You know we are tired of this never ending battle about Mumbai vs Delhi! Why does one city have to be better or worse? :/ Both have their own unique charm and we just love that distinctiveness, don’t we? So let’s bridge the two cities with their forever-awesome food! The best of Mumbai flavors and lots of variety for Delhi cravers – right here at Holachef; exclusively on December 18.
Meanwhile here’s a sneak peek into foods that occupy a special place in the cities known for their gastronomical fervour.
Bun Maska with Irani Chai (Mumbai): When Iranians migrated to the city in the 1800s, they brought along the culture of small tea shops, which was a foundation stone laid for all the Irani cafes that would come up later and be a part of Mumbai’s history. The cafes slowly became convenient for the rushing crowds, as the city kept growing at an enormous rate. The sheer charm of these cafes is enough to take you back into the rich history that precedes us. Often, people visit them as a habit, or to dive in the old school ways of breakfasts and brunches, never missing on the eternal combination of bun maska and Irani chai. The bun is the softer version of this variant while brun is a crispier one, dabbled with butter. And a cup of strong Irani tea, quite sweet for a few, goes very well with this combination.
Here’s a little bit of history about this Irani pair.
Vada Pav (Mumbai): Vada pav has been an ideal snack option for Mumbaikars since a long time. If stories are to be believed, this roadside dish came into existence around the 1970s and apparently, the first stall that sold this snack can still be found outside Dadar station. An inexpensive option to satiate your taste buds, the combination of pav with vada and a fiery chutney, is brilliance. And here’s a testimony to the popularity of this dish – Vada Pav day is celebrated on 23rd August every year!
Pav Bhaji (Mumbai): The story goes that this delicacy was a quick meal option for labourers working in factories and was fairly nutritious owing to its ingredients that include an assortment of vegetables. Years later, this dish has a special place in the city and is a comfort food for a lot of people. The spicy-tangy aroma of the bhaji, the soft buttered pav and the accompanying sound of the tawa working its magic on the bhaji, while the world rushes by, is an experience in itself.
Bombay Sandwich (Mumbai): This sandwich can be identified by the cheese loaded bread layers which hold the goodness of vegetables and green chutney together. Apparently, the Britishers brought the good old sandwich with them and, at the same time, were fascinated by chutneys in India. The amalgamation of the two have added a desi twist and sandwiches have become a daily snack. No sandwich menu in the city is complete without this special version.
Making of the Bombay Sandwich
Baida Roti (Mumbai): If stories are to be believed, baida roti shot to popularity around 65-70 years ago when the immensely famous Bademiya outlet in South Mumbai started offering the dish. Both, the place and the delicacy, are a special favourite of Bombayites till date. Flour rotis are stuffed with cooked minced meat which has beautifully blended spices. This stuffing is topped with eggs, sealed and shaped into a square roti. That’s not all, the whole roti is coated with eggs one more time and browned to perfection. Baida roti is much of a late evening delicacy, tasty and filling.
Here’s how the roti is made, without the egg coating:Parathas (Delhi): One of the most iconic streets of Delhi, parathe-wali gali established itself in the late 1800s. The list of famous customers includes rajas and maharajas from that era, celebrities and even politicians like Jawaharlal Nehru and his family. Talking about celebrities, Akshay Kumar was a resident of this lane for a short while and before he made it big in Bollywood. Certain shops in this lane are being run by the 6th or 7th generation which bring out Delhiites’ evident love for parathas. A walk down this lane is a flavoursome reminder of the food culture that was and continues to be. From mooli, aloo, gobhi, matar to keema, papad, eggs and much more – the gali has them all.
Fresh Parathas –
Chole Bhature (Delhi): A classic delicacy from the North, chole-bhature is a dish that is highly recommended when in Delhi. The Punjabi population in the city is to be thanked for bringing this dish with them. The spicy chickpeas curry is paired with its inseparable, slightly sour companion of bhature, which attains the flavour due to fermentation. Originally considered a breakfast item, there are numerous places recommended in Delhi to try this delicacy, serving the dish in its lip-smacking avatar.
A huge poori in process:
Kebabs (Delhi): The Mughal influence is apparent in the food patterns of the capital and that’s one reason why Delhi is known for its authentic kebabs. Most of the shops are decades old and still use recipes that have been passed down from generations, which in turn have ensured their incessant popularity. Secret recipes, unique masala marinations, a range of meats and the diverse ways of preparations make them a meat lover’s favourite. Relish them in true Delhi style on the street, or pop into one of the restaurants, the city will amaze you with its variety.
Here’s how char-grilled kebabs are made in Delhi:
Butter Chicken (Delhi): One of Delhi’s most favourite foods, this delicacy was the brainchild of Kundan Lal Gujral, the founder of Moti Mahal chain of hotels. It can be termed as a chance invention since the dish evolved through the process of soaking the chicken in a marinade, which helped it from drying away, as there were no storage options back then. Years later, this dish has turned out to be our country’s persistent choice when dining out.
Momos (Delhi): The North Eastern population settled within Delhi, travellers who would crave for momos and the sheer simplicity of this dish have made them as popular as the city’s other staple options. Delhi serves some of the best momos and is home to a first of its kind momo festival. From traditional steamed and fried to new age ones like tandoori momos – there’s a lot to crave for. They perfectly sum up the experimental nature of the city, when it comes to trying various foods. For Delhi, these are a quick snack option, another one of their comfort foods and something to munch on while catching up with friends.