• Mona Shah

Mumbai Street Food Recipes You Must Try at Home

Delicious, fuss-free recipes from the streets of Mumbai.

A vendor sells pani poori in Dharavi, Mumbai. (Adam Cohn photo via Flickr/Creative Commons license)

Every time I visit family in Mumbai, I look forward to offbeat culinary experiences. The best ones are often foods that I try from street vendors. Yes, yes, I do eat on the street, in fact some of the best food I’ve had on a recent trip back home has been during these late night outings with family.


Most of these vendors set up shop around 11 p.m., working their magic till dawn. A close family friend is a foodie, who not only knows all the best spots to score some yummy food, but he knows the cooks too, so we are guaranteed great service. This time, I asked him to introduce me to the cooks so I could get the recipes to recreate the same taste at home.


Here I am sharing a few of my new favorites that are not only delicious, but relatively fuss free and fast to make at home.


Tadke Wali Daal Khicadi

Comfort food for almost everyone, this is best when it’s mushy, gooey and a bit runny.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup rice

  • ½ cup toor dal/pigeon peas

  • 1 medium sized chopped onion

  • 1 medium sized chopped tomato

  • 1 cup of mixed veggies of your choice. I used carrots, beans, cauliflower and green peas

  • 7 garlic cloves

  • Chopped coriander leaves

  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds/jeera

  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds

  • ¼ tsp asafetida/hing

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • ½ tsp sambhar masala

  • ½ tsp cumin/coriander (dhanajeeru) powder

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil for cooking


For Tadka:

  • 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter

  • 2-3 red chillies

  • ½ tsp red chilli powder

  • 5/6 kadhi patta

  • Julienned ginger

  • Crushed garlic



PREPARATION:

  1. Wash the rice and dal till the water runs clear. Soak for one hour.

  2. In a pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) add the washed rice and dal, veggies, turmeric powder and salt. Add 2 1/2 cups of water.

  3. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles (12 mins in IP).

  4. In a pan add oil. Then add the cumin and mustard seeds wait for them to splutter.

  5. Add crushed garlic cloves and sauté till it becomes aromatic.

  6. Add chopped onion and fry till it turns golden brown.

  7. Next add chopped tomatoes to the pan. Cook till mushy.

  8. Add chili powder, garam masala, sambhar masala, cumin/coriander powder and turmeric powder to the pan.

  9. IMP: This is something new I learnt: it is important to “bloom” the hing by adding it to cold water, mixing it and then adding it to the pan.

  10. Mix everything properly.

  11. Add salt as per your taste.(keep in mind that we have added salt while cooking the rice and dal)

  12. Sauté the mixture till it releases the oil.

  13. Now add about 1½ glass of water to the mixture.(the dal khichdi recipe is moist in texture. You can adjust the water level as per your choice)

  14. Bring this masala mixture to a boil.

  15. Now add the cooked rice and dal mixture to the pan.

  16. Give it a nice mix.

  17. Check the consistency of the khichdi. If it’s too thick then add the required amount of water to it.

  18. Let it cook for another 5-10 minutes.

  19. Now we are ready for the famous “tadka”.

  20. In a separate pan add ghee. To it add the whole red chilies and chili powder and 5/6 slightly crushed kadhi patta. Sauté nicely.

  21. Pour this tempering onto the cooked dal khichdi.

  22. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee and sprinkle some coriander leaves on it.


Masala Chaas

A perfect accompaniment to the khicadi.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of Yogurt/dahi

  • 1 tbsp Cilantro

  • 1 tbsp Mint (optional)

  • A pinch of hing

  • Green chili (per taste)

  • ½ tsp Ginger

  • ½ tsp roasted jeera powder

  • Kala namak/black salt and kosher salt to taste


PREPARATION:

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender. Add one cup of water and run the mixing cycle.


Dilwale Coconut Shake


Source: YouTube Video

Pappu Juice Wala, a hidden gem on Mohammad Ali Road has the most decadent cream of freshly cracked coconut (I used canned cream of coconut), mixed with heavy cream, sugar and nuts. It being Alphonso mango season, their mango coconut cream is the bomb!


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