Maacher chop at Bhojohori Manna. Photo via Facebook
When rains come pouring down we instantly go looking for something deep-fried and heavy. Mumbai restaurants have a huge list of regional fried snacks that can give the regular bhajiyas and onion rings a run for their money. Here’s what we recommend.
Prawns Rawa Fry @ Susegad Gomantak, Mahim
Juicy prawns with a crisp coating of rawa batter – that’s what this tiny Goan eatery in Mahim offers. There’s no chai or coffee to go with the snack, but a glass of soothing sol kadi makes up for it.
Stuffed Bombil @ Jai Hind, Lower Parel
The Lower Parel restaurant serves deep-fried bombil or Bombay Duck stuffed with tiny prawns. These jumbo-sized fish and prawn pakoras are so crisp and juicy that you’d like to go for seconds and thirds.
Arbi Tuk @ The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel
We’re told that the Sindhis go gaga over The Bombay Canteen’s version of their favourite snack. The crisp arbi topped with dahi and a sweet-sour chutney makes for a lovely chaat. We’d suggest you order a portion with their masala Coke and a shot of Old Monk.
Merapakaya bajji or mirchi bhajiya at Gonguura is thick green chillies stuffed with chopped onions and peanuts, dipped in a besan batter and deep fried. The chillies are not too spicy, but have a nice amount of heat to it with peanuts adding enough crunch.
Sabudana Vada @ Prakash, Dadar
The humble eatery in Dadar serves a few Maharashtrian snacks, but the sabudana vadas are what we keep going back for. The vadas have a perfect balance of sabudana and potatoes and are dotted with peanuts. Have them with a glass of thick piyush.
Maacher Chop @ Bhojohori Manna, Andheri West/Chembur/Powai
The snack is a favourite at every pandal during Durga Puja, and if you haven’t got a chance to visit one, head to Bhojohori Manna. The minced fish is dipped in egg and crumb-fried to perfection. Eat it with kasundi or Bengali mustard for that perfect taste.
Chicken Farcha @ Snack Shack, Bandra West
If you’re thinking of KFC’s fried chicken during the rains, we’d suggest you drop the idea and head to Snack Shack instead. The Parsi chicken farcha – chicken piece marinated in spices, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried, would make for a better option.
Kothimbir Vadi @ Aaswad, Dadar
These coriander and gram flour fritters at Aaswad are our favourites when it starts raining. The mixture is first steamed and then deep fried till crisp.
Sanna Pakora @ Kailash Parbat, Colaba
Sindhis love anything deep fried and if it’s double fried, it’s even better. Sanna pakoras at Kailash Parbat are onion and gram flour fritters flavoured with coriander, dried pomegranate and green chillies, fried twice and served with a tamarind chutney.
Ghughra @ Soam, Girgaon
The crescent-shaped Gujarati snack is served as a part of the farsan platter at Soam. Mashed green peas is stuffed in a maida coating and then deep fried till the cover is perfectly flaky. Eat it with green chutney and a cup of kadak chai.
The author is a freelance food and travel writer and shares her stories on Foodchants. She is on a perpetual quest to learn about the history of regional food.