Mumbai is the city of a huge miscellany of cooking styles and several million street-food hawkers. From kebabs
and butter chicken
to bhel puri
and pav bhaji
, numerous recipes and delicious foods from different cultures define the culinary abundance of this metropolis. It is only in Mumbai that you get to munch on foods with an assortment of influences, including Parsi, Muslim, Coastal, Gujarati, Goan, South Indian and, of course, local Maharashtran! Here are 9 must-try foods from Mumbai’s huge food culture that the entire India craves for:
9. Gujarati Thaali
Gujarati Thaali is a main-course meal served with two vegetables, Dal and Kadhi, two types of lentils, puris and plethora of chutneys. There are two kinds of rice, a basket full of different puris and rotis and two desserts. Mango pulp is poured all over the plate. Despite that so many items are included, the entire Thaali comes for quite a modest price!
8. Bombil Fry
Bombay Duck or Bombil is a fish found everywhere in Mumbai. Highly popular among fisher folk in and around Mumbai, Bombil Fry is prepared by dipping flattened Bombils in spicy gram flour batter and frying them. When ready, this dish is crunchy on the outside and squishy from within. It is eaten both as a starter and a main course with rotis.
7. Kolhapuri Mutton
This mutton dish has its roots in Kolhapur and comes in two gravy variations that are coconut based. Where the heavier version is known as Tambda Rassa, the milder one is called Pandhara Rassa. However, both these variations are served with rice or rotis!
Mughals were the first to bring this variation of a Persian dessert to India. Falooda is basically a rich drink containing milk, pistachios, almonds, and rose syrup. Basil seed is also a main ingredient and two scoops of ice cream are used as the topping. Falooda tastes of roses and is highly refreshing and energizing on a hot day.
5. Akuri on Toast
One of the best and most liked Parsi dishes, the Parsi Akuri is a common breakfast item in Mumbai. Though there is hardly any variation in the ingredients used, still every family has a special way of cooking this meal. Usually, Akuri is a mix of scrambled eggs, onion, tomatoes, green chillies, red chilli powder, and fresh coriander used as topping. Many like to add milk, curry leaves, cumin powder and garlic and ginger paste for extra flavor.
4. Batata Vada
One thing Mumbaikars find almost impossible to live without is Batata Vada, be it for breakfast, snacks time or virtually anytime. This highly-loved fast food is prepared by squashing boiled potatoes, garlic, ginger, green chillies, fresh coriander, turmeric and lime juice. The mix is then dipped in gram flour, deep fried, and served with fried green chilies or green chutney.
3. The Bombay Sandwich
A tasty mix of unlikely ingredients, this street-side food is a favorite breakfast item in Mumbai. The ingredients are plentifully buttered white bread, thin slices of beetroot, cucumbers, onion rings, boiled potatoes, and mint chutney. Since it is important to arrange al the layers well without tipping them out, each sandwich is cut into four equal triangles. In the toasted version of the Bombay Sandwich, steamed vegetables are sandwiched between bread toasts.
2. Butter Chicken
The origin of this omnipresent dish dates back to the Mughal Empire when calorie-rich foods were liked very much. Today, when Indian families in Mumbai dine outside, butter chicken is a must-order dish! The dish is cooked using chunks of chicken soaked in yogurt, a spice mix containing garlic-ginger paste, and some amount of lime juice. Chicken is then pressed and pan-fried. Loaded with a thick sauce of tomato puree, butter, garam masalas, cumin and fresh cream, it is served with paranthas or naan.
1. Bhel Puri
You can always be sure of every bhel walla in Mumbai having his unique blend and a significant evening-time following of out-and-out customers! The ingredients of this most commonly sold chaat from Mumbai are deep fried flour puris, puffed rice, potatoes, sev, onions, and sweet and sour chutney. While the components remain always the same, what makes the difference is the way they are mixed-up and served on the roadsides.