Also, referred to as a ‘poor man’s burger,’ Vada Pav is one thing that you will find in every street, corner, crossroad and turn. Pav is Indian for a bread bun, and the a fritter stuffed with mashed potato in between the bread is called ‘Vada’. This mouthwatering dish is served with spicy and sweet chutneys, fried chilies and garlic powder chutney.
There are more than 50000 Vada pav stalls in Mumbai but some of them stand out for their distinctive styles like the famous Anand Vada Pav stall in Vile Parle (West.) It offers a variety of Vada Pav styles like schezwan, cheese or grilled.
Originating in Maharashtra, Pav Bhaji is now available all over India with regional variations. Despite that, the traditional Maharashtrian Pav Bhaji is an evergreen favorite. Pav is bread heated on a pan with a light application of butter and ‘Bhaji’ is a Marathi word for vegetables. In this case, it is an assortment of vegetables which are mashed and cooked with spices and seasonings. It is presented in a tray with Pav and sides like onions, a piece of lemon, tomatoes and most importantly, a dollop of butter on top of it. A popular Pav Bhaji joint in Mumbai is the Cannon Pav Bhaji which started off as a stall but now has a proper shop.
Known by different names in different parts of India, Pani Puri is one street snack that is popular everywhere. This blissful dish consists of a round, hollow fried crisp Puri that is stuffed with a mixture of chickpeas, potatoes, spices, tamarind chutney and most importantly spicy water made of chili, Pani. There is nothing more divine that the burst of flavor in your mouth when you chew on the Puri and let the ingredients inside it do the magic (you can eat an entire Puri in one bite, it’s that small). Elco Pani Puri centre in Bandra has a constant crowd because of their famous Pani Puri, widely considered the best in the city.
Mumbai is the birthplace of Frankie which consists of flour wraps filled with mutton, eggs, mashed potatoes, chicken, or anything else you can imagine. The main ingredient is often complemented by raw onion and spicy sauces. This dish was created by Mr. Amarjit Tibb who was inspired Lebanese style pita bread wraps when he visited Beirut. After some experimentation, Frankie was born and is currently found in many stalls across Mumbai, though the best one still remains Tibb’s Frankie which has its branches all over the city.
Bhel Puri is a type of flavorful chaat. It consists of puffed rice mixed with raw vegetables like tomatoes, onions and is seasoned in a tamarind sauce. There are many variations of this snack all over the country, but the best Bhel Puri is available on the beaches on Mumbai. If there is something that Juhu and Girguam Chowpatty beach is famous for, it’s definitely the Bhel Puri that the many stalls there offer. You can try any of the stalls at these beaches; they all offer the traditional Mumbai Bhel Puri that will leave you wanting more.