What is the first word that strikes you when you say MUMBAI?
- Busy and Chaotic?
Well there is definitely one more word that you will agree is very close to this city. That’s Innovation in food. Each city has it unique culinary expertise. Delhi for the Chats and Chole, Hyderabad for its Dum Biryani, Kolkata for its Bengali sweets. But of these are traditionally been eaten for generations.
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But Mumbai being the melting pot of varied cultures let’s see what we get when tradition meets innovation. Today we will not talk about the obvious Vada Pav or Pav Bhaji which everyone knows about.
The word literally mean “Pressed” in Gujarati. It is spiced potato stuffing pressed into a Pav along with fried peanuts and pomegranate. I know it sounds strange and unappetizing but you must try it to believe it.
It’s a very unique food item that one must try, next time in Mumbai. It definitely features number one of my list.
2. Chinese Bhel
I know both these words barely make sense together. We all know what Bhel is. Just substitute the puffed rice for fried noodles and add in a whole lot of schezwan sauce, chopped raw onions etc. Very street food very yummy.
3. American Bhel
How can the American be left behind? Corn Flakes now take the front eat in a Bhel, along with sweet corn and other accompaniments. Trust me, Mumbai can get crazier when it comes to food.
4. Dosa Varieties
Dosa is definitely South Indian but a Chinese Dosa is definitely Mumbai’s brain child. There are there street hawkers that claim to sell 51 types of Dosas at a single type.
Starting from Plain and Masala Dosa to Chinese, Noodle, Schezwan, Mexican, Jain, Tandoori Aloo, Paneer Tikka, Pizza Dosa. The list is endless. You will never finish ordering all the Dosa on the menu.
A humble things that eaten in almost in every city of this country can get any innovative? Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla, Ice, Cherry, Pineapple, Butterscotch this only a few of the flavors available.
I know that some of these are available in other cities as well but I must say its easily available in Mumbai.
6. Jain Food
Any food on these planet you can think of can be made into Jain food in Mumbai with simple rules. No Non-veg and No Root Vegetables. Vada in the Vada Pav and Filling in the Pani Puri is made with Raw Banana.
Chinese and Mexican food is made without Onion and Garlic. Thanks to the huge Jain population in Mumbai, Jain food is available almost every place
7. Green Chilli Ice Cream
Yes you read it right. There is Green Chilli Flavored Ice cream available in this city. Weird I know but it’s a popular stuff. Also there are other flavors like, lemon ice cream, Ice cream Bhel with puffed rice and many more.
8. Spiked Gola/ Pani Puri
Gola and KalaKhatta are a usual affair in Mumbai but how about spiking it with a generous doze of Vodka in it? Pani Puri can’t be that innocent anymore, how about some Vodka into it. Go ahead eat it..oooppps drink it.
9. Cocktail / Ganga Jamuna Juice
No I am not talking about the Cocktails at the Page3 party. Cocktail at a humble juice center in Mumbai is a mix flavored juice.
Juice of all the fruit available that day. And wondering what Ganga Jamuna is? It’s the mix of Orange and Sweet Lime Juice. A definite try when you are in Mumbai next.
10. Koliwada Fish/ Prawns
The word Koliwada literally means Fisherman’s Area. There is a unique way of making fried fish and prawns in Mumbai that has flavors from Punjab but are confined to coastal food.
Prawns and Fish fried in a unique flavored batter is served with Pav , Pudina Chutney and raw onion. Sounds bizarre but trust me its lip smacking good.
Here is my top ten list of bizarre yet finger licking good food that is unique to Mumbai. I hope you like it and you give it a try next time you are in this wonderful city.
Have you ever had any of the Mumbai unique/ bizarre food items?
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