The Koliwada Fish Fry has become the culinary favourite of food aficionados and connoisseurs alike; leading a taste revolution not only in Mumbai and across Maharashtra, but today spanning many other cities in India and abroad.
However, what many don’t yet realise is that the real originator of this iconic dish is the Mini Punjab Group. The original owners were its true pioneers who began the “Koliwada Fish Fry” taste revolution that singlehandedly made it a national and international favourite.
Although, today, while there are many who serve “Koliwada Jhinga Fry”, Koliwada Rawas Fry”, “Pomfret Fry” among others, those of discerning taste know that there is only one that offers the authentic and original taste of Fish Koliwada – and that is the Mini Punjab Group.
The Founding Fathers
The story of the Koliwada Fish Fry begins with the trauma of partition when Mr. Bahadur Singh crossed over from Pakistani Punjab and made their way first to Amritsar and then on to Mumbai. Like most displaced people, he was searching for a means of re-establishing himself and his family in a new land. With little support or means of sustenance, he turned to what he knew best – cooking.
In the early days, they served just three dishes – Koliwada Rawas Fry, Koliwada Jhinga Fry and Koliwada Pomfret Fry. These were mainly snacks that were packed in leaves and newspapers to be savoured literally as it came out of the pan. The freshness of the fish and its special taste caught on, and the roadside eatery soon became a runaway success.
The business had earned a well established reputation, and for most people, Mini Punjab became synonymous with Koliwada Fish Fry, the dish that became the cornerstone towards the growth of the Mini Punjab Group. Mr. Surjit Singh & Mr. Karnail Singh, the founders of the Group and the creators of the original Koliwada Fish Fry, literally started this revolution on a roadside with a coal fired stove, a frying pan, a secret recipe – that provides the dish with its authentic taste – with a special combination of chosen masalas, special marinade and handpicked fishes, that splendidly comes together to form a special dish that has become a tradition in itself.
The Way Ahead
Today, two generations of the Singh family continue this tradition and have now grown the business to include the finest restaurant chains in Mumbai, one of best outdoor catering service in Mumbai and among the finest in India, prestigious in-house banquets in Powai, along with its well-recognised expertise in managing an assortment of services that makes every occasion, be it marriages, receptions or anniversaries et cetera, all the more memorable and delicious.
Today, the small enterprise that was started in 1951 has come a long way, which all started with the resounding success of Koliwada Fish Fry. The business is now managed by Mr. Surjit Singh and Mr. Karnail Singh, who are ably assisted by their sons Mr. Gurucharan Singh, Mr. Jagjit Singh, Mr. Parvinder Singh, and Mr. Harmeet Singh respectively, who are committed to stay true to Mini Punjab’s authentic taste that has seen it establish itself as a leader in the culinary domain, while also continuing to introduce international favourites along with its own original dishes that’s pivotal to keep growing and improving.
So whenever you get a chance, grab a bite of this iconic dish and taste for yourself what makes it so special.