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Food Review: City of dreams ‘Mumbai’ deserves title of street food capital of India with its ‘tikha, chatpata and meetha swad’

Mumbai set right close to the Arabian Sea, there are various walkways where you just sit back and relax and feel the breeze on your face.

Shalini Pathak | New Delhi |

Which city’s picture you draw in your head when you think of a combination of all the street food? Unable to catch it? Then let’s take a hint! It is also called the city of dreams? Yes, you guessed it right! The financial capital of India is not just home to Dalal Street but also the street food capital of the country-  Mumbai.

This metropolitan city has always been in the limelight for its nightlife, for being the epi-centre of India’s showbiz industry known as Bollywood. Home to most of the Bollywood stars. Mumbai is not just the city of dreams but also the city where you meet with your aspiration.

Let’s ask all the gourmets what’s in your bucket list when you get to experience Mumbai’s signature street item. It’s the tikha, chatpata vada pav. Right! Everybody has heard about it, even if one has not visited Mumbai. Come closer to explore its taste. Crunchy fried batata (potato) vada from the inner surface and smooth buttery pav from outside, truly set the all-time favourite snacky goals.

Well, the pitara of street items have just opened up the floor for all the gourmets. So get ready to wink your eyes on its tikha, chatpata, khatta flavoursome street full of treatful dishes. Vada pav is not the only one that deserves a special position in your stomach but there are ample of eatables with which you can’t just satisfy your appetite but also satiate your delightful craving.

If you look around the city, you will encounter lot more beautiful places especially the food booths like Juhu Chowpatty’s most deserving candidate ‘Pani puri’–Stuffed with boiled potato, chat masala, some boiled chole with khata meeta pani inside the tiny size of crispy fried puri, topping with namkeen snack sav. Mumbai’s pani puri has its own identity, a bit different from Delhi’s golgappa or Kolkata’s Puchka.

If pani-puri has the talent to grab its audience’s attention then Pav bhaji and Ragda pattices are not shying away to make your taste buds feel the magic of pav and everyday vegetables with dollops of butter.

Pav bhaji–An assortment of mashed vegetables cooked with spices and seasonings (bhaaji) is served with bun bread (pav) heated on a pan. Butter is applied on the bun. Garnishing with home salads like onion, radish or lemon slice. If you are roaming hungry and looking for street food in Mumbai at night, then you will find at least one Pav bhaji stall open late in the night in your area where you can kill your hunger pangs.

Pav bhaji is something that you can not just have in your evening snacks but can also eat in your dinner and you need not eat any further. You can satiate your sweet craving with a perfect malai Kulfi falooda–it’s creamy milky layer will make you say ‘It’s done for the day’.

Ragda Pattice stands alone in the crowd and is all set to leave an impression on its guests–So what is your instant thought when you think of this snack? Something related to aloo patties or some dry crunchy snack which is famous in the north. Right? But it’s a bit opposite of what you have been thinking about. Ragda pattice is something that truly sets a wholesome meal–Mashed up masala chole spread on the top of the spicy crispy chatpata aloo tikki, served with one small size of pav, dahi or tamarind chutney or some green chutney. Garnishing with onion and radish slice on the other side of the plate.

Mumbai’s Khau Galli has created a buzz among all the foodies and if you want to go for a long drive and feel hungry in the middle of it then your eye catches Girgaum Chowpatty beach which is noted for its Bhelpuri and kulfi. Street vendors at Nariman Point, one of the city’s financial hubs, do brisk business during the lunch hour.

Mumbai’s street food has made its way into kitchens of restaurants in the city, including five-star hotels. In fact, restaurants in various parts of the world have incorporated Mumbai’s street food into their menu cards.

If you are fond of veg Hakka noodles, schezwan noodles, gravy vegetables and chilli paneer then you must visit ‘Girgaum Chowpatty’. Take your spicy, chatpata dinner and pay just 30 bucks to the mat vendor and spread your ‘wings’ for your ‘me-time,’ sitting in one corner of the beach, having a bite of your delightful supper and can capture unforgettable moments.

As Mumbai set right close to the Arabian Sea, there are various walkways where you just sit back and relax and feel the breeze on your face. Marine Drive one such boardwalk where you can sit with your feet flaccid over the ledge, and enjoy a beautiful sunset against the backdrop of the roaring waves of the Arabian Sea.

A Mumbaia not just loves the colour of its street flavour but also other town individuals prefer to visit this city of dreams again and again.

Among the vegetarian dishes of street food in Mumbai, Bhel Puri and Sev Puri are the most popular ones. Bhel Puri is a Marathi Chaat made out of puffed rice, vegetables, and a tangy tamarind sauce. Sev Puri is another chaat essentially made of Puri loaded with diced potatoes, onions, 3 chutneys (tamarind, chilli, and garlic), and topped with sev (small pieces of crunchy noodles made from chickpea flour paste). It is seasoned with raw mango or a hint of lemon and chaat masala.

Mumbai’s food stalls give you a lot more choices in their dishes like Misal Pav, usal pav, kanda poha, batata vada and Bombay sandwich is perfect for your breakfast goal.

The Bombay Sandwich is a must-try treat with the street, a combination of most unlikely ingredients. It consists of three buttered white bread slices with slices of beetroot, boiled potatoes, cucumbers, onion rings, and mint chutney between them. The sandwich also comes with a toasted variant.

So if you want to have the first-hand experience by grabbing the tasteful street food then you must plan your vacation. Now if you are thinking about your pocket then you need not because Mumbai’s street food fits your budget in all possible ways.

Come fall in love with your city of dreams!