty parlor, but cooking and feeding her friends and family has always been her passion and she jumps at the chance to serve authentic Parsi food to travelers from around the world. Mahrukh started cooking at the age of 7 when she was so short that she needed a step stool to reach the gas burner. Her biggest fan has always been her father, who was always delighted to eat whatever his little daughter cooked with happiness and pride. She learned all of her cooking techniques from her mother and grandmother and delights in keeping old family recipes alive. Before you enter Mahrukh's home, located in an old Parsi colony of South Mumbai, you will notice that the doorstep is decorated with beautiful rangoli designs. Rangoli is an art form in which decorative patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. Mahrukh will welcome you with a warm smile into her apartment that has been decorated with her daughter’s beautiful sketches and other artwork that reflects the creativity and artistic nature of the people who live in this home. Later, join the family to share a meat-centric, authentic Parsi meal that might include saria and lagan nu achaar (rice crisps served with homemade date pickle), tam tamata prawns (prawns in a spicy, tangy sauce), jardalu na gosht (tender lamb, slow-cooked in an intense apricot gravy topped with crisp salli), roast chicken, and finally lagan nu custard (dense, luscious baked caramel custard topped with nuts and served with vermicelli and sweet yogurt). If you book a cooking experience, you can expect to learn how to prepare two of the dishes you will be eating. You might learn to make some of Mahrukh's signature dishes like akuri (Indian scrambled eggs), patra ni macchi (steamed fish topped with chutney and wrapped in a banana leaf) or chicken pulao and daal (chicken with basmati rice topped with browned onions and lentils). Mahrukh also offers an optional market tour add-on during which she will take you to the Grand Road Market, where Mahrukh will show you how she buys all her fruits, vegetables, meats and fish.
About 300 years ago, the area of Bombay was nothing more than seven islands occupied by small fishing settlements. Today this bustling city offers a seemingly endless array of sights and cultural activities. Mumbai is the glamour of Bollywood cinema, cricket on the maidans on weekends, bhelpuri on the beach at Chowpatty and red double-decker buses. It is also the infamous cages of the red-light district, Asia's largest slums, communalist politics and powerful mafia dons. This pungent drama is played out against a Victorian townscape more reminiscent of a prosperous 19th-century English industrial city than anything you'd expect to find on the edge of the Arabian Sea. Mumbai has vital streetlife, India's best nightlife, and more bazaars than a visitor could ever explore.
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