Mumbai Street Food: Cutting Across All the Gender and Caste Barriers
Mumbai is famous for its distinctive street foods. Although you will get all the food anywhere if the country, specialty about Mumbai street food is that, people from all economic class love having food from the portable market stalls, and sometimes they say it tastes better than restaurants in the city. Mumbai people cut across all the barriers of the religion, class, gender and ethnicity and give priority to the passion for street side foods.
Carrying Forward a Tradition
Street foods in Mumbai are not only on the inexpensive side, but it’s also a tradition that you should give a try while you are in Mumbai. Many of the residents of Mumbai love to eat small snacks on the roadside in the evening. This food culture is a unique feature of the city, which you can never miss.
Most Famous Mumbai Street Foods
Indian Version of the Veggie Burger
Indian veggie burger is commonly known as ‘pav bhaji’ is a world-famous fast food dish from the state of Mumbai. This is so famous that it serves as an icon which represents the state itself. Pav Bhaji has many variations which you can get on the streets, but the common thing is the super-hot spiced mixture of mashed vegetables in a thick gravy, cooked over the griddle and served with a soft butter-dripping white bread roll.
From ‘vaji’ to ‘sweet treat’ anything is an excellent package: Not only pav bhaji, but you can see a variety of other vajis, bhelpuri, samosas and even type of street sweets like faluda, kulfi and many more.
Indian canapé or Sev puri is a tiny flattened puri served with some astounding topping of different veggies or chutneys. This is one of the most delicious bites among the street foods of Mumbai and also across India. Topped with chat masala or sev, onions, boiled potatoes, and different chutneys, all age groups love this chaat recipe.
If you are in Mumbai, then you will come across bhel puri. It is a popular Indian savoury snack which has all the flavours in one food item– a crispy, tangy, sweet, and spicy mixture of many edibles. It is made with puffed rice, vegetables, tangy tamarind sauce, potatoes, onion, sev, raw mango, papdis, coriander chutneys, lemon juice and other tasty ingredients.
Vada pavs are aptly called as poor man’s burger yet it has a mesmerizing taste because of which, you can eat it again and again. Mumbai’s very own burger’s vada is made with spicy potato fillings which are deep fried in gram flour batter. It contains hot and spicy garlic chutney which is served inside a bun called ‘Ladi Pav’. This Maharashtrian dish goes fabulous with a hot cup of masala tea.
Batata Vada is one of the favourite food of people which is found in the Mumbai street stalls. It is made with boiled potatoes which are sautéed in green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. They are made in the shape of round balls and coated with gram flour batter and then deep fried. These cannot be swallowed like an ordinary fried pakora because the round shape needs to be intact.
Bombay sandwich of Mumbai is easy to prepare tasty vegetable sandwich spiced up with coriander chutney, black salt, and chaat masala. You can also add roasted cumin powder and freshly powdered black pepper to the sandwich.
Best Street Food and Where to Find it in Mumbai
Bombay Duck Fry
Bombay duck, as the name suggests is not a duck recipe, but it is a fish! It is also known as Bombil. If the Bombil is made and served fresh, it is very delicate and needs gentle frying. If you fry it perfectly, the fish will be moist and succulent inside and crisp on the outside. It can also be used in a curry which will make the fried fish softer. It goes very well with steamed hot rice and dal.
There is a unique way you need to clean the fish. You have to remove the head, inside of the mouth, side fins and tail. You have to debon the fish by gently slitting the fish along the length, by not cutting it completely. The fish needs to be spread open into a flat fillet. Wash the fish quickly and drain thoroughly. Absorb the excess water with a kitchen towel or keep in a strainer.
One of the most recommended place for this dish is at Gomantak Restaurant at Gomantak building house located at Dadar West. They have both AC and Non-AC section, but if you want to feel the historical character, then you must choose the Non-AC area.
Mumbai Frankie is a famous dish which you can find in most of the streets, beaches and food courts here. It is a tongue tickling potato mixture inside the roti wraps. It is a pleasure to see a Frankie-wala making it live for you. The rotis are butter cooked and prepared beforehand. The masala potato, crunchy onions, zesty masala, and tangy water which is sprinkled over the Frankie make this Frankie a delicious one.
The place like Breadkraft in Andheri West is where you will feel the paradise for Frankie lovers and the rolls and Frankies are all veg here. Whereas, at Tibbs Frankie, Borivali West Mumbai, you will get an option for both veg as well as non-veg Frankie.
Baida Roti is an excellent combination of mutton and eggs rolled in a delicious and crispy roti. It is a form of bread that came from the Awadhi region of India. The roti is prepared by shallow frying the flour pocket and stuff it with minced meat. The sides of the roti are covered with beaten eggs.
The most famous place to eat Baida Roti is Bademiya Restaurant near Gateway of India in south Mumbai. This place is absolute heaven for non- vegetarian lovers. It is a hotspot place at night to have dinner.
Ragda patty is a favourite snack which the roadside vendors of Mumbai make and serve super-hot. This snack is tasty and aromatic, and it comes with chutney and topped with crunchy Sev. It is a superior experience to have this mouth-watering dish on a monsoon day with family and friends.
At Ram and Shyam Santa Cruz west, an authentic place for chaat, the prices might be a little on the higher side, but you will never regret it. Ask for this dish and feel the heavenly taste like nowhere.
Perfect Kanda Poha
Kanda Poha is a delicious breakfast recipe which is similar to aloo poha. Poha is a Maharashtrian word which means beaten or flattened rice, and Kanda means onions. It is light, easy to cook and a tasty recipe for all ages. It can also go very well at tea time in the evening.
Aaswad near Gokhale road is a place where you will love having the kanda poha at a reasonable price. This place is well organized and authentic for street food items.
Chatpata Keema Pav
Keema Pav is one of the most classic breakfast food, and all people across communities and religions love it.
Lucky Restaurant in Bandra is the most famous place to get good Keema Pav at breakfast time. No need to worry if you miss it for breakfast, the keema is available here all day long.
Tangy Pani Puri
Mumbai Pani Puri has a balanced taste of spicy, sweet and sour flavor. The vendor skillfully punches a tiny hole in the middle of the panipuri and fill the fillings inside. Then a sweet chutney and salty water make the panipuri taste like heaven. Faster you eat the panipuri, more quickly you get the next one from the vendor. Once you are done with your taste bud, you should not forget a free ‘sukha puri’ and ‘teekha pani’ from the vendor to experience the perfect end.
Andheri people of Mumbai swear by the Monsoon Chaat Corner at Lokhandwala. It would be best if you visited Bhola Chaat Bhandar who makes super tasty pani puris.
If you are a kebab lover, then you must try the variety of kebabs which are found on the streets of Mumbai. Khiri tikkas, seekh kebabs, calamari tikkas, boti kebabs and malai tikkas some of the mouth-watering delicacies in the kebabs which are highly famous.
Try Iris Kebab and Rolls at Cuffe Parade which serves different types of kebabs and tikka rolls which compliment whole wheat rotis, with prompt service and decent price tag.
Dosa is one of the most sought-after meals for Mumbai people, although it shouts out as a south Indian recipe. It encompasses a wide range of options from masala dosa, Rava dosa to Schezwan, Manchurian, paneer cheese and pasta dosa. Mumbai has given a complete makeover to the traditional style of dosa, and it will certainly make you weak on knees.
Try those versatile dosas from places like Pure Milk Centre at Tilak road, Edward Stall in marine line or Anand Dosa opposite Vile Parle
Mumbai is a city where Falooda originated. A glass of Falooda on a summer evening, especially after dinner is a delicacy which will make your mind and soul so happy that you will not want anything else to eat after that. Falooda is traditionally made from vermicelli psyllium, basil, tapioca pearls, and rose water in milk or water.
Badshah is a place where you will find a variety of glasses or bowls filled with fantastic delicacy. Their specialty is Badshah Kulfi Falooda and Kesar-Pista falooda. It’s in the CST area of Mumbai in the Crawford Market which you cannot miss.
Mumbai Special Chai
Yes, they call it ‘cutting chai’! It is a miss if you forget to sip a chai from Mumbai street stalls. Mumbai people have a very different take on the usual cup of chai, and it makes for an essential part of their daily life. Cutting chai is half of a cup, which is less in price and quantity but makes your senses fresh on the busy days of your life.
You will get a tea stall at any ‘Nukkar’, but some of the places like Prithvi Café, Yazdani Bakery and Qutu Irani Tea specialize in making the perfect cup of tea that you want.
Bonus: Famous Mumbai Street Food Sandwich Recipe
Find your excuse to ditch the regular diet and walk through some of the best street food centers in the city of dreams. Alternatively, if you wish, you can try your hand in making a few of them at home to surprise your friends and family.
Bombay Masala Toast
What You Need:
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds Curry Leaves
- 1 cup Sliced Onion
- 1/2 cup Tomatoes
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Green Chilli Paste
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 medium size Potatoes
- 1/2 cup Green Peas
- Sandwich Bread
- Salt to taste
- Coriander Leaves
- Coriander-Mint Chutney
- Chopped Onion
How to make it:
- Take two medium size boiled potatoes. Peel and cut them into small cubes.
- Now prepare the stuffing.
- Heat up 2Tb oil in a pan.
- Stir well and cook for 3 - 4 minutes until onion softens up and looks transparent.
- Add diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilli paste, turmeric powder.
- Mix well and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes until tomatoes become soft.
- Add boiled and cubed potatoes, green peas and mash the potatoes while mixing.
- Add salt to taste, lemon juice and lots of coriander.
- Stir well. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
- Prepare for making sandwich by taking sandwich bread. Butter it from both sides and spread coriander and mint chutney.
- Sprinkle some sliced onion, spread the potato stuffing over the bread evenly and nicely.
- Top this up with sliced onion and cover the bread with another slice.
- Roast the sandwich on skillet from both sides until the bread turns deep golden in colour and gets a nice crust.
- Cut the hot sandwich in half diagonally and serve with sauce or chutney.
Fire up Your Taste Buds in 2019 with These Street Foods of Mumbai
As easy as it is to gorge on delicious food, I advise that overeating is the #1 cause of any problem with digestion. Keeping your digestive power strong also naturally boosts your immunity so that your body easily fends off unwanted germs. The city of dreams has a unique culture and vibrancy. To experience this diversity, one needs to try the street food Mumbai is famous for. Check out these places and fire up your taste buds!