THEY’RE the stuff of food legend. The A-1 samosas have made their way from a small space in Sion to theatres and multiplexes across the city, where they provide much-needed, inexpensive nourishment at intervals.
I heard about A-1 samosas years back but despite eating them at theatres, and in Guru Kripa as part of their famous Samosa Chhole, I haven’t visited the original place.
Then, work drove me there.
On a busy evening, I walked past the crowd milling outside guru Kripa and made my way to the shop across the road. The store may be big, but the action takes place around a tiny stall out front. There, stainless steel trays are piled high with piping hot snacks; you can still see the oil glistening on the crunchy brown samosas.
Aside: History – The outlet was started in the 1970s by Kishanchand Nevendram, a Sindhi from Karachi who settled in Mumbai after the Partition. They have now expanded to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, and Singapore, and are also sold frozen.
The place is known for its samosas and it’s what they make best, with a few interesting variations to the traditional Punjabi offering; each comes priced at Rs 10.
The Chinese Samosa was an oily mess, stuffed with noodles in the typical red sauce reminiscent of Chinese bhel on the streets. The Cheese Corn Samosa was a delicious combination of crunchy sweet corn, capsicum and just enough cheese. The Paneer Tikka Samosa tasted exactly like the dish – soft paneer slathered in spicy masala. A favourite was the traditional offering, the Punjabi samosa stuffed with its spicy potato mixture.
They don’t just sell samosas here but other snacks, too. The Pizza Bun (Rs 30) – a round bun filled with pizza toppings like cheese, corn, capsicum and sauce was tasty but inspiring. A friend called it ‘something you would find at Monginis’. The clover-shaped Alu Pops had s similar stuffing to the samosa but a tasteless coating; and the Small Kachori (Rs 6 per piece) was a sweet, Gujarati version of the spicy snack.
Each snack was served in a paper bag advertising their bestselling items, heating instructions, and the fact that is prepared in refined groundnut oil (as recommended by the American Heart Association).
There’s no seating space so you have to stand and eat the samosas out of the bag. It’s quite an experience and for entertainment, you can watching the hordes milling outside Guru Kripa or better yet, be treated to the sight of dozens of freshly fried samosas getting segregated in trays for service.
A1 Samosa stall is located at A/1, Sion Sindhi Colony, Opposite Gurukripa Hotel, Sion (E); open from 10 am to 11 pm; call 24074790