Cinco de Mayo: Mouth-watering fare is one reason to celebrate the Mexican fest

Cinco de Mayo—meaning fifth of May in Spanish—is an annual celebration in Mexico, commemorating a 19th century military victory over the French Empire. Across the world, this day has become a celebration of Latin American culture as people indulge in Mexican delicacies—which are also steadily gaining popularity in India. The desi palate is not wary of bold Mexican flavours, which has led to eateries serving traditional as well as experimental fusion variations.

“Mexican Cuisine is becoming the new favourite amongst the audience, especially in Mumbai because of the exciting flavour profiles that go very well with the Indian palate. The use of chillies, more veggies and beans, and more benefits like the high protein nature of the main ingredients along with the use of tortillas and flavourful chillies, spices and herbs makes it a perfect blend for the Indian audience. Secondly, the gaining popularity of avocados and vegetarianism, in general, has helped make this cuisine a crowd favourite,” shares Megha Datwani, owner of Poco Loco Tapas and Bar. If you’re someone who likes experimenting in the kitchen, we’ve asked city chefs and mixologists to share some mouth-watering recipes for you to ace at home.

Vegetarian Quesadilla

“Its two main ingredients are in the name itself – queso (cheese) and tortillas. Quesadillas are one of the most loved Mexican dishes because of the scrumptious filling with a lot of veggies and cheese and a tortilla. The highlight is that it can be eaten as an appetiser or as a main course,” shares Megha Datwani, owner of Poco Loco Tapas and Bar.


Tortilla 1, sliced button mushrooms 70g, chopped red bell pepper 1 medium-sized, chopped green bell pepper 1 medium-sized, fresh sweet corn 35 g, sliced onion 1 medium-sized, minced garlic cloves 2-3, roughly chopped fresh cilantro 20g, shredded mozzarella 35g, shredded Monterey jack 20g, red chili powder 5g or adjust to taste, ground black pepper to taste, salt to taste, olive oil 10 ml, sour cream and pico de gallo for serving


1. Add oil to the pan.

2. Add the tortilla and top with cheese.

3. Combine all veggies in a bowl, and spread the filling on top of the tortilla.

4. Watch for the cheese to melt.

5. Fold the quesadilla in half.

6. Transfer to a cutting board and cut.

7. Then serve with sour cream and pico de gallo.

Baja Style Fish Taco

“Our Baja-style fish taco is bustling with flavours of fried grouper, baja and chipotle sauces,” says Chef Sushil Multani, culinary director at Acapella Hospitality.


Grouper 90 g, salt 1g, oil for frying, coriander sprigs 3 nos, pickled onions 10g, batter: refined flour 5g, corn flour 10g, baking powder 0.5g, water 90ml, tuna sauce: canned tuna 20g, anchovy 5g, lemon 1 nos, garlic powder 3g, mayonnaise 10g, chipotle sauce: chipotle chilli 10g, garlic 1g, salt 1g, sugar 1g
mayonnaise 10g


1.Make a batter of water, flours and baking powder.

2. Marinate the fish for 10 minutes.

3. Dip in batter and fry till crisp.

4. For chipotle Sauce, boil chilli and make a paste. Saute some garlic, add chilli paste and season with salt, sugar and puree again. Add mayonnaise to get chipotle mayonnaise.

5. Take tortilla and spread chipotle sauce, then place the fried fish, and a generous amount of tuna sauce.

6. Garnish with fresh or pickled onion and cilantro spring and serve.

Loaded Nachos

“This dish is ideal to serve at a party, and makes for a light dinner, or a midnight snack. These easy-to-make nachos are loaded with classic vegetable toppings and condiments. The tortilla chips are layered with refried bean topping and layered with a generous amount of melty cheddar cheese sauce,” explains Ishaan Bahl, founder at 145.


Tortilla chips 250 g, cooked pinto beans 1.5 cup, pickled jalapenos to taste, chopped green onions ⅓ cup, guacamole 1 cup, chopped cilantro 2 tablespoons, your choice of salsa or pico de gallo, cheddar cheese 1 cup, sour cream ¾ cup, lemon juice 1 tablespoon


1. On a serving platter, spread out the tortilla chips.

2. Add cooked pinto beans on top.

3. Evenly spread the pico de gallo or salsa over the nachos

4. In the centre, spread the guacamole and sour cream.

5. Garnish with cilantro, pickled jalapeos, and green onions.

6. Add a squirt of lemon juice. The authentic Mexican nachos are ready to be served.

Spiced Pomegranate Paloma

“Mexico is famed for its tequila. This is a classic take on the Paloma, made with Tequila Blanco, delights with a delicate balance of sweet pomegranate flavor that adds the extra zing to the lightly spicy combo of tequila and grapefruit,” shares Nikita Poojari, co-owner of Butterfly High.


Tequila 60 ml, grapefruit juice 60 ml, lime juice 30 ml, jalapeno simple syrup 15 ml, pomegranate juice 20 ml


1. Combine Tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, jalapeno simple syrup, and pomegranate juice in a shaker with ice.

2. Mix thoroughly until well combined.

3. Pour the cocktail over ice in a glass and garnish with a smoked grapefruit slice.

Mango Thyme Margarita

“A Mango thyme margarita is a flavourful cocktail consisting of tequila, orange liqueur, mango thyme reduction and lime juice served with salt on the rim of the glass,” shares Izler Thomas, mixologist at Cafe Panama. This refreshing cocktail is among the diverse range of Mexican delicacies being offered at the Lower Parel establishment during their Cinco de Mayo Festival.


Tequila 50ml, orange liqueur 10ml, lime juice 20ml, Mango thyme reduction 20ml: mango pulp 100g, castor sugar 100g, thyme 2g


1. Take a pan and add unsweetened mango pulp, castor sugar, and thyme to prepare mango thyme reduction. Let it cook for 10 minutes on slow heat until the sugar is dissolved. 

2. Take a shaker and add fresh lime juice, mango and thyme reduction, tequila, and orange liquer.

3. Shake with ice until it is chilled enough.

4. Take a rock glass and rim it with some salt or chilli salt. Add some ice in the glass and serve.

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