So you see, you can get bhaji pav etc in Delhi too, but it cant be counted as pav bhaji. The real pav bhaji, you get only in Mumbai. Based on this and many other such experiences, here is a list of 8 things you get to eat only in Mumbai
1. Pav Bhaji.
Delicious, melt in your mouth pav, and right amount of cauliflower, peas and potatoes, made to cook on a flat tava consistently mashing the ingredients together makes the bhaji. Amul butter makes 17% of its revenues from the pav bhaji stalls in Mumbai. (Fun trivia - Sanjay dutt played a pav bhaji wala in Vastav in the first 20 mins of the film after which he played himself)
2. Medu Vada Sambhaar
The first Shetty sailed from Udipi to Mumbai, then Bombay, in 1890. He then brought in 100 other shettys (or is it Shetties?) with him to serve the Parsi/Irani population with real breakfast, something that did not involve just maida and butter (80% of Parsi person is made of these ingredients.). Then he came up with an idea- a Vada with the hole - Medu Vada (which Maharastrians wrongly refer to as Mendu Vada. Mendu is brain in marathi, which makes no sense)
Thanks to Shetty population in Mumbai, the bachelors have learnt to have breakfast. This dish alone is responsible for mass migration of Shettys from Udipi to Mumbai. This also includes Suniel Shetty and Shilpa Shetty.
Today, you find better Medu Vada in Mumbai than what you find in Udipi. (Tasted and compared on multiple occasions)
It is a shame that I have mentioned it 3rd. It should be mentioned first on every list. Even the list of who should be the next PM candidate of India. It should be this dish. Enough has been said about it and I dont intend to say anything more. It is the king of the world. Bas. Khup said.
4.Peppy cheese ball
This is not available north of the Tropic of Cancer. The frequency of their availabilty is what I am referring to when I say you can get it only in Mumbai.
It can make you free of your worries for those blissful 20 mins when you are tossing, light cheese ball after cheese ball in your mouth.(That line sounded much better in my head).
If you are in India and are wondering what is this Peppy cheese balls I talk about - search for it and buy it online (obviously it has a fan club)
5. Misal Pav
Punekars take huge pride in their Misal Pavs but the best misal pav place here would find it difficult to find takers in Mumbai. Here is the Misal pav formula -
Misal pav = Fluffy pav + Farsan (100% besan) + Sprouted peas (and not moong as Punekars use)
If you can follow this formula, you make the best misal pav in Mumbai, ipso facto, the world. Mumbaikars around the world would remind each other of the goodness of your Misal pav, and want to come back - It would be their Swades and you would be their Ashutosh. Your kids would proudly tell their friends - Mera baap misal pav banata hai. All that.
6. Pani puri
What you get in other parts of India is not Pani puri - it is either gol-gappe, or gupchup or some other acoustic name, but it is not Pani-puri. You get Pani puri only here. Its not the taste that I am a fan of - It is the pseudo safety feeling these guys give me when they say "Pani puri made with bisleri water". Some of them have gone ahead and even got the ice that is used to cool the pani too, made with bisleri water.
7. Sugar cane juice
By now you must have realised where this list is going. You get Sugar cane juice almost throughout India's sugar belt, but not in Plastic glasses with a dash of lemon and pepper. Have a glass when you are down. It is India's answer to red bull.
No, not corn but butta. The roasting system is the same across India but what differs is the spicing. Down south, a wet mix of chilli and what might be nuclear waste is used to spice the corn. Up north, they have the hardest corn of all world. Your jaw gives up after three bites. The spicing doesnt matter when you are eating steel bearings.
In Mumbai however, the right spicing and roasting technique is used. Also, now this American corn has swept the market which is just as shitty as other American products, Cheverlot, I am looking at you. It is sweet and soft, like too soft. I want a option between soft as a Katrina Kaif and hard as Rahul Gandhi's luck.
I am sure I have missed a few things, feel free to add stuff to the list.
I am so hungry now. Peace.
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: 3 letters to the editor Links to this post