The humble origins of Mumbai's popular snack - Pav Bhaji
When was the last time you ate something at a street vendor’s stall in Mumbai and wondered what the story behind the dish was?
When was the last time you ate something at a street vendor’s stall in Mumbai and wondered what the story behind the dish was? I bet, you wouldn’t even have thought about it. In a city that has to offer a wide array of culinary variety, right from a Rs 10 nimbu paani to a Rs 25000 three-course meal, not many seem curious about the history behind the food that they savour on a daily basis. Mumbai’s street food perhaps has the widest range of delicacies that you can possibly sample in 233 sq. miles of area. It’s a culinary universe packed onto a set of little islands. Holding true to its cosmopolitan reputation, the city’s street food, too, has various identities and avatars. Perhaps the most popular street food dish in Mumbai would be the Pav Bhaji.
A spicy, soupy, crunchy mixture of vegetables, pan-fried or Tawa fried in a unique mixture of spices, served with two or three portions of the city’s famed laadi pavs, soaked in butter and chaat masala – this combination is a delight for any avid foodie. Nowadays, the humble Pav Bhaji, which was often served in stalls or small vendors in humble nooks and corners of the city, has now taken on a national and even an international identity, served with toppings ranging from mozzarella cheese to grated paneer to mushrooms. It has even evolved in some places to become Pav Bhaji pizzas. You name it, and the Pav Bhaji has an avatar ready to match your palate!