It seems unreal doesn’t it? When I moved to London, and if anyone asked me what was the one thing I missed from back home, undoubtedly it was the street food, it’s literally been my appetite saviour for so many years now. If there’s some boring lunch/dinner cooked at home, just run down and have a lot of options to choose from without making a hole in my pocket. However unbelievable it may sound, street eats in Mumbai start at as cheap as 10p. And it’s full of flavours and freshness, obviously it’s not the healthiest option, but hey, it’s better than have your dominos pizza.
If you’re visiting Mumbai, something that you cannot miss out on is the street food, to be warned you’ve got to have a good immune system and a spice tolerance to handle these local Mumbai delicacies.
1. Vada Pav
My all time favourite, Vada Pav is a potato patty with a hint of coriander, garlic and a lot of spices and masala put in a bun with the best garlic chutney (Indian sauces) and green chillies, even known as the “Indian Burger”. It cost as little as 10p for a vada Pav in Mumbai and you’ll find a Vada Pav-wala in every nook and corner of the city. But the best ones I’ve come across by far are the ones in worli and flora fountain, people being queued up and waiting to get that piping hot Vada Pav.
Bhel is made out puffed rice, finely chopped onions, tomatoes and boiled potatoes, and the binding substance, the three chutneys– tamarind chutney, mint chutney and garlic. You can alter your bhel according to your palette. Weather you’d like it spicy or sweet or something in between. Bhel is a perfect evening snack to have something light but not too filling. And again, Bhel costs about 20p only and my staple places I have bhel is Hari Om Bhel in Fort.
3. Road-side Sandwich
This is nothing like the cold Tesco sandwich you’d have here. These sandwiches are freshly made infront of you, fresh veggies and cheese put in generous portions, grilled and given to you with a tangy ketchup. And wondering how much this would cost, it would be around 25p but the prices vary depending on your sandwich fillings. This is a must have accordingly to me. One of the best sandwich-wala is at Nariman Point.
Dosa is an Indian pancake made out of rice flour and you can literally have upto 100 kind of different fillings in it. Dosa is one of the healthier options. It’s known as a South Indian delicacy but everyone in Mumbai love it! Dosa is normally served with a coconut chutney and sambhar (a tomato gravy). The best places to have dosa in Mumbai would be Babulnath Dosa and Ramarshray Dosa in Mantuga where people are waiting in lines from 5 in the morning. Dosa start from 40p and vary according to the fillings. This is a perfect filling lunch meal.
Bhutta is a corn cob roasted on charcoal, there is nothing fancy about it. It’s fresh corn being cooked and then topping it up with butter, lemon and some spice. This is everyone monsoon favourite food. Having Bhutta in the chilly monsoon is one of the things everyone in Mumbai does. Right opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel at Gateway you’d find these friendly Bhutta-wala enjoying the rains, roasting golden corn cobs and serving it to you in your cars. These roasted corn cobs cost only 15p and are normally big in sizes.
I think, besides the food being so cheap. It’s fresh and made right infront of you, these guys who are making this food get the joy of feeding people and love being appreciated for what they make. They might not make big profits but yet serve the best food in generous portions which everyone can afford. Now, these streets are a must have when you visit Mumbai.