Mumbai is a buzzing metropolis and if you are wondering what keeps the megacity going then there are two evident answers: the unflinching spirit of the hardworking populace and the numerous hawkers thronging the streets, conjuring up scrumptious and affordable meals for all. The locals are extremely fond of the exciting and eclectic street food scene here.
Our food journey began with the ubiquitous Mumbai Sandwich. This hearty, golden, crisp on the outside and soft and spicy inside and humble vegetable white bread sandwich was stuffed with slices of boiled potatoes, capsicum, tomatoes and onion.
The second stop was a chai shop where we tried Mumbai’s famous cutting chai or half measured chai that was strong, milky and sweet enough to give you the kick to carry on.
The third thing that we had was the poha or a popular savoury breakfast preparation made of soaked flattened rice mixed with some cooked veggies primarily potatoes and onions and tempered with the distinctly flavourful mustard seeds, curry leaves and chillies and topped with sev and chopped onion. Along with it we also tried the upma which is almost a poha equivalent made up of semolina and is soggier. All of these were accompanied by sambar and coconut chutney.
Our fourth stop is the Yazdani bakery, an unassuming heritage eatery that has been around since 1951. We spoke to the endearing owner Parveen Yazdani who gave us a sneak peek into the history and the popularity of the place and its food. Sipping the chai and along with Brun maska, a slightly crusted bun slathered with copious amounts of Amul butter, in the antique set-up of this bakery was a surreal experience.
Fifth place was the legendary Pancham Pooriwala. The lip smacking Pancham thali, the winning combo of sada pooris and aamras and the enchanting crowd is a cogent combination of flavours, heritage and connections. The food here was an amazing amalgamation of flavours from UP, Punjab and Rajasthan.
Our sixth stop was Aram vada pav where we sank our teeth into the delicious Indian version of the burger. The contrasting tastes and textures of this no-frill snacks synonymous with Mumbai is a hit.
After that instant carbohydrate boost, we headed to the seventh spot to have a pan in order to cleanse our palate and prime it for more food. Pan is betel leaves topped with pulverised areca nuts and other condiments which is folded into a triangle and relished.
The eighth destination was Elco restaurant to try their famous sindhi style pani puris, sev puri,dahi puri and bhelpuri. All the stuffs were fresh, sensational and addictive.
Our final stop in this leg of Mumbai street food journey was the Sardar pav Bhaji that has been serving this quintessential Mumbai Street for over half a century. A scrumptious plate of buttery soft pavs and the mildly spiced, distinctly savoury and delicious bhaji made us realise why it is a celebrity.