[Mumbai, India] Street food guided tour

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for us here in India, hopping from one city to another every two days does take its toll. Anyway, am now relaxing by the beach in Trivandrum, and just taking stock of the hundreds of photos we’d taken over the past fortnight.

I just realized that I’d not shared about the guided street food tour by Reality Tours and Travel’s knowledgeable guide on Day 2 of our India holiday.

Anyhoo, here it is - a quick glimpse into what we ate that evening. We started off our food tour at the city’s popular Chowpatty Beach. Absolutely teeming in the evening with city-folks looking to catch the evening sea-breezes and also some street food. I think it’s more wet grey sand than white sand, and fully-clothed locals largely traipsed along the water’s edge.

Lifeguards - pretty sure they’re more likely to have to save a picnicker choking on his pav bhaji than actually drowning in the surf.

The street food kiosks at Chowpatty - a veritable gold mine of street food eats! Our guide here in Trivandrum was bemoaning the fact that Kerala doesn’t have a street food culture like Mumbai’s vibrant one.

Our local guide explaining Mumbai’s street food culture to us.

Our gastronomic tour begins!

  1. Pav bhaji - the quintessential Mumbai snack: griddle-cooked mushy mélange of spiced potatoes and vegetables, loaded with butter, served alongside a brace of soft bread rolls.

  1. Pani puri - one of Mumbai’s must-not-miss eats. Bhim Singh makes sure our bunch of novice street food tasters don’t end up with “Mumbai Belly” by using filtered water for his “pani”, i.e. the liquid portion of this fab snack. Crisp, golden, hollow pastry spheres filled with cooked potato, chickpeas & onion, then filled with a sour-sweet-spicy tamarind/mint-flavored liquid at the last minute by the server, before handing it over to the customer to pop the liquid-filled globe into his/her mouth whole. An explosion of flavors and textures would follow.

  1. Sev puri - a typical Mumbai chaat or snack, there is no fixed recipe for sev puri, although most will have finely-diced, cooked potatoes, chopped onions, various crispy bits of spiced vermicelli or sev, and three types of chutney: tamarind, chili and garlic. You sometimes get chopped raw mango, tomatoes and coriander.

  2. Dahi batata puri - the version here utilizes the crispy spheres, but slather them with yoghurt (dahi) and chopped potato bits, then sprinkled with sev and other crispy bits.

  1. Mysore masala dosa - these were crisp dosa crepes slathered with spicy-red chutney and sprinkled with chopped tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves.

  1. Kulfi - we finished off the Chowpatty segment of the guided tour with some milky-sweet, subtly-scented Punjabi kulfi ice-cream.

Next, we’re off to the Muslim quarter’s bustling Mohammed Ali Road to continue on our Mumbai street food tour.

Girgaon Chowpatty
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Mumbai 400021, India


Yum! I love food tours and plan one for every city I visit. Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:


Do join this one if you are ever in Mumbai!

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Shared with my friend, she’ll positively LOVE this!


Part 2 of our Mumbai street food guided tour by Reality Tours and Travel. We arrived at Mumbai’s Muslim quarter: Mohammed Ali Road. Sensory overload in that chaotic, noisy, bustling place.

Our tour group looked shellshocked - staring agape at the non-stop outpouring of humanity on the streets. Our food guide expertly steered us to the first stop in our food quest:

  1. Haldi doodh - imbibed some turmeric-long pepper milk, served steaming hot. The warm, creamy drink soothed our nerves, and we were suddenly hungry and eager to try anything and everything.

  1. Sabudana Vada and Paneer Pakora - some deep-fried snacks: the sabudana vada or sago patties were largely bland, but we loved the crisp-on-the-outside, spongey-inside texture of the paneer pakoras.

  1. Seekh kabab - minced mutton on skewers. These were smokey-delicious, and fairly strong spices were used to temper the smell of the mutton, as well as give it more flavor…

  1. Baida roti and chicken roll - the baida roti is basically parantha filled with spiced, minced chicken and egg, very similar to Singaporean murtabak. The chicken roll looked like a Chinese egg roll, but is heftier, with grilled chicken filling. Quite spicy!

  1. Gulab Jamun - glistening, dark spongey orbs, soaked through with sugar syrup.

Mohammed Ali Road, Mumbai 400003


You’re killing me.


Come! Come!


To Bombay? All expenses paid?


I’ve never known anyone to eat something vegetarian on Mohammed Ali Road (not counting dessert) :joy::rofl:

En route to Bombay now (after a 6.5 hour delay) and appetite has been whetted by your pics!


Have a good flight back!

We are also returning to Mumbai in a couple of days’ time to catch our flight back to Singapore.

Toying with the idea of doing a meal at Nelson Wang’s China Garden, just to see where the legendary “Manchurian chicken” began. I remembered being brought to a very posh Chinese restaurant in Delhi on my very first trip to India back in 1992, and served “Manchurian chicken”. I was an accountant with Singapore Airlines back then, visiting our Delhi office. I don’t even have a photo of the dish. When I got back to Singapore and told my colleagues about it, they asked what it was like. Of course, back then, before the advent of the Internet, whatever we know were based on whatever limited printed stuff we may get to read, and there was nothing about a Manchurian chicken that we knew of. :joy:


Extraordinary photography as always, Peter! And much of the food looked very interesting.

But I can’t help but note that you were less descriptive, and less effusive about, flavors here than you are in your more typical KL, Penang, Singapore posts. Was it due to the pressing of time, or did you find the food a bit less good in general?

But in any event, I’d still like to shake your hand someday in George Town or Butterworth (the only 2 areas there that I’m acquainted with) or anywhere else, and get a couple of my favorite photos of yours autographed, and to share lunch. I just have to get my wife nerved up for the trip!

Thanks again, as usual, for bringing a big slice of the world to us, in technicolor!

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It’s more of the time constraint, and the fact that we’re on the move all the time.

Do drop me a line when you’re in Penang.

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Thanks Peter. That’s kind of what I suspected, but glad to have your confirmation. It all looks so great.

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I was there a few months ago, and wouldn’t waste a scarce meal on it. We had the Chicken Manchurian and sizzling noodles, both things they’re famous for, and they were good, but I’d rather eat so many other things in Bombay.