In October of 2015, I traveled to India for an Ayurvedic Immersion program. While I was there, I headed downtown to watch the street food vendors make some of my favorite foods!
After asking permission, this vendor happily agreed to let me film him making traditional dosas on the street! I was his first customer of the day. Normally he charges 20 rupees per dosa which equals approximately .30 cents. After filming, I paid him 100 rupees (approximately $1.50) as a thank you, and he was so thrilled he actually kissed the money!
First, he greases the grill and then wipes the grease clean in order to prep for the batter. Next he adds the batter to the grill and spreads it out perfectly. He then adds a little bit of butter, along with Karam Podi – a special South Indian chili spice especially made for dosas. Finally he folds the dosa and serves it with a coconut chutney, a green chutney, and sambhar.
In my book I will include a recipe for various stuffing for the dosas such as potatoes and grilled meats.
Street Food in Mumbai
I had a hard time filming this, you can actually hear the honking in the background because our car was parked on the side of the road behind the food cart. As people are walking by they wait in line for these delicious dishes. The carts are open from noon until after midnight each day and are busy the entire time!
Even though street food is popular throughout India, Mumbai is specifically known for these road-side food carts. Some even give credit to these food vendors as enriching the food culture of the city. One of the most beautiful things about this food cart culture is that it spans economic classes. The food is cheap and people of all incomes, ages, and statuses are known to indulge in these delicious dishes on the side of the road.
Growing up in India, this food cart culture has been a huge inspiration in both my cooking, and in the spirit of my new cookbook, Turmeric & Spice! I have a whole chapter dedicated to Mumbai street food. You can make these treats in your own kitchen and indulge your family and friends! Try some of these chatpati (delectable) recipes in my book. With their many flavors, including spicy, savory, sweet, sour, and pungent, these delights will have you coming back for more.