Back in early 2018, I spent three unforgettable weeks traveling through India and exploring its cities and historical sites, immersing myself in the culture, and going on as many street food tours as I possibly could.
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I spent three days eating my way through Mumbai, the most populous city in India. In this video, I’m going to tell you all about the top 10 street foods you have to try when you visit Mumbai. You guys ready? Let’s do this.
Pani puri, which I first tried at Elco restaurant in the Bandra neighborhood of Mumbai. Panipuri is a round, hollow ball of crispy, fried bread that is punctured and then filled with a soup that can contain chili, tamarind chutney, chaat masala, chickpeas, onion, and potatoes.
Bombay duck, which is a local specialty in Mumbai that I tried at Mata Pita Da Dhaba on Madh Island. Now, you might be surprised to learn that Bombay Duck actually isn’t duck at all. It’s a fish that’s either deep fried or cooked in curry, and cut into strips almost like fish sticks. It’s soft, lightly battered, and crispy, and kind of reminded me of flounder.
Ice Gola, a cold, sweet, and salty treat made of shaved ice. The vendor molds the ice around a wooden stick and then dips it into a cup that’s filled with your choice of fruit flavorings. The one I had was blueberry and lemon, which I loved. It made for a unique and delicious combination along with the salt.
Kalidas Masala Vada Pav, a vegetarian Masala burger I tried in the Mulund neighborhood of Mumbai. The burger was made by mixing several ingredients together on a hot pan, including butter, Masala, coriander, and herbs, and cooking it until it reduces into a thick sauce or paste.
Nitrogen Biscuit, which I ate at the Ice Cream Factory, also in the Mulund neighborhood. It’s a freezing cold biscuit that’s been dipped in liquid nitrogen. Eating one of these bizarre desserts is a spectacle because as you chew the biscuit, the heat from your mouth turns the liquid nitrogen into a gas, which makes you look like you’re breathing smoke. My teeth were frozen afterward!
Ice Bhel is a cold, refreshing chaat dish that contains a mouthwatering blend of tomatoes, onions, puffed rice, garlic paste, and coriander. It’s crunchy and super flavorful, and not spicy at all, and is my favorite thing I tried on my first night in Mumbai.
Paneer Chili, which is a very popular Indo-Chinese dish I tried at Juhu Beach. It is made of cubes of deep fried cottage cheese, Chinese sauces, lots of vegetables including bell pepper and spring onions, chili paste, and a whole lot of deliciousness. I was told it would be really hot, but I didn’t find it particularly spicy. That said, it is bursting with flavor with every bite, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Chicken Lollipop, which I tried along Mohammad Ali Road. This is a fried chicken drumstick that’s covered in a red curry that’s so rich, it actually changes the color of the chicken. When you hold the drumstick upright by the bone, it resembles a lollipop, which is how the dish got its name.
Now, further along Mohammad Ali road, you can find the second-to-last items on this list, mutton and chicken kebabs. Mutton is the meat of a mature sheep, and the most common type of kebab is either meat or vegetables that are speared on a skewer and grilled over a fire. The kebabs I had were made of soft, spicy, minced meat and came with a refreshing salad on the side.
The last food on my list is another I tried along Mohammad Ali Road called Lassi, which is a creamy yogurt drink that was not only refreshing because of the heat in Mumbai, but it was also perfect for cooling down my mouth and throat after a long day of eating spicy foods. I tried two different flavors – the original and the saffron. I preferred the original, but my friends loved the saffron.
Now, if you’re heading off to India to try the street food, I highly recommend you take a dose of Pepto Bismol before breakfast and another before lunch every day so you don’t get sick from eating foods and spices your body is not used to.
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