Thursday, 9 October 2014

Top 10 Mumbai Street Foods (Vegetarian)

Mumbai is a foodie heaven. So many different cultures reside here that there is a diversity of food available here. There are dishes here that suit every taste palate. Every street food lover will find something here that he/she will really enjoy!

This is a list of my top 10 favourite Mumbai foods. Now for some wada pav to eat!

1. Wada Pav/ Vada Pav

My recipe of Wada Pav can be found here.

Wada Pav/ Vada Pav

Wada pav has often been compared to Indian burger. I disagree, strongly! Wada pav is a very unique dish in itself. Mashed potatoes are slowly cooked with ginger, garlic and basic spices. Then they're coated in a gram flour cover and deep fried till crispy. They're then served in a pav (a bread) with mint-corriander chutney or tamarind-jaggery chutney or a dry roasted garlic chutney. Each bite is poetry of soft pav, crispy spicy wada and pungent and sweet chutneys.

While any street corner will have a shop or cart selling wada pav, some of the highly recommended places in Mumbai to have wada pav are Ashok wada pav (near Kirti College, Prabhadevi), Anand wada pav (Vile Parle), Aram Milk bar (CST) and my favourite for its amazing chutney Gajanan wada pav (Vishnu Nagar, Thane). 

2. Pani Puri

Pani Puri
Image from:

Golden crispy puris are slightly broken on the top.  They'refilled with boiled ragda (white chickpea), boiled potatoes, boondi (gram flour fried balls), tamarind and jaggery chutney. The whole puri is then dunked in pungent and sour mint water. Open your mouth wide and pout the entire puri in. And then let the juices flow!

You can have a wonderful version of this firecracker of a dish at Elco (Hill Road, Bandra), Prashant Corner (Panchpakhadi, Thane), Sindhi pani puri house (Chembur). 

3. Frankie

My recipe of veg frankie can be found here.

Veg Frankie Recipe
Frankie is one of Mumbai's favourite pick me up meal. A potato-vegetable, paneer, egg or chicken filling drenched in ketchup, chutney, mayonnaise, or schezwan sauce, with fresh shredded crunchy onions, cabbage, carrots served in a soft roti, is a good substitute for a meal, on the run.

There are Tibbs outlets all across Mumbai that I would recommend. Their Dadar outlet opposite Shivaji Park is still one of the best places to eat it at! 

4. Pav Bhaji

My recipe of Pav Bhaji can be found here.

Mumbai Pav Bhaji

The Mumbai Pav Bhaji is a very famous dish that needs no introduction. The bhaji is a mixture of mashed vegetables cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes and specific spices for a long, long time in a kadhai or the thick iron tawa. Pav is a special bread which is roasted with a big dollop of butter just before serving, so that when you pick it up the butter just drips from it. Eat it with your fingers, lick them, repeat! 

For me, pav bhaji is only the one at Cannon Pav Bhaji (opposite CST station). Other places serving good pav bhaji are Sardar Pav Bhaji (Tardeo), Amar Juice Center (Vile Parle West), and Shiv Sagar (Opp Singhania school, Thane).

5. Dosa

Paneer Schezwan Dosa

Be it the classic dosa or dosa with a twist, Mumbai takes dosa to another level! The picture above is that of a paneer schezwan dosa, where the vegetables, boiled noodles and paneer are cooked with schezwan sauce, tomato ketchup, chilly sauce, soy sauce and vinegar on the dosa as it cooks itself. And then this is served on the side. Who'd have thought of flavouring dosa like this?

For your classic dosas go to any Udipi in and around Matunga and King's Circle like Madras Cafe, Ramashray and Mani's. The Mumbai version of dosas can be found at Khau Galli Dosawala (Vallabh Bag lane, Ghatkopar East), the dosa waala outside the amin gate of Kalina campus of University of Mumbai, and Vikas Complex Dosa Waala (near Vikas Complex, Thane).

6. Indian Chinese

My recipe of Hakka noodles can be found here

Veg Hakka Noodles
Like with other cuisines, we Indians have our own spicy version of Chinese cuisine called Indian Chinese. You'll find this version of Chinese on roadsides as well as in fancy restaurants all over Mumbai. Hot spicy Manchow soup with fried noodles, crispy Manchurian balls, salty and tangy Hakka Noodles, punjent Schezwan Rice, sweet and sour American Chopsuey are names that will make any Indian salivate. We love this version of Chinese and are pulled to it again and again.

7. Mumbai Sandwich

Mumbai Sandwich, Image from :

Mumbai sandwich with it's pungent corriander-mint chutney, vegetable filling and unique way of toasting using a hand toaster on an open flame is another famous street food in Mumbai. A sandwich is something that can be eaten any time of the day, and hence you'll always find large crowds outside sandwich stalls throughout the day.

One of my most favourite places to eat a Mumbai sandwich is the sandwich stall outside St. Xavier's college. He makes sandwiches with the most delightful fillings like spinach cheese, navratna kurma, chhole, maggi. You name it and he might just have a sandwich version of it!

8. Ragda Pattice

My recipe of Ragda pattice can be found here 

Ragda Pattice Recipe
Delhi may have it's aloo tikki, but Mumbai's ragda pattice can give it a run for it's money any day! A soft yet crsipy aloo patty is served topped with a spicy white chickpea curry and tangy, sweet and pungent (yes all at the same time) chutneys, onions, crunchy sev and corriander leaves. That's a mouthful of ragda pattice for you!

9. Misal Pav

Misal Pav

Misal Pav is another street food you shouldn't miss in Mumbai. In this dish soft unroasted pavs are served with a garlicky, onion-y, tomato-ey, spiced curry of legumes like moong and matki topped with crunchy salty farsaan and chopped tomatoes and onions. Dip the pav in the gravy and gobble it up. Follow it up with a spoonful of the misal topped with farsan. Heaven!

10. Thalipeeth

My recipe of thalipeeth can be found here. 

Thalipeeth Recipe

This one is an unusual choice and may not usually appear on Mumbai street food conventional lists. However this is something you should definitely try if you are in Mumbai! Thalipeeth is flatbread made by flattening dough made of a flour of slow roasted pulses with onions, chillies and corriander with your fingers on a tawa and then shallow frying it. It is crisp on the outside yet soft on the inside and has a lovely melody of tastes from the flours, onion and corriander.