Vada is an absolute must if one is in Mumbai. But there are a motley of other dishes as well that makes Mumbai a foodie’s paradise. From cutting chai to spicy hot misaal paav Mumbai caters to the need of everyone. So, here is a ballad in praise of the food that keeps Mumbaikars going in such a competitive city.
- Cutting Chai:
Cutting chai is the fuel on which Mumbai runs. Having tea at home and having cutting chai served street side are experiences as different as chalk and cheese. Black tea mixed with creamy full fat milk, extra pinch of sugar and a mix of cardamom, Tulsi and ginger this beverage is sure to melt your day’s stress away. One can notice people puffing cigarette and sipping cutting chai by streets of Mumbai. There are few experiences as romantic as Mumbai rains and cutting chai.
Mumbai’s burger is how we can define Vada-Paav. Vada-Paav has a fan following across the length and breadth of the city that will put the likes of McDonalds and Burger King to shame. A potato patty (vada) stuffed in a bun (paav) then served with deep fried green chilies and grainy chuttney (thecha) is a delight any day. A bite of vada-paav and you will have salty, minty and spicy flavors in your mouth making you go wow!! While every Vaada Paav vendor in whole of Mumbai has almost the same kind of Vada-Paav on offer, drop by the Central Telegraph Office area at Fountain in South Mumbai to taste one of Mumbai’s best (and safest) vada pavs.
- Bun Maska:
Found outside almost all local stations Bun Maska is a sweet bun served with melted butter. This snack is light and can be had at any time. Bun maska goes well with cutting chai. Simplicity is the USP of the dish. It takes a grand total of 5 minutes for it to reach from tava to tummy. Qutuz near Infiniti Malad, a round the clock Iranian joint is an absolute must for Bun Maska and Iranian chai.
Puchka of Bengal, GolGappa of Delhi becomes Pani Puri of Mumbai. Pani Puri rules Indian hearts. Pani Puri is refreshing and fun to eat. A small puri is filled with chickpea,potatoes,onions spices and lots of flavored water. Put the puri in your mouth and let this bomb of a dish explode in your mouth. It is spicy, it is sweet,pani-puri is difficult to beat. Elco, a pani puri center in Bandra west is widely considered as melting pot for Pani Puri aficionados.
- Paav Bhaji:
Giving Vada Paav a run for its money is Paav Bhaaji. The bhaaji is a mashed up puree of potato,tomato and spices. Once prepared, bhajji is served with a crispy Paav. The butter on the top of the bhaaji adds to the taste. The dish is spicy and fulfilling. Paav-Bhaaji is Mumbai’s subzi-roti. Sardar refreshment, a tiny restaurant located at Tardeo road junction is heaven for those who love to have Paav-Bhaji. Juhu Chowpati is not a bad option either to have authentic Paav Bhaaji of Mumbai.
Pav Bhaji’s near cousin is Missal Paav. A scrumptious mix of savoury and sprouts. The wholesome spouts are cooked in a tangy tomato and pungent onion puree with lots of spices in the mix. The mouthwatering gravy is served with crispy farsaan and soft warm paavs. Dip the paav in the gravy and put it in your mouth. That’s it! Let the dish do the rest. Maamledaar in Thane west serves the best and most authentic Missal-Paav in whole of Mumbai. Word of caution: The place serves really spicy Misal Paav.
Bhel Puri has found its abode in the beaches of Mumbai. A crunchy snack made out of puffed rice, Bhel Puri could taste anything from spicy hot to sugary sweet. Essence of BhelPuri is mashed potatoes, finely chopped tomatoes and onions, minted chutneys, lemons and dressing of coriander. Most vendors will dish out their own variations of BhelPuri to you. Apart from Jaalsa,Janak and Prateeksha if there is anything that Juhu is famous for it is surely Bhel-Puri.
Dosa highlights the business mindset of Mumbai. A dish originally from southern India, street vendors of Mumbai have started minting money out of dosa by serving their own creative versions of it,”Chimmney Dosa” take that !A fermented batter of rice and dal goes on a hot plate till the batter becomes crispy and golden. The traditional masala dosa is served with potato masala and coconut chutney and sambhar. Anand stall, a small eatery under a tree bang opposite Mithibai College, Parle west, has made its name for serving tastiest and most creative Dosas in whole of Mumbai.
Sandwich is foreign to India but streets of Mumbai have their own versions of it. Basic dish calls for mashed potatoes and sliced veggies like onion, cucumber, tomatoes and beet root stuffed between two layers of bread. The best way to have to sandwich is get it toasted. Once ready Sandwich is served in a typical Mumbai way by having lots of sev and butter on top of it. Not a very big shop but Sandwizza in Sanatacruz west, has now been making its presence felt in Sandwich business.
When in Mumbai these dishes are an absolute must. These dishes will make you see the whole of Mumbai and know its people better. Hungry already??