Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the thriving heart of India for entertainment and commercial businesses. In this colourful and vibrant city that is Mumbai, travellers will find lanes laden with a dizzying array of street foods as well as tens of thousands of restaurants around town. Mumbai’s wide variety of food and cuisines will keep your palates and cravings satisfied for as long as you’re in Mumbai. Amidst all that hustle and bustle of the city, take time out to savour these must-tries before you leave Mumbai.
Some may not have tried this rich velvety Indian favourite, but surely you would have heard of it. Butter Chicken is thought to originate from the Punjab region of India and is popular all over the world. Nonetheless, Mumbai street stalls and restaurants serve up a mean plate of the best Butter Chicken you can find. The chunks of chicken are marinated in yoghurt, lime juice and a mix of space overnight, before being pan-fried or grilled. The sinful, rich sauce that comes with this dish is made namely with butter, tomato and fresh cream, among other ingredients. Butter Chicken is typically served with rotis, naan or parathas.
The Bombay Sandwich
Toasted piping hot, with full of sliced vegetables, green chutney and melted cheese, the Bombay Sandwich is a soul-satisfying staple of the street cuisine found in Mumbai. Imagine cucumbers, beetroot, potatoes, tomatoes and onions layered between slices of soft white bread slathered with butter and chutney. Simple as it may sound, it is indeed a great snack to satisfy that late-afternoon craving. There is no other sandwich in the world quite like the Bombay Sandwich.
Also otherwise known by the misleading name of Bombay Duck, Bombil Fry is not a duck but a lizardfish which is native to the waters around Mumbai. Lizardfish are first dried and salted before being flattened and dunked into spice-filled Besan batter and fried. The Bombil Fry is usually served as a starter on its own or eaten with chapattis as an entrée. Bite into the crispy skin for the soft insides of the Bombil Fry.
Essentially made with bread and butter, Brun Maska can be found in Irani Cafes around Mumbai. Not to be mistaken as just another bread and butter classic, Brun Maska is made with Brun; a local bread unique to Mumbai. Butter is liberally applied on the sliced Brun and sugar is sprinkled on top. Dip the crispy hard Brun Maska into a cup of sweet Irani Chai for the quintessential Mumbai breakfast.
A cold, sweet treat to relieve the sweltering heat of the hot summer days, Falooda is a popular beverage in Mumbai. Made with rose syrup, vermicelli and basil seeds among several other ingredients, a scoop or two of ice cream tops off this frothy drink beverage. Get a glass of Falooda for that much-needed pick-me-up on a hot day.
Varan Bhaat is the ultimate comfort food for any Maharashtrian. So why not eat like a local and give this simple humble dish a shot? Made with toor dal, cooked till soft with ghee, cumin powder and ghee, Varan Bhaat is then served on top of a plate of steaming hot rice. Varan Bhaat is the food to eat if you’re feeling under the weather or just craving some primaeval mouth-feel comfort food.
The Maharashtra alternative to fast food such as McDonald’s, Vada Pav is a popular vegetarian fast food. Boiled potatoes, finely cut green chilli, ginger and garlic are rolled into palm-sized patties, and dipped into herb-seasoned batter of chickpea flour before being deep fried. This poor man’s meal is typically served with garlic and spicy green chutney. Super affordable and easily found on the streets of Mumbai, have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner just like the locals do.