The city of dreams , Mumbai, is not only famous for Bollywood, Gateway of India, the BSE, the local trains, the dabbawala, the Juhu Beach, the Marine drive, but is also famous for its “Street Food”. The finger licking, mouth watering, sizzling, street food in Mumbai is known worldwide. There are some of them, just by their names, makes your salivary glands active. From the tangy bhelpuri to the smacking Panipuri street food of Mumbai reflects the taste of Mumbaikars.
Must Read : Top 10 Street Foods of India
Food ready-to-eat and sold at the marketplace by hawkers, or vendors, in small booths, cart, or food trucks are known as Street Food. Also sometimes called – fast food, it is very popular in all class of the society and is equally relished by young and old.
Batata- meaning Potato is boiled and mashed, mixed with finely cut green chili, coriander, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and turmeric. It is then dipped in a batter of – Besan (gram flour) and is deep fried. It is served hot with green “Chutney” of coriander and chili. Mumbaikars have an amazing appetite for this potato dish and can eat this anytime of the day and night.
Big fast foods chains have tried their best to compete with this mashed potato delicacy and are still modifying their menu accordingly. But it’s hard to believe that even after thousands of vendors selling Vada Pao all have a unique taste and different from each other. Boiled Potato mashed and mixed with finely cut coriander, green chili, ginger, and garlic, and then small balls are made from it. The same is dipped in chickpea flour and deep fried. A layer of green chutney with red garlic crush is made on Pao (Sweetened Bread). The potato balls are then stuff in the Pao and served hot with chutney.
This spicy dish from Pune is prepared from bean sprouts or mixed sprouted lentils. The Bhaji is topped with potato, poha, chivda (beaten rice), raw onions and tomato. It is served with Pao / buns, with sliced lemon, potato, and tomato. It is garnished with farsen ( a snack made of gram flour) and coriander leaves.
Stalls at Chowpatty and Juhu beach will serve you thousands of variety of “Bhel Puri” each unique in its preparation. The uniqueness comes due to the mixing of ingredients in different quantity. The fans of this dish like it served by only the Bhel walas at these locations. A simple yet matchless blend of puffed rice, papdi, sev, boiled potato, coriander leaves, and mango, sweet and sour chutney is what is in this chaat.
Served with the Indian bread- Roti or the Pao this non-vegetarian dish has a Muslim touch in it. The “Bheja” means brain in Hindi, is used to prepare this dish. Goat brain is cooked and sautéed with spices, turmeric, onion, garlic and is garnished with fresh coriander leaves. A perfect meal for somebody who is hungry and is a carnivore.
Fish – Bombil is found in plenty in the waters around Mumbai and is a delicacy. It is flattened and dipped in Besan and spices and is then deep fried. The fleshy – soft inside and the crunchy outside Bombil is itself enough to eaten alone and needs nothing else.
Meat minced and cooked in spices, onions, garlic, tomato, chili, and garnished with coriander leaves becomes Kheema. When it is served with crispy fried egg it is called – Kheema Single Fry and when the egg is scrambled with it, is called “Ghotala”. Kheema is then served with the “Bread of Mumbai – Pao”.
Vegetables like – cauliflower, capsicum, potato, peas, French beans, tomato are boiled and smashed and cooked with loads of butter. It is then served with slightly fried Pao and cut onions and garnished with coriander leaves and lemon. This dish is now famous not only as the street food of Mumbai but is also a favorite in northern states of the country.
This dish consists of two things – Ragda and Pattice. Though the best way to enjoy it is to mix both and garnish it with cut onion and tangy tamarind sauce. Ragda is spicy, soft, cooked flavored chickpeas. And Pattice is mashed potato made into flat round balls and deep fried into Pattice.
The non spicy food is prepared by boiling rice – Bhaat and is served with Varan which is made of pigeon pea split beans. This lentil is cooked in ghee, turmeric, and cumin powder and is served hot. Simple yet filling this soul-satisfying dish is magical.
Mumbai by virtue of its cosmopolitan population and culture is home to distinct street food. The slow and steady migration of population from across the country over the years has resulted in the evolution of a varied type of mouth-watering street food. The mix of migrating culture and the local Marathi culture has given birth to different streets in Mumbai serving street food. The socio-economic amalgamation and the fast pace of the city are also a reason for the elaboration in its food.
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