The monsoons are here, and how. It’s been almost two weeks since we’ve seen a sunny day and after being scorched for nearly six months, the city seems to have come alive. While we’re all stoked about the ongoing monsoons, not many of us will dare to venture out when the pour is coming down heavy.
So how does one make the most of these monsoons, even without getting out and doing too much? Well for starters, here are 9 foods that are totally going to make the monsoons so much more exciting this year.
#CHAI AND BUN MASKA – You knew this was going to kickstart the list didn’t you? No monsoon in Mumbai is complete without this fantastic routine of spice infused cutting chai (tea) and the mildly sweet bun with a generous slathering of Amul butter. The rains have come and you just can’t see off the monsoons without indulging in this humble, yet exceedingly awesome combination.
Where: I am a loyalist when it comes to this combo and Yazdani has been my go to place for their sulemani chai and brun maska
Picture Courtesy: Amira Shah
#WADA PAV– Such is the city’s romance with this street food icon that someone once said, never trust a Mumbaikar who doesn’t eat wada pav. The true enjoyment of a wada pav is only when you’re sopping drenched in the rain and you’re devouring a steaming hot wada, freshly out of the fry.
And the humble wada pav isn’t all too humble anymore. If you run up into the wada pav craving even while you’re at the poshest of places like Farzi cafe, you might just get served a wada pav albeit with a twist.
Where: I am old school that way and I prefer the wada pav at Ashok (Kirti College) over most of the others in town, while Anand, next to Mithibai comes a close second.
Picture Courtesy: Indiatimes
#BHAJIYA – Perhaps the oldest global pilgrim in the food universe, the bhajiya is as essential to B-town as the network of local trains and backalley beer stockists on a dry day. A dish that has an interpretation in almost every culinary culture – be it the fritto misto from Italy, the pomme croquettes from France, or the falafel from the Middle East, the bhajiya is the best soul food on a rainy day. Besides, bhajiya waala bhaiyyas serve up some fine tasting chutneys that can bring back the dampest of days back to life with one steaming hot bite.
Picture Courtesy: Google
#BHUTTA (Corn on the Cob) – There’s something about the monsoons, the romance, couples holding hands, and then all of a sudden….. There’s the bhutta. I don’t know why the humblest of humble corn on the cob has become so synonymous to both monsoons and romance, but life in the city is summarily incomplete without it. Besides, it is absolutely delicious, dirt cheap, and quite healthy for you too, making it a perfect companion for the monsoons.
Where: Just about anywhere. The sudden urge to devour a Bhutta might hit you in the unlikeliest of places, but fret not, your corny fix is probably just around the corner.
Picture Courtesy: Cuisinecuisine.com
#MOMOS – So experts say that steamed foods are the best types to gorge on during the monsoons and aren’t momos are favourite steamed food, everybody? Absolutely they are! And seeing as to how Mumbai has taken a shine to momos, these little parcels steaming with deliciousness are amazing to enjoy when you’re at home watching it pour like cats and dogs.
Where: If it’s the street style momos that tickle your fancy, Dev’s in Worli is your go to guy. Otherwise there’s this tiny little hole in the wall resto in Oshiwara called New Sernyaa and they have an amazing assortment of these deliciously steamed delights
Picture Courtesy: Finelychopped.net
# IDLI AND CHUTNEY – Honestly, is there a particular time of the year for these steamy delights. No there isn’t! Nothing tops the charts as a street favourite over the humble looking but insanely delicious combo of idli and chutney. Also, these are really great to enjoy when its pouring madly and they are really simple even to whip up at home.
Where: Call me biased but I’m going to have to pick Ramashray in Matunga as the best place for a great helping of idli, but if you manage to reach Matunga you’ll find yourself surrounded by many fine options including Nayak’s Idli House. On a slightly upscale setting, Banana Leaf does a great job with their idlis too
Picture Courtesy: Bawarchi.com
#ZUNKA BHAKRI – Are you serious, you’d ask me? Yes I very much am! The steam oozing ultra delicious puddle of gram flour and the robust and gut warming bhakri, are a match made in foodie heaven. And there is absolutely no better than enjoying these two together on a rainy afternoon. The instant feeling of warmth in your stomach and the kick your taste buds receive from the Kharda that comes as an accompaniment are enough to make the monsoons a delightful time.
Where: Mumbai is dotted with Zunka Bhakar Kendras but my pick of the lot is Aram in CST or the one in Fort. For the burbies, Girgaon Katta in Borivli is a decent option
Picture Courtesy: Cravecookclick.com / Anita Mokshi
#HOT CHOCOLATE – Sitting at the window in a coffee shop with a book in your hand, watching the rain pour on the glass, and then taking a sip of your hot chocolate. Does life get better than that? I don’t think so! Especially for the ones who like to kick back and watch the world go by.
Besides, even if you weren’t at a coffee shop and the scene wasn’t as perfectly set as above, you can still whip up a mean hot chocolate in the very comfort of your home and laze around on the couch with the latest season of your favourite TV series playing on continuous loop. There you have it, the recipe for a perfect rainy day!
Where: This one is a tie and for me both Di Bella Coffee and San Churro bag the winner’s title for the best hot chocolate in town
Picture Courtesy: Gatlinburgspaceneedle.com
#WAFFLES – Ok, I might be getting into an instagramming teenager mode right now, but the city’s love affair with these freshly baked delights just keeps on growing and is literally catching up to everyone now. Have it plain or classic (with maple syrup), top it up with fruits or chocolate, or even dunk it jams and jellies. The waffle is the perfect companion to just about anything you like and on a neepy rainy day when the comfort food cravings are at an all time high, there’s nothing better than a waffle.
Where: There’s a mountain load of amazing waffle places in the city so I’ll stick to the first three names that come to my mind in order of preference. Di Bella Coffee, 145, and Tea Villa Cafe