Tag Archives: street food

World Palate Recipes: Street Food of Mumbai (Bombay)

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Mumbai, (earlier Bombay) the city conjures a zillion images to the mind. From the vibrant, ever busy people, crowded trains and dabbahwallahs, Bollywood posters looming large, to the hawkers selling street food, push carts laden with mangoes and the iconic Red bus and black and yellow taxis, Mumbai has the stench, squalor and zest and pride!

Mumbai is a living, breathing city! A city whose people make it all happen.

Iconic Red bus and yellow top taxi, Mumbai

Iconic Red bus and yellow top taxi, Mumbai

To feed its millions of people, the city boasts of hawkers at every nook. Food sold at street kiosks is more convenient than a tight space at an Irani restaurant for the Mumbaikars. Its cheaper, tastier and fresh. Eating out is almost a culture – first are the early morning white-capped Vasai wallahs, train commuters and beach side joggers who satisfy hunger with a quick bite of vada pav or maska omelette. As the sun sets and crowds gather at the three beaches (Chowpaty, Juhu and Versova),dozens of street peddlers and hawkers get busy, preparing and instantly serving the hungry young crowds.

Vada Pav, Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Jhunka Bhakr, Kanda Bhajji, Papdi chaat and Sev… tantalising treats for the taste buds as you walk the crowded streets. Braving the summer heat and a weak stomach, I decided to plunge headlong into a trip down memory lane to satiate my taste buds.

Vada Pav at Dadar

This is a MUST TRY! A top favourite with Mumbaikars, this simple, substantial dish is popular as ‘on the go breakfast’ by the train commuters and the Vasai wallahs who come into Mumbai suburbs in search of various work at factories, offices and container ports.

Sivaji Park and Gokhale Road, Dadar, are the best places to indulge into the buttery iconic Vada Pav, a Potato savoury dumpling sandwiched between soft, fluffy buttered bread. A spicy, fried carbohydrate rush!

Bhel Puri, Sev Puri near Versova Beach and Juhu Beach

Care for a tangy chutney spiced with fresh coriander chutney and spoonfulls of fine sev (fried gram flour vermicelli)? Head to Mumbai’s beaches at sundown. Along with the amateur football players and kite fliers, these are the best places intown to taste  Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Sev Puri. For a healthy drink ask for fresh tender coconut water from adjacent hawkers. Loaded with plenty of mineral goodness, coconut water is a refreshing drink and contamination free.

hawker selling tender coconut

hawker selling tender coconut

Most of these tangy snacks are eaten for their taste, rather than nutrition. Indians, by large also like to eat with their families or friends, so an outing to enjoy the sea breeze will mostly end up savouring some street snacks.

Cutting Chai and Makhan Toast

Even I, as a Mumbaikar stumbled off guard, when the stall owner asked me ‘Madam, cutting chai ? Ya poora cup?’ Well, it only meant whether I wanted my tea strong and cut by half, as consumed here. The small glass reminded me of a vodka shot glass. Large aluminium tea kettle, strewn paper cups thrown into a nearby dirty, plastic bucket and the smell of strong boiled tea leaves and a hint of ginger completed the street picture. Cutting chai can be taken  more often, as one cup is divided / cut into 2 or 3 portions.

Tea stall in Mumbai

Tea stall in Mumbai

Falooda, Kebabs and Ramazan Treats at Haji Ali and Bandra Mosque

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan and very liberal city, a home to many communities like Jews, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs along the very vernacular Marathi speaking man and the outer Mumbai rural population. Thus festivals, cultural programmes and food are all laced with a tinge of  communal harmony.

Come Ramzan (Ramadan) the popular Mohammed Ali road, Haji Ali Dargah, Byculla, Crawford market witness a change of food scene. In preparation for Iftar ( breaking of fast at sun set), streets are laden with fresh fruit cuts – watermelon, mango and kharbuja. Meat balls on sticks are wood fired on makeshift gas burners or charcoal bhatti.

Kebabs at street corner, Mumbai. Courtesy: Internet. static.guim. co.uk

Kebabs at street corner, Mumbai. Courtesy: Internet. static.guim. co.uk

Hawkers outside Colleges and train stations.

Indulging in chai discussions, preparatory talks for exams,  women meeting outside the same train station every day is a common practice.  Where else to relax with friends and food? Right on the streets outside most colleges ( SNDT, Mithibai, Parle, Ruia, KEM medical) dozens of hawkers set up semi permanent stands, mostly by day. Profit is counted only after the ‘hafta’ or bribe payment is given to the police watchmen, the area’s kingpin and municipal workers who make their regular rounds at the sites. The unwritten law goes ‘Live and let live’…Mumbai is a city for all.

The rich man, common man and beggar on street.

Food is for all. Come stand and savour it with the warm and simple Mumbaikar.

What is your favourite street food in Mumbai? Where did you eat?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

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Street food, Hyderabad

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Street food is popular all over the world. Have you wondered why? It’s convenient, fresh, caters to local authentic taste, competitively priced, at times nostalgic, and makes for an affordable social place.

In Hyderabad, street food is pedaled on bicycles, push-carts and at kiosks. It is no longer limited to the bustling ‘old city’ lanes. (For Bangle bazaar, Charminar, see here). Find your nearest street corner, watch the locals eat roadside meals.

Floor design: Kolam,

Floor design: Kolam,

Two common sights greet the passer by each morning in Hyderabad (and most of South India). First is the artistic, rice powder kolam drawings on the floor of house entrances. The other is the breakfast vendor.  Hot idli, dosa and chutney served at almost every street corner!

At one street in Begumpet area, this vendor parks his bicycle, as early as 5:30 am. Steel buckets filled with sambar (curry) hang from the handle bar. On either side of the cycle, two other containers with chutney and idli (soft rice flour mounds) make the balance. For recipe of Palli (peanut chutney) see here. With a beaming smile, he serves his first customer with soft, white idlis on disposable paper plates. Tangy, spicy sambar is ladled on top. Having sold all the food by 10:00 am he packs up.

Street vendor selling breakfast items

Street vendor selling breakfast items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucket filled with Sambar / curry

Bucket filled with Sambar / curry

Nagamma has been serving breakfast on her pushcart for 8 years. She wakes up at 3:00 am preparing the batter and chutneys. The couple drive their van and by 6:00 am, she lights up the makeshift gas burner on her bandi or pushcart. Oodles of batter are dropped into the hot oil, the aroma of sada vada and medu vada (little balls of rice and lentil batter) fills the cool morning air. Her regular customers are street workers, hostel students and nearby office staff.

Thanks Nagamma! Hesitatingly, I tasted freshly made crisp, flat dosa  some vada served with coconut chutney. Yumm…

Street vendor making crisp dosa

Street vendor making crisp dosa

Bonda and Vada

Bonda and Vada

From 5 pm onwards its snack time in India. Freshly made, spicy fried Mirpakaya bhajji or stuffed chilli pakora are a Hyderabadi special. Be brave and tingle your taste buds!

Street food: Masala bonda and bhajji

Street food: Masala bonda and bhajji

Street food is known to travel far and beyond its regional and cultural borders. The Bombay style pani puri and chaat items, are gaining popularity with a younger crowd. Mostly hostel students, professionals in the bustling IT sector find these kiosks a affordable and relaxing place. You need a strong stomach to digest those spices and water, though.

Street food :Pani puri stall

Street food :Pani puri stall

Summer can be very hot and dry in Hyderabad. Vendors brave the heat and pollution on the roads. They push their carts from main road to side streets or stand nearby a tree. Popular drinks include lemon drinks, water served in earthen pots or matka, tender coconuts or freshly squeezed mosambi, sweet lime juice.

Have you eaten street food in Hyderabad?

What is the street food in your country? What cuisine does it say? Do share your comments.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Palate Recipes -Snacks, Delhi Specials

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Street food is unique to every country or region. Whether it is tapas  in Spain, or satay in Malaysia,  samoosa and fish cutlets in Mauritius, or doner and kebap in Istanbul – street food offers a cheap, quick and easy way to meet friends and savour the regional delights. Delhi is no exception. Summer or winter, street food changes with the season. The best places to eat are in Chandni Chowk, Karol Baug market and Connaught Place. The most popular snacks are :Gol gappas, Chaat, Samosas, Paneer rolls or Tikkis. These savoury items drizzle in oil and masalas making the food – tangy and mouth-watering. Healthier versions include a fruit chaat or baked samosas. Often road side kiosks and vendors sell toasted Bengal gram and peanuts, lightly flavoured with masala and topped with finely chopped onion, coriander and lemon slices. Crunch, crunch, yum !!

 

My friend Dr. Mridula shares her Delhi special recipe called Kulle Chaat.

A combination of sweet and tangy, fruit and vegetable – a perfect snack. Mridula is not only a fantastic cook, but also runs her own Pathology lab. A doting mother and wife, she is always experimenting with new recipes and perfecting old ones! Thanks dear.

 

Recipe – Kulle Chaat or Kulia Chaat

preparation time     30 minutes
 cooking  time       10 minutes
Kulle Chaat- snack

Kulle Chaat- snack

Ingredients:
        3 potatoes, boiled
         3 tomatoes, ripe, firm
         1  kheera or tender cucumber
         1  boiled sweet potato
  For garnish and presentation:  2 halved oranges,
                                                          1 peeled and slit banana
                                                           1 large slice of  mango
   For the topping: 1/2 cup – boiled, small,  white chana (chick pea)
                                  1/4 cup boiled green peas
                                thin juliennes of  ginger  – 1 tablespoon
                                 fresh  pomegranate (anar daana) seeds  -1/2  cup
                                chopped  coriander   –  1 tablespoon
                                lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
                                black chaat masala, salt to taste
Preparation:
1.    Cut potatoes and tomatoes in halves  and  kheera  in  2 inch pieces.
2.    Scoop out the  centres, forming baskets (kulle), and prepare them to stand on plate.
3.    Mix boiled chana and  peas,  add  salt and  chaat masala, lemon juice.
4.    Fill  the  vegetable baskets  with the above mixture. Top with ginger julienne, coriander leaves and lots of  anar dana pearls. This gives a very colourful texture to this chaat.
Colourful garnished Kulle chaat

Colourful garnished Kulle chaat . Courtesy: Internet

Similarly prepare baskets with  orange halves, mango slices,  banana slit length wise or boiled sweet potato. Stuff the filling and garnish as above. Served as snack.
Contributed by Dr. Mridula Gami
On another note, crispy, hot pakoras are all-time favourites with Indians. Downed with masala chai on a rainy day, these crispies can also be served with as cocktail accompaniments. Street vendors frying these crispy dumplings in large, black iron wok is a common sight in Delhi.
Iron wok to fry vegetable Pakora

Iron wok to fry vegetable Pakora

Let’s experiment with a variety of vegetables: cauliflower florets, onion rings, spinach leaves, slices of raw banana or egg-plant.
Recipe : Assorted Pakoras / Bhajjiya
Ingredients: 1 cup chickpeas (gram) flour – (called Besan in India) ½ cup Rice flour (optional) – this makes it crisp 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder ½ spoon ajwain (or fennel /carom seeds) – aids digestion 3/4 cup  water or as reqd. oil for deep-frying Assorted vegetables cut into thin rings or slices
Method:
  • Sift the chickpeas flour into a medium bowl. Mix in the rice flour, coriander and ajwain, coarsely ground, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour. Gradually pour the water into the well and mix to form a thick, smooth batter.
  • Over medium high heat in a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil, it should not overheat and become smoky.
  • Coat the cauliflower / potato/ onions/ corn in the batter and fry them in small batches until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
  • Serve hot with tomato sauce or mint chutney.

Use the left overs in lentil curry the next day. I am sure there WON’T be many leftovers !:).

Pakora - spinach, egg plant,potato, onion, cauliflower. Garnish of marinated onion and ginger julienes with toasted sesame seeds.

Pakora – spinach, egg-plant,potato, onion, cauliflower. Garnish of marinated onion and ginger juliene with toasted sesame seeds.

 

Recently found a similar themed blogsite with great snapshots:http://www.mslimalicious.com/2014/06/the-food-of-north-india.html.