We ambled along the shore enjoying the music that played from an unknown corner, on a Sunday evening. People had thronged from near and far. The food stalls, ice-cream carts, fancy balloons and colourful toys were welcoming the strangers enthusiastically. Not to forget the nariyal paani (coconut water) and the bhutta (roasted corn).
A typical scene. Beaches around Mumbai have a familiar pattern. Interestingly, the beaches in India seem to be picking up similar patterns. Yet, bhutta-wallahs (roasted corn vendors) in Mumbai have an exceptional flavour, probably it is their unique selling point.
They roast the corn on smouldering coal. Once the kernels change colour to a deeper shade with scatters of burnt black here and there, the bhutta-wallah removes it from the coal. With a wedge of lemon, s/he smears the masalas, chili powder and salt to taste, as per our requirement.
A bite into the roasted corn stirs the palate with an array of flavours, and surprisingly the kernels are fresh and juicy. It is a wonder that, in spite of going through a process of fire and burns, the corn oozes the freshness as if it were untouched!
We continued our walk along the beach relaxing to the Nature’s treat and savouring the delicious corn. Somewhere, deep down, my heart was thanking the unknown person who had stumbled upon the recipe of a perfect bhutta.