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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular local food items in Mumbai?

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If you’re a foodie, Mumbai is your den! A singular thought about Amchi Mumbai and it’s like you can almost taste those spicy Vada pavs melting into your mouth, followed by a plate of lip smacking Pani Puris. Doesn’t it sound heavenly? Every bit of the hype around Mumbai’s street food seems justified as it manages to tantalize your taste buds. What’s best is that you do not have to look around much, you will find these stalls at every street corner, mainly concentrated in beaches and around railway stations.

  • Vada Pav
    Also known as the hamburger of Mumbai, this dish essentially contains fried potatoes which are stuffed in yeasty bread. This quick food was mainly developed to provide nourishment to mill-workers in Mumbai's burgeoning mills, however, now they are found everywhere, popular among the masses.This Mumbai specialty is available at all street food stalls. You can try the one off S.V Road near Irla across from Goklibai School. Another popular one is opposite Mithibai College which is about 15 minutes walking distance from Vile Parle Station. Also try the one outside Grant Road Station and Churchgate Station.

  • Pani Puri
    Preferred by a majority of the masses, this street food is a sheer delight to the palate. Also known as Puchka in Bengali and Golgappa in the North, Pani Puri is basically round, hollow puffed puris, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. Small enough to fit completely into your mouth, this puri is like a spicy water bomb in your mouth. This snack is synonymous with the beaches of Mumbai, especially the one at Juhu Chowpatty beach. The Elco markets located at hill road, Bandra, serves as a hotspot for many Bollywood actors too. Khao Gulli is a famous hogging place when in Churchgate.

  • Bhelpuri
    This snack has kept pace with the street food culture of Mumbai for years. This fast-food is made of puffed rice and Sev (a fried snack shaped like thin noodles made from besan flour) with lots of chillies, sauces and chopped onions mixed with potatoes, Chat masala and chutney and mixture (a mix of different types of fried snacks). Different chutneys impart a sweet, tangy or spicy flavour. There are two kinds of chutneys used; a dark brown sweet one which is made mainly from dates and tamarind and a green spicy chutney made from coriander leaves and green chillies. Especially identified with the beach of Chowpatty, this tangy delight is available at all street food stalls in Mumbai. Check out Vithal Bhelwalla near VT station. The street stalls at Nariman Point are also worth giving it a try.

  • Pav Bhaji

    Pav Bhaji is a popular fast food dish of the Marathi cuisine. While Pav in Marathi means a small loaf of bread, Bhaji means a vegetable dish. This savoury quick food consists of bhaji, which is a thick potato-based curry garnished with coriander, chopped onion and a dash of lemon and baked pav. The pav is usually buttered on all sides. Served piping hot, you are bound to revel in the ecstasy of butter melting in your mouth as the spicy bhaji tingles your taste buds. This fast food is available at every nook and corner in Mumbai. You will relish the ones at Chowpatty beach and near Churchgate station.

The best part about the street food in Mumbai is that it is dirt cheap. You can fill yourself up for just INR 20. What could be better than enjoying a small snack on the roadside with your family as the huge sea waves at a distance hum a familiar tune.

This is not all, you are yet to experience the flavours and spices of the authentic Marathi cuisine.


  • Marathi cuisine
    Home to a large group of ethnic Marathi community, Mumbai has a significant number of restaurants which offer a wide variety of Marathi dishes. Maharashtrian cuisine covers a range from mild to extremely spicy dishes. So if you’re planning a trip to Mumbai make sure you try Sabudana Vada, Shira, Kanda Poha, Misal Pav, Zunka Bhakar, Thalipith, Ghavane or Neer Dosa among several others. The Kokam Sarbat and Solkadhi are appetizers which will keep you refreshed during the hot summers.

  • Sabudana Vada
    Sabudana Vada also called Sago Vada, is a traditional deep fried often served with spicy green chutney along with hot chai. What could be better than sipping a hot cup of adrak chai while munching on this light snack on a pleasant rainy day. This dish is also eaten on days of fasting in Maharashtra for e.g., Ganesh Chaturthi.

  • Kanda Poha
    If you were to ask anyone from Mumbai what their favourite breakfast is, you would surely hear Kanda Poha. While Kanda means onions in Marathi, poha refers to rice flakes. Sprinkled with a little bit of grated coconut, this dish makes for a chewy, tangy light snack in Maharashtra.

  • Misal Pav
    Quintessentially from Kolhapur, the Misal Pav consists of spicy curry usually made of sprouts, green peas, chick peas and chilly powder gravy topped with a Punjabi mix comprising Farsan or sev (Indian noodles), poha, onions, lemon and coriander. The final dish is then served with bread toasted with butter, buttermilk or curd and papad. Though spicy, it makes a mouth-watering recipe.

With so much to satisfy your palate, what are you waiting for?

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