Thanks to home ‘ordering and delivery’ start-ups such as Zomato and Swiggy, today food is accessible at the click of a button. Most people will presume it’s quite easy to lay your hands on the rarest cheese in town. However, if you’re in Kolkata, it might be a tad more difficult than you think. It’s no wonder then that Viloo Batliwala, 73, has such a dedicated client base. The only one in town to make Topli Na Paneer-a Parsi take on the Italian buffalo mozzarella cheese, Batliwala makes fresh batches of the product only on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Batliwala picked up the recipe from her mother-in-law and did a fair bit of experimentation before nailing the right salty taste. Fresh buffalo milk is sourced from Pure Milk Emporium early in the morning and is left aside to set in little cane baskets (or topli) so that it is ready by 10 a.m. At one time, Batliwala also made other Parsi goodies but eventually stopped. “We used to cater to the Parsi club and supplied traditional cookies such as bhakras. Now I don’t quite have the energy to make more. This cheese and regular cottage cheese is all I make,” says the alumnus of Calcutta Girls’ High School.
While Batliwala’s three grandchildren don’t fancy the cheese much, it’s a major hit with the city’s youngsters. Sienna Store and Cafe in South Kolkata use Topli Na Paneer in their salads. Batliwala insists, “it’s good to just have it on its own, maybe on toast with salt and pepper.” At Ripon Street, by appointment only Tel 22294808