Babban Paya Shop has been around in Thane for more than 35 years. It’s a small nondescript shop in one of the bylanes of Louiswadi in Thane. Louiswadi’s a very interesting name for a locality and surely there’s an interesting story behind it. Could be a Portuguese, British or East Indian one. Do share in the comments if you know more about Louiswadi.
Babban’s Paya Shop
Babban’s grandmom Parvati is the main cook and skilled pair of hands behind the concept and still comes to the shop everyday. The shop is all about mutton. The preferred meat in this part of the world.
Their Pièce De Résistance is the Goat Paya they serve. Trotters are first burnt over a flame and then cleaned. Then cooked with ginger-garlic, whole garam masala, cumin and coriander powder. The region and the neighbouring areas of what’s called ‘Desh’, which also include the neighbouring districts of Pune, Satara upto Kolhapur. Has this tendency to use a lot of coriander and cumin powder in their gravies. Thus leading to a certain masaledaar sharpness in their flavour profile.
The other brilliant dish that Babban makes is Bheja (goat brain) poached in gravy. Bheja, in this part of the world is usually cooked in an onion based masala or fried. Saw a poached version for the first time and it was quite delicious.
Medium or Thikhat
At the time of ordering, Babban did ask me ‘Medium’ or ‘Thikhat’ and I said Thikhat. For me Bombay thikhat isn’t really thikhat and doesn’t match up to the Kolhapuri-Nagpuri-Saoji levels of chilli-spicy. In all fairness, Babban did ask me twice when I asked for Thikhat and I got what I deserved. A super-duper spicy Paya and a super-duper spicy bheja. Next time, I’ll probably settle for Medium. They also serves Mutton curry, Liver, Kidney, Stomach and Keema.
When in Thane and in mood for local food, don’t miss Babban Paya Shop. The shop has no board or signage and you’ll have to identify it from the photograph above. It opens in the evening by 7pm and shuts around 12 midnight or till when stocks last.
The GPS location of the shop 19°11′53″ N 72°57′42″ E
And here’s a nice Maharashtrian style Mutton Paya recipe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=813EUNcqSUA
Happy hunting and Chowder-on!