TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

Food Prowl: Mumbai Vol I

Konark Bansal, Travel Writer, India

12 February 2018

In the First three volumes, we covered the street food of Delhi- “Dilli”. In that series, we covered Old Delhi to New Delhi all the places and their Specialties. In this Segment, we will cover all Delicious street food of Mumbai which will give you craving to eat them. Patties, Puris, kebabs and lassis … Mumbai is the city of a million hawkers. Here you will find the Maharashtrian delicacies; like Kolhapur missal to Vada pav which will test your taste buds. So, don’t wasting any more time let’s check out the list.

Vada Pav

If we are talking about Mumbai street food, the first and foremost thing which comes in mind will always “The Vada pav”. It’s every Mumbaikar’s grab-and-go snack. Potato patties mashed with garlic, chilies and coriander are dipped in chickpea flour, fried golden, then laid in “pav” – a springy white bap that’s well buttered, spread with coriander chutney and sprinkled with garlic and chili powder. An added touch is a plate of rock-salted fried green chilies, which aren’t nearly as fiery as you might think. Cool off with mini bottles of sweet lassi from the stall to the left.

Pani puri

The craft is part of the fun: vendors poke a thumb into a crisp fried sphere, fill it with potato, chickpeas, onion and sprouted lentils, then dunk it into a sweet-and-sour mix of tamarind and jaggery, then a liquid blend of coriander, mint and garam masala. Eat it whole, and unless you have a stomach of steel. To taste this delicious balls you don’t need to go so far, you will find these pani puri stalls at every corner of the street.

Bhel puri

Bhel puri is one of the most common all-day snacks. A crunchy, cold, sweet-and-sour mix of puffed rice, sav, chopped onion and potato, and tamarind chutney. It has to be mixed and eaten on the spot, and most vendors will concoct their own variations. Chowpatty Beach is the home of bhel puri, where it should be eaten while strolling along the shore.

Pav bhaji

A five-minute walk from Mumbai Central station, Sardar’s Refreshments specializes in straight-from-the-streets, finger-licking pav bhaji. Two metal plates arrive within minutes: one containing thick vegetable masala straddled by a slab of butter, the other with fluffy rolls so well buttered the bread’s yellow. Your arteries will tighten at the sight, but your stomach will thank you. Squeeze some lemon on top and dig in with your fingers.

Kebabs

Mohammed Ali Road is the benchmark for skewered kebabs, which hang from smoking stalls like sizzling curtains. But towards the north end, veer left on to Dimtimkar Road and head to Sarvi. It’s been around for 90 years, has no sign, looks fire damaged, and grills the most tender beef seekh kebabs in the city. Crisp on the outside and melting in the middle, with a hint of mint – rumor has it they grind papaya into the meat. Get there early evening, as they sell out fast.