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There’s so much great food to try in DC, so we’ve decided to take a deep dive into some of the city’s best dishes! We’re kicking off the series with Immigrant Food; Chef Enrique’s favorite item on the menu is the Mumbai Mariachi Bowl, a fusion dish that combines complementary Indian and Mexican flavors to create an addictively spicy must-try meal. Here’s the scoop from Téa Ivanovic, Director of Communication and Outreach:

For starters, when and/or where did the inspiration for this dish come from?

Chef Enrique likes to tell the following story of his inspiration for the Mumbai Mariachi that combines ingredients and spices from Mexico and the Indian subcontinent — Imagine a Mexican parachuted and dropped in the middle of India wants to create his home cuisine for his Indian hosts, but the store only has Indian spices! So he cooked his Mexican meal with Indian ingredients. The healthy bowl includes spice-rubbed steak, spinach, roasted potatoes and peppers, corn, feta cheese, and spiralized carrots.

What was the recipe development process like? Any notable trial and error moments resulting in either “AHA!” or “OH NO” breakthroughs?

Too many to count! You can’t imagine the debates on whether the Mumbai Mariachi was too spicy. But in the end, Mexican and Indian gastronomies are rife with delicate heat. Most of our taste-testers wanted to stay true to these cuisines. We opened Immigrant Food with 9 fusion bowls. Each of them went through various stages of trial and error. Since then, we’ve revamped some of our bowls, and added new ones, including a new line of sandwiches. Chef Enrique and his team are constantly improving and thinking creatively about our recipes.

Obviously all of the elements of the dish are important, but is there one in particular (whether it’s an ingredient or technique) that stands out as especially crucial?

We spent considerable time and effort on our dressings. We wanted the dressings to be just as unique and interesting as the rest of our menu. They’re perfect additions to our bowls. The Mumbai Mariachi’s dressing is a spicy Mango Chipotle delicacy made with fresh mangoes!

It’s one thing to roll out a menu item and another to know for sure it’s a keeper. What for you solidified it as the latter?

Its popularity with our customers! The Mumbai Mariachi bowl is our spiciest menu item, so we were worried how popular it would be. Since the beginning, it’s been one of our top-sellers! We have a cohort of customers who walk in, refuse a menu, and just order the Mumbai Mariachi!

And if someone were to order this, what are some good additional pairings (food or drink) to go with it?

Because of the bowl’s spiciness, we ALWAYS recommend getting one of our specialty drinks. The sweetness of our popular Sangria Helada is a great addition, as well as some of our interesting wines — for example, the Croatian Malvazija. The touch of sweetness goes really well to offset the spice complexity of the bowl! Another great combination is our Agua de Jamaica, our home-made hibiscus-infused water.


Grab a Mumbai Mariachi Bowl from Immigrant Food!

1701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20006
Tuesday-Saturday, 11AM-2PM & 4PM-8PM