Sport was always a passion for me: Jafferbhai Mansuri

Jafferbhai Gulam Mansuri, a name which has slowly in the past 40 years evolved into a brand. The journey which started with a small restaurant at Grant Road in 1973, has now culminated in a chain restaurants which are sufficing taste buds everywhere in the city.

Rightly touted as ‘The Biryani King’ of Mumbai, Jafferbhai’s Delhi Darbar is a glorious exhibition of the immaculate skills, perseverance and a deep lying love for food within the legendary Jafferbhai Mansuri, a man who has managed to truly reflect himself in his creation.

Still the only restaurateur who can prepare all the dishes on his menu, Jafferbhai has made sure his skills have trickled down to his children and cooks alike, allowing no fluctuations in the luring taste which has taken many a Mumbaikars by its sway.

Recently, Jafferbhai seems to have opened doors to some of his other passions, which seem to reside outside the kitchen. Many found it a mismatch of sorts when Jafferbhai’s Delhi Darbar was announced as the title sponsors for the Colaba Super League, one of the city’s most promising and exciting football leagues which aims at uplifting the footballing fortunes of the Colabaites.

While it’s tough to co-relate the royalty of a Biryani to the rather rugged nature of football, the key to achieving fineness in both requires somewhat similar skill sets. Deadly Accuracy and timing, coupled with relentless efforts driven by a burning desire and passion.

A cricketer, a basketball player and also an avid footballer, Jafferbhai Mansuri’s journey to greatness may well have its roots on the sports field. Much before his culinary skills took over his time, Jafferbhai spent much of his time, sharpening the athlete in him on the various sports grounds of Mumbai.

“I was a regular at Cooperage. I remember playing many matches in front of huge crowds there and it was highly pleasurable experience for me”, said a nostalgic Jafferbhai Mansuri after seeing some of Colaba’s finesh footballers on show, when he graced the Colaba Super League event with his presence, earlier this month.

Being in the restaurant industry for over fifty years, Jafferbhai has developed an almost unmatchable sense of judgement of selecting the best raw materials for his dishes. He believes the same level of selection is necessary to create the best sportsmen in the country and he believes that leagues, such as the CSL gives both the players and the selectors a great platform.
“I go and select the best cuts of meat and the ingredients which will make my Biryani the best. Similarly it’s important, the sports authorities of this country game the same chance. It (Colaba Super League) also gives the players a chance to be one of the best among the rest”.

Jafferbhai believes his passion for sports has drove him to sponsoring this league and feels it will be wonderful that his efforts will encourage the youngsters to achieve great things in life. “Sport was always a passion for me, so I had no doubts in my mind when such a great initiative came to me. We want to encourage these footballers by giving them this platform to achieve great things in life”.

Krishna Pawle, the President of the Colaba Super League hailed the legendary Jafferbhai and lauded the perfectionist in him. “Jafferbhai is a perfectionist; he has history of serving the best biryani for years. For a young league like us, it’s great to have his support and he serves as an inspiration for all of us”.

From sports to biryani and back to sports, Jafferbhai is an institution when it comes to pursuing passions. With his eyes sporting a spark which seeks opportunities to work his passion, CSL gives him a route back to his old passionate days as a sportsman. On the other hand, Jafferbhai Mansuri not just powers the CSL with funds, but also with a blueprint of creating success out of virtually nothing.
So for Jafferbhai Mansuri, this is indeed a match made in heaven, or to aptly put it, a match made in his own kitchen.