Get ready to embark on an Indian culinary exploration! We’ve narrowed down the must-haves of Mumbai.
With a population of over 18 million people, Mumbai boasts a variety of street foods fit for everyone from kings to paupers. A city buzzing with tourists, residents and vendors – Mumbai is filled with culinary adventures for those that seek it. With delicious street food on every corner, it can be hard to choose the best of the vast selection.
But not to worry! Here is Asha’s breakdown of the six best street foods in Mumbai:
1. Vada Pav
What it is: Referred to as the poor man’s burger, Vada Pav is a bun bread (pav) and a fritter (vada) stuffed with mashed potato. Best served with spicy and sweet chutneys, fried chilies and garlic powder chutney, the dish has multiple variations across the Indian region. With more than 50,000 Vada Pav stalls in the city, it can be found on every street, corner and turn.
What Asha’s says: A combination of bread, potato, sweet and spice – simply mouthwatering!
2. Pav Bhaji
What it is: Traditionally, Pav Bhaji is an assortment of mashed vegetables cooked with spices and seasonings (bhaaji), which is served with bun bread (pav) heated on a pan. For a finishing touch, butter is applied generously on the bun. Pav Bhaji is presented in a tray with sides such as onions, a piece of lemon and tomatoes. A well known dish in Mumbai, it is now available all over India with regional variations.
What Asha’s says: There’s nothing as flavoursome as vegetables cooked in the perfect mix of spices and seasonings. Plus, anything with butter is a favourite of ours!
3. Pani Puri
What it is: Known by different names in different parts of India, Pani Puri is a street snack that is popular everywhere. Consisting of a round, hollow fried crisp puri stuffed with a mixture of chickpeas, potatoes, spices, tamarind chutney and spicy water made of chili (pani) – it bursts with flavour when eaten.
What Asha’s says: Pani Puri is a bite-sized treat for the tastebuds.
What it is: Originating in Middle Eastern countries, kebabs are a delicacy in Mumbai. The dish consists of chunks of meat or fish marinated and grilled over a BBQ pit using a skewer. Charcoal grilled, they go great with freshly sliced onions and a squeeze of lime. Looking for a vegetarian option? Some stalls in Mumbai grill up paneer or vegetables on the skewer instead.
What Asha’s says: Having just finished our Asha’s Unlimited Grills, it’s no secret that we’re fans of kebabs!
What it is: Frankie is a juicy naan bread with an egg coating, stuffed with mutton or chicken, rolled up and sprinkled with a unique masala that gives it its special flavour. One of the most famous street foods in Mumbai, it is inspired by the Lebanese pita bread wrap and has many variations throughout the country. The vegetarian variation does not use eggs and the stuffings include paneer or potatoes.
What Asha’s says: Frankie is the perfect on-the-go snack for anyone looking for a flavourful experience.
Type: Dessert/ Drink
Falooda is a rich drink of vermicelli mixed with milk, almonds, pistachios, rose syrup and basil seeds, topped with two scoops of ice cream. Brought to India by the Mughals, Falooda is an adaptation of a Persian dessert. Known for its colourful appearance, the drink is refreshing, rosy and energising.
What Asha’s says: There’s no better way than to cool down with a refreshing Falooda on a hot day.
A melting pot filled with decades of flavour, Mumbai has culinary richness that stems from influences from the Middle East, Persia and the whole of India. With its various flavours, colours, and textures – the street food of Mumbai create moments worth experiencing for every person that comes across it.