Continuing on our food tour, let the aromatic and fragrant smells lure you once again towards streets lined with portable stalls and food carts loaded with roadside meals; a foodie’s paradise.
A typically Punjabi dish that is best relished hot, chole, is made from chick peas cooked in a thickish spicy, tangy curry. It is always accompanied by one or two large, puffy, deep- fried puris (Indian flat bread) that go by the name of bhature/bhatura. The dish is garnished with fresh coriander/cilantro onions, green chillies, a wedge of lemon and sometimes even a bit of butter.
One of the most popular street foods found all over the country— pani puri, is known by different names; golguppas, puchkas, etc. It consists of hollow, crispy, golden fried puris stuffed with different fillings; mashed chickpeas, sprouts, mashed potatoes followed by sweet chutney and some spicy, tangy, watery chutney. Most vendors are extremely obliging and prepare each puri for you, themselves. They make a small opening at the top of the puri, load it with your favourite filling, add the sweet chutney, and then dip it into a large metal container of spicy watery chutney. All you have to do is pop it into your mouth. Then, eyes watering, sniffing, you wait hungrily for the next puri to arrive!
Pani puri /Gol guppas/ Puchkas
Practically every street corner of the city of Mumbai has a food stall selling the ever-famous vada pav. Simple to assemble, it has a vada which is basically a ball of mashed potato, and some spices that is coated in a batter of chickpea flour; then deep fried. The freshly prepared, piping hot vada is placed in a small loaf of bread; a pav. The vada is covered with different chutneys; a sweet tangy reddish-brown chutney, a green chutney and a dry garlic chutney. Additional chutney and a few green chillies are sometimes added to the plate for those who prefer that extra spice.
One of the yummiest snacks enjoyed by one and all, especially when in season, is Masala Bhutta or the Indian roasted corn-on- the- cob. Corn is roasted on small open fires. Heaps of corn are piled on one side of the street cart, while the vendor stands at the other end fanning the glowing coal and turning the corn of your choice around, till it is perfectly roasted. Once ready, a piece of lime is used to rub on the salt, chillie powder and other spices. Innovative vendors usually present them to you on a bed of husk.
Roasted corn on cob/ Masala Bhutta
Samosas, another popular street food, are of different types depending on the region where they are made, the size, and of course the different fillings used. There are onion samosas, potato samosas, mini-cocktail samosas, Punjabi samosas, to name a few. These pastries are mostly triangular in shape and made with mashed or chopped potato, onion, green peas and more…. and a variety of spices. The mix is stuffed into dough and baked or deep fried. These golden-brown crispy, crunchy delicacies are served with a variety of chutneys and make an excellent combination with a hot cup of aromatic tea(chai)!