About Me

Hello. I started this blog to write about what I do in my chosen profession : a housewife. Some day I might cook or bake something interesting and enlist my 2 year old to help, on another day I make something from scratch instead of buying it from the store and sometimes I craft with my daughter. Once in a while, we travel or have a fun day outside. I am also doing what I can to recycle and reduce waste. I am still learning all of this and documenting my journey through this blog

India trip in food (Mumbai street food and Gujarati thali)

I am back from the long break. A two month long vacation in India. And now I have big trouble trying to write a blog post. I guess that is why consistency is the key. Smiley
I really want to write about the fabulous food we ate in Mumbai and Gujarat. We really were spoilt for choice.
The first half of our vacation was in Mumbai where we ate every street food we could get our hands on.
Street food tastes best when eaten out of the smallest of stalls on the "street". The same food in bigger restauranty places just does not have the taste.
Sev Puri
Sev Puri
The most popular street food all over India is "Chaat" which comprises of several types of spicy, sweet, tangy and crispy dishes. The same basic chutneys are used to create a plethora of chaats. One of which is the Sev Puri pictured above. It has a layer of crispy puris, topped with boiled potatoes, onions, chutneys, coriander leaves and a generous topping of sev and some spicy peanuts. We got this from a small stand (in the corner of a medicine shop) which just had enough space to put all the ingredients on a table like platform and for the two people making the chaats. Their paani-puri is the most popular though. I am not a big paani-puri person; but the husband is and he looked forward to his two servings of paani-puri every evening. I always shared a couple from his small paper bowl.
In Mumbai, there are two types of paani-puri : the hot paani-puri and the cold paani-puri. The hot paani-puri has a filling of warm peas along with the chutneys and the spicy paani. This version is the most common and available all over India. The cold one has just the chutney, paani and boondi and the paani is kept cold. This version might be popular in Mumbai due to the warm temperatures all year round.
The other category of signature Mumbai street food is bread based with "Vada-Paav" topping the list. You are probably not a true Mumbaikar is you do not like Vada-Paav. Crispy, spicy potato filled Vada stuffed in a Paav spread with the chutneys. Portable, filling and cheap for on the run Mumbaikars. Another popular potato and paav based street food "Dabeli" originates in Gujarat but has found a place in the hearts of people in Maharashtra.
Dabeli
Dabeli
It is again a spicy potato filling inside a paav slathered with chutney and topped with spicy peanuts, pomegranate seeds and sev. Then it is fried in some butter on a hot griddle. Love the hot, sweet and spicy taste.
Sandwich and pizza get their Mumbai twist at the roadside stall which is just small enough to accomodate the ingredients and the man making the orders. Speed is the key at any roadside street food joint. Handling multiple orders and hurried customers efficiently is the key to success. This sandwich stall near our house was relatively new and the man did not have the superhuman speed needed to handle the hoard of customers flocking his stall. So the wait could get long especially during evening snack time.
Desi Pizza
pizza
Mumbai Sandwich
sandwich
It is fascinating to watch the making of the Mumbai sandwich. A giant triangle shaped white bread is used for the sandwiches. First, all the bottom bread pieces are laid out on the counter, one per order. Batch processing is the name of the game here. Spread a good dollop of Amul butter and green chutney on each. Take a whole boiled and peeled potato and drop a few slices over each bread as you go over the queue. Repeat slicing over the bread for onion and beet. Sprinkle some special masala on top. Grate some Amul cheese on top and place another bread triangle on this mound. Spread butter, chutney on the bread. Use the slice and drop method for some tomatoes and cucumber. More masala and more cheese. Cover with the top bread triangle. Grill with butter on a sandwich press. Remove when golden brown onto a paper plate. Grate a big heap of cheese on top. This sandwich delivers a weeks (or a months, depending on your health-consciousness) quota of butter and cheese in one go.
We also ate the "Misal-Paav", the very popular, very spicy Maharashtra street food. The spice levels on this one can go extremely high. My husband knows of places where they give 5 glasses of water along with the misal-paav to douse the fire in your mouth. The one we ate was not spicy at all by comparison (I cannot handle spice very much) but still very tasty.
That was all the street food we tried in Mumbai not considering the dosas and idlis we ate.

The next stop on the trip was Gujarat where my parents live. It has become kind of a tradition that whenever me or my brother go there for a vacation, we have atleast one meal at a Gujarati thali restaurant. It is about more than food. Taking the trip to the neighbouring city, eating some good homely food on a huge thali, with the servers take care to keep your thali full at all times. It is about the experience and about the authentic gujju food which, in my experience, you can get only in Gujarat. We usually go shopping after lunch too. It is a nice day outing. These are happy memories for us.
Gujarati Thali
Gujarati thali