When in North West London, this is a must! I went there last month, as part of a visit to a customer site, and had to stop by this lovely Mumbai Street Food Restauraunt. They opened back in 2010 in Hounslow high street, with the aim of bringing the best street food in Mumbai to the streets of London. Let me say they have done exactly that, great replication of flavours in a street-side style atmosphere.
We’ve been there a few times before, but since it was lunchtime I opted to have the lunch deal. Super value for money I must add. In a mere £5 I was treated to a full size vada-pav, a cup of freshly made garam (hot) and karak(strong) Indian Chai (Tea) and Mumbai Special Pav Bhaji.
The Vada Pav
The Vada Pav is a typical mumbai street food, often eaten by people for breakfast, or a snack at any point in the day. We made a ‘fine-dining’ variant of this on the Final of the BBC Family Cooking Showdown – ‘mini vada pav bites’. Essentially, the filling comprises of mashed potato mixed and cooked with an assortment of spices, and coated in a batter made out of gram flour. We will post a recipe soon for this. The bread, can be a normal unsweetened (this is important) bread roll, which is dipped in hot melted butter and sprinkled with a teekhi chutney (comprising of garlic, grated coconut and spices) and a spread of meethi chutney (chutney made out of dates). To top it off, a cooked green chilli is added for good measure just to add that necessary extra sizzle.
The Pav Bhaji
This is a real street speciality of Mumbai and something which I loved having as a child when we used to visit Juhu beach. The vendors there have these massive Tava’s (flat cooking vessel) on which they make fresh Pav Bhaji right in front of your eyes. It’s a delight to watch, smell and taste. A really popular beach snack. So, I had to have this, and went for this as part of the lunchtime meal option. I was not disappointed.
The bread tastes, best dipped and coated in butter, along with a sprinkling of Pav Bhaji masala.
The Pav Bhaji comprises of a mixture of vegetables (Potato, Cauliflower, Peas, Beetroot, Tomato) – which are cooked in a special spice assortment and mashed together. I have shared a recipe, made by ourselves many years ago in a link below.
Garnished with a dollop of butter and fresh corainder, and served with freshly chopped bombay onions, this dish tastes amazing. Do gently squeeze the lemon onto the onions and bhaji, add that sour touch to the dish. If you end up going to this place, do let us know how your experience was. This is the branch that I went to near Harrow (Link).
Please see our video link here to our authentic Pav Bhaji recipe. We looked a little bit younger back then :), and I seem to have put on a bit of a desi accent ;-)…!