Her taste discovery began just moments into their journey...
“The first stop on our food adventure through Mumbai was in the station at a place called Subkuchh where we tried the Vada Pav. Vada means ball and Pav, or Pau means bread; and that is exactly what we got. A fried potato cake which came in a soft bun and covered in chilli sauce.”
Karen loved the combination of the crispiness of the potato drizzled with fiery chilli.
After a train journey to Chowpatty beach, Karen and Adam arrived at Bhim Singh, an area famous for its local snack, Pani Puri.
“These are small hollow balls made of corn flour which are then packed with chickpeas and either sweet water (date syrup and tamarind) or spicy water (chilli, mint leaf, coriander).
“Next, we sampled the complimentary gift they gave us, which was a Sukha Puri. These are often eaten after a Pani Puri to balance the flavours.”
These tasty morsels were shortly followed by another taste sensation…
“Things only got better with our Sev Puri. Green mango, tomato, onion and coriander all mixed together and it was delicious. The Dahl Batat Puri with potato, mung bean and yoghurt was so good I could have eaten the whole lot.”
Next up was a dessert by the name of Kulfi from Kapoor Punjabi Rabdi Kulfi. Karen adored the rich, creamy texture enriched with sweet fruit flavours:
“(It) is perfectly sweet, cold, creamy, perfectly textured. I tried all five flavours (mango, pistachio, raspberry, orange and Malai, milk). Each was as delicious as the last!”
The couple travelled by rickshaw through the hustle and bustle of Mumbai’s streets to Memon Wada Road, where they were treated to a real ‘taste of Bombay’ in an open-fronted cafe. A selection of freshly prepared breads and succulent meats tantalised Karen’s taste buds:
“Even though we were quite full, we still managed to share a selection of Baida Roti (egg bread), chicken roll, Chicken Naan sandwich and tiny kebabs. We enjoyed it all, even though Raj later let slip that the kebab meat was goat. None of us seemed to mind!”
Karen and Adam’s journey continued to traditional ice-cream parlour, Bhendi Bazaar, where they were served rich, delicious handmade ice cream made to according to a 125-year-old recipe.
“I chose the Alphonso Mango and Adam had Sitafel (custard apple),” enthused Karen, “The awesomeness of the little tubs of ice cream were just as good as the setting where we got to enjoy them.”
Their tour ended with a traditional treat known as Jalebi, a crispy batter soaked in sweet syrup.
Karen was delighted to watch the chefs at work: “It was a great experience to have them fresh and just cooked in front of us. We watched as they dripped the jalebi mixture into the huge vat of boiling hot oil in full sight of everyone.
Karen and Adam headed back to the hotel with full bellies and satisfied palates: “We ended our tour with a taxi ride through the city of Mumbai. What a great way to spend our last evening!”