A year ago, I was able to sample about a dozen dishes that are popular street food dishes sold in India's largest city, Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I am working with the owners in trying to set up a similar style tasting with a few dishes that I tried and a few dishes from their extensive menu which we have not tried. From the last time I dined here, we all enjoyed the food -- the complex flavor profiles; the mix of sweet and savory. And believe it or not, all of the street food offered here is vegetarian!
• We will meet inside of the restaurant shortly before 11:15 am. As always, please call and/or text me if you arrive before I do, or are arriving late, or are lost.
• We will be dining "Family Style." The food bill will be split evenly among all attendees. Attendees will be responsible for paying for their own alcoholic beverages. Please note that flexibility is an important part of family-style dining, and if you want to take a chance on attending, you have to be amenable to what the group will order. You don't have to eat everything that is ordered, but everyone pays equally, whether you eat everything or not. The goal for family-style dining is to allow for the entire group to sample as wide a variety of dishes as possible. If one or more attendees choose to order on their own, that limits the group's choices, which defeats the purpose of what Family-Style Dining is all about. If this definition of Family-Style Dining doesn't feel comfortable, this may not be the right type of event for you.
• The cost per person is expected to be anywhere from $15 to $20. To be on the safe side, please bring at least $30 in CASH to settle your portion of the bill (small bills preferred). Please keep in mind, this is a CASH ONLY establishment.
• Yelp reviewers give Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se an average rating of 4.0 Stars out of 5.0 from over 120 reviews. You can read those reviews here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/mumbai-ki-galliyon-se-artesia-2
• Parking is available in the shopping mall where Mumbai is located.
• After lunch, those who are interested may join me for dessert 1/2 mile south for exotic Asian flavored gelato at Saffron Spot.
The easiest way to entice you to try the food here, below is an excerpt of some of the dishes that food blogger, Abby Abanes, had during her visit here in February 2010 (All pictures below are by Abby Abanes):
"The beginning of our 12 course meal started with the Dahi Batata Puri which are wheat puffs filled with potatoes, sprouted mung beans and black chana. They were topped with green and red sauces, fried noodles, cilantro and sweet yogurt. A puri is meant to be eaten in one bite so as to capture all the flavors, and the crunch of the crispy shell all at one time. The Dahi Batata Puri was definitely a wonderful bite. I enjoyed the textures and both the sweet and the little bit of heat that came from the ingredients.
Next to arrive was the Sev Puri which was a mixed flour cracker with potatoes, onions, splash of lemon, fried noodles and cilantro. I really enjoyed the crunch that came from both the cracker and the fried noodles and the lemon added a nice hint of tartness that was refreshing.
Before our next dish arrived, we all received our order of the Priyush. The Priyush is a housemade lassi drink with saffron, cardamon, almonds and pistachio. It's a drink that's been a part of the Indian culture for 100 to 200 years and is made from scratch at the restaurant. In fact, it actually takes 3 days to make. This is a must have drink. Actually, as soon as Sailesh told us about the ingredients, I was already sold. I really enjoyed the use of the cardamon and two types of nuts. It's creamy and just thick enough to enjoy without a straw.
Following the Priyush came the Sabuduna Vida with an outer layer made of tapioca and crushed peanuts and a filling of potatoes and green chilis. This particular item had an interesting texture that I didn't necessarily dislike, but wasn't in love with either. I'm not even sure how to describe it, but it was a little dry, chewy and stretchy but also had a little crunch from the peanuts. I actually enjoyed the filling more the than outer part, especially after adding a little spoonful of cilantro sauce which added some lovely peppery notes.
If you're only going to order one thing there, you have to get the Dabeli, a potato slider with Dabeli masala spices, pomegranate seeds, peanuts, green grapes and a tamarind and garlic sauce. While I wasn't so into the texture of the Sabuduna, I was all about the textures and the flavor combinations of the Dabeli. You get tart, sweet, sour, nutty and a little pungency fom the garlic sauce. Then there's the juicy crunch of the grapes and the pomegranate seeds and the nutty crunch of the peanuts. This was was one of my favorite items of our meal.
Soon, the Kachori arrived, which is deep fried wheat batter stuffed with green peas, coconut and spices. Green peas and coconut aren't ingredients I'd think to mix together as a filling and in all honesty, the Kachori wasn't a favorite. On its own, it tasted a little dry. It only improved with the addition of the cilantro sauce and in fact, I only liked it with the cilantro sauce.
Following the Kachori was the Samosa Chat, which was a deep fried samosa stuffed with potatoes, green peas, lentils and onions in a red and green sauce topped with cilantro. I've definitely had my share of samosas, but this was the first time that I've had it doused with different sauces. I actually didn't miss having a crispy samosa to bite into because those sauces really added more nuances of flavor than a samosa could ever have on its own.
You can read her complete review and see more mouthwatering pictures on her blog, Pleasure Palate, here: http://pleasurepalate.blogspot.com/2010/02/marvelous-mumbai-vegetarian-street-food.html
In addition to the dishes above, we will be ordering some of their Specials:
• Vegetable Frankie - potatoes and paneer roll, with frankie spices, wrap
• Dal Batti/Bhakro - Lentils thick dip(Dal), whole wheat thick flat bread(Bhakro), spicy chutney
• Surti Undhiyu & Puri - Special mixed vegetables (Undhiyu) and 4 deep fried flat bread (puri)
• Cauli65 - Cauliflower appetizer, dry style, the 65 sauce is from Hyderabad
• Gode Masala Bhat - Mixed vegetab;e, maharastrian style, dish with rice and side of yogurt
After lunch, we may visit a local Indian grocery store and/or Saffron Spot for some exotic flavored ice creams such as saffron and rose water.