A first of its kind, Mumbai’s healthy Roti Concept Café at the Jiwa Experience Centre in Bandra, prides itself on inspiring a healthier lifestyle through natural, nutritious and wholesome food. Our curious appetites made the trip over last week and we were lucky enough to chat with the founder and young entrepreneur, Raghav Gupta. Here is what he had to say about his trendy new joint.
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Bandra’s latest entry, JIWA—the snazzy little Roti Café offers you customised healthy wraps from a variety of puffed rotis to choose from. The difference between a regular roti and a Jiwa roti is the specific process Jiwa follows before they mill their grain into atta . Prior to milling, all their grains are soaked in water, sprouted and dehydrated. This is to increase enzymatic activity, aid digestion and improve nutritive absorption.

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Jiwa offers an impressive atta menu. We’re talking about everything from Jowari Bajiri, Makkai , Soya and Rajriga that gives your daily diet a nutrient boost to health specific options like Slimming Rotis, Diabetic Care Rotis, Blood Pressure Care Rotis and Youth Focus Rotis that contain a mix of whole grains, dehydrated vegetables and herbs, edible seeds and other superfoods in exacting proportions that are tailor-made to benefit the body in their own way. All their attas are also fortified with essential vitamins and minerals that give your body the recommended daily dose of essential nutrients. Finally, they’re supplemented with probiotics—which when consumed regularly aid digestion, improve immunity and keeps the gastro-intestinal tract healthy.

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Perfect for dropping by for lunch, to enjoy a warm and nutritious meal, the café is cosy, inviting and homely. We love that the décor, like the brand is classic with a youthful vibe. Raghav describes the café as warm and intimate, “we have used natural materials like wood, with tree trunks purchased from a trader in Babul tree trunks which were then cleaned, levelled and polished.”

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Seen here is an antique chakki that decorates the minimalistic café. How cute is that?

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Here we’ve got a miniature old-school tandoor. Sabji, dahi and a hot naan baked in one of these is all we need to max out our comfort food for the day. Agree?

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If you stop by the café for a quick bite, you can have a freshly prepared roti with your choice of desi or global fillings. Pictured here is the cooking station where your wraps and plates are made fresh, right in front of you. Raghav tells us their best selling wrap is Slimming Atta with Paneer Shazlik & Mexican Salsa .

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We sampled their Makkai Roti —made with sehori sharbati whole wheat, makkai, toasted wheat germ and sea salt. The makkai pearls are sourced directly from the farmer community of Northern India.

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Pictured here is their roti -master mixing together the ingredients to make a Makkai roti .

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Raghav told us that with Café@JIWA, their goal is to celebrate the desi household staple and give it a sexy makeover. Unlike bread, roti , Raghav says, is made from whole wheat and so is a lot healthier than its processed flour counterparts. Roti is also integral to the Indian meal and diet. “We offer healthy roti’s in a new avatar, you can pair it with fillings and sauces from different cuisines and flavours,” he says.

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“I had this one customer walk in sometime back and ask if he could use my makkai atta to make a tortilla, so that’s where I got the idea,” says Raghav. “So now we recommend the makkai roti (maize blended with whole wheat and wheat germ) to a lot of our customers. The roti or chapatti bakes a lot like a tortilla—of course a tortilla has more maida so that’s the difference, and then if you pack it up with Mexican salsa and then either a Paneer Shazlik or Tofu Paprika, it really does taste like a Mexican wrap,” he adds.

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“We also have butter beans and feta which is Mediterranean and then the Tandoori Bhindi Aloo is Indian, the Teriyaki Mushroom is prepared in a Japanese Teriyaki Sauce and the Exotic Veggies in Balsamic is something western,” says Raghav.

Pictured here is our plate of a makkai roti served with dahi (yoghurt), green chutney and a ground peanut concoction.

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“We’ve tried to cover different cuisines, different kinds of tastes. We also have dessert roti’s which are really popular. Nutella and pistachio with a Jiwa roti of your choice, peanut butter and jelly and then we’ve done a bun- maska version (Irani café inspired dish—served with homemade jam) and we’re coming out with crunchy red velvet roti .”

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Moving onto the healthier options, we’re recommending the Slimming Atta to all our BB readers. The Slimming Atta gives you the required amount of protein in a natural form. All whey proteins in the market are synthetically flavoured. What’s more, “Studies show that Indians, especially vegetarians lack enough protein in their diet” explains Raghav, The Fitness Atta will give you the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein. Packed with the goodness of sehori sharbati whole wheat, toasted oats, skimmed milk powder, toasted soybeans, toasted wheat germ and sea salt—this really is the natural way to fitness. Packed with protein—this is an easy staple to incorporate into your daily diet, for all you gym buffs out there.

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“Next month we’re starting to sell our products at Food Hall and Nature’s Basket amongst other retailers,” Raghav tells us. So, this means that fresh atta made from the very best grains will easily be available to you!

Pictured here is the man of the hour—Raghav Gupta