If you’ve stepped into Mumbai for even a moment, there’s absolutely no escaping the sometimes sweet, sometimes salty, sometimes soft, sometimes hard exquisite Pav (form of bread). The omnipresent Pav has become as much a part of Mumbai’s culture as the local trains and the beaches. When we think of Pav, a range of delicious food items flash through our mind right from the humble Vada-Pav to the more sophisticated Indianised Garlic Pav.
Here are five reasons every Mumbaikar says wow to the pav and loves it in different forms!
They Love The Indian Burger, The VADA PAV
While many from North and South India turn up their nose at this incredible offering, the Vada Pav is Mumbai’s food staple. One can see Vada-Pav stalls lined up at every nook and corner in Mumbai and this is the one dish you can relish as breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. This bizarre but delicious combination is a favourite amongst Mumbaikars. If you’re ever in Mumbai, you simply cannot leave without eating a Vada Pav. Go to any small roadside stall and devour this delight.
They Love The SAMOSA PAV, The Sibling Of Batata Vada
This evolved as an alternative to Vada Pav in Mumbai. It is not as popular as Vada Pav, but equally tasty. If a Mumbaikar ever needs a quick food fix they have a Samosa Pav in Mumbai as it somehow makes the samosa more palatable. The dried Red Garlic/Chilli Powder with green chutney and a dash of sweet chutney make it absolutely delicious to eat. The best Samosa Pav is the one you get at your Mumbai local railway station food stalls or in school/college canteens.
They Love It As Bhajji Pav
To add some more variants to the Pav-stuffed-with-fried-savouries variety, Bhajji Pav came into existence. The first drop of rain hasn’t touched the earth and the Mumbaikar will already be out at the nearest stall for some Bhajii Pav and Chai (tea). The Bhajji Pav in Mumbai (especially the Kanda Bhajji and Mirchi Bhajji variants) is extremely popular today. If the Bhajjis are piping hot, all the better. Go to any Vada-pav stall and if you see the vendor frying hot Bhajjis, just grab a few Kanda Bhajji variants and ask him to make it into a Bhajji Pav. Stuff the pav up, add some Salted Mirchi and you are all done.
Pav Bhaji Is The Best Thing That Happened To Humanity For Mumbaikars
The Mumbai Pav Bhaji is surely the one. It was devised by roadside vendors. It is actually an extremely healthy dish, although nowadays it is categorised as fast food with dollops of butter. Initially, the bhaji was just a mash of multiple vegetables spiced up to add flavour and accompanied with pav. It was filling and healthy. Mumbaikars aren’t really complaining about the butter today though. If you can see the butter dripping from the pav, nothing like it. There are hundreds of variants of pav bhaji available today right from cheese pav bhaji to Chinese pav bhaji. Though there are hundreds of stalls in Mumbai, places like Sardar Pav Bhaji (Tardeo), Achija (Ghatkopar), Cannon Pav Bhaji (CST) and Maruti Pav Bhaji (Vile Parle) are considered to be the best places for the dish.
They Love The Masala Pav
There is an entirely new variety of Pav that revolves as a cross between a Pav Bhaji and an Indianised salsa version. Masala Pav in Mumbai is not what you get with Pav Bhaji. Here the Pav is fried in spices added to butter instead of plain butter. Mumbai’s Masala Pav is a complete meal in itself where 2 Pavs are dunked into a mix of potatoes and onions finely diced and slightly sauteed with spices, coriander and sometimes pav-bhaji masala. It’s taste is very different to that of pav bhaji and is more of a quick-fix than a complete meal. The pav is just as liberally buttered though. Mumbaikars vouch by the Masala Pav you get at at D.P’s restaurant (Matunga). Just try it once and you might find you prefer this to Mumbai Pav Bhaji.