Everyone who lives in Mumbai knows that sometimes, when hunger strikes, you just can’t beat a good meal served right off the street. Well, not literally, but you get my drift.
Last night, as my tummy rumbled and chanted “Feed me, feed me, feed, me!” I dug into my pockets and realised I was suffering from acute broke-ness, a common syndrome amongst students living away from home.
Just then, the smell of fresh, hot pav bhaji wafted into my nostrils, and I let myself be guided by my olfactory senses. I was led to a nondescript, makeshift little stand on the corner of
Princess Street, near Metro Cinema, where a young lad was furiously mashing veggies to a pulp while drooling onlookers waited for their meal. Yes, this was the famous pav bhaji chap I’d heard so much about from all my friends.
I dug deeper into my pockets, found what looked like a fifty rupee note and decided to try this famous fellow out.
So I placed my order, and within minutes, he began chopping and mashing more vegetables on his huge tavva as I joined the mass of drooling diners. The man threw in tomatoes, potatoes, chick peas et all, and finally topped it off with a generous dollop of butter.
Within minutes I was handed a plate of hot, steaming bhaji, closely followed by some hot, steaming pav (also liberally doused in butter).
I took my first bite: the bhaji was perfectly spiced, just the right consistency and delicious. The bread was warm, toasty and scrumptiously buttery. The entire experience, car horns, bicycles and pedestrians aside, was, in a word fantastic.
What I found most appealing about the place was the fact that it was so enterprising. Right alongside the pav bhaji wala was a dosa stand doing equally good business, as well as a soft drink stall. A complete meal, if you ask me. So the next time you’re in the vicinity and in the mood for a cheap meal, why not s-treat yourself to some roadside relish!
Written by Sharmeen Hussain