Lets get straight into it – Im still talking about food! This time its how food and hospitality go hand in hand in Mumbai. If you’re some kind of sadist who doesn’t enjoy reading about yums, check out this other blog about love.
You know me, I love food…
So, after my long rambling post last time about our many adventures we ventured out of the hotel for some dinner. Sitting by the pool sure takes it out of you and we were pretty hungry. For the first time, instead of picking a location and getting a cab, we stayed local. We wandered no more than 500 meters up the road before the first wafts of onion bajhi, samosa and biryani started tickling our noses.
Picking a vendor to feed us
We stopped at a street vendors stall that was surrounded by people – always a good sign when the demand is high for things like this, right?
We couldn’t work out what was being offered, so we went right ahead and asked. Aloo Bajhi (fried potatoes sautéed with onions, mustard seeds and turmeric) served in dinner roll. We were hungry enough, and the crowd was interested enough in a couple kiwis, speaking English and sweating profusely ( an all to common experience now, 6 days in) that we went right ahead.
It was good. So good. In fact, I imagine it would make for an ideal hangover food, but that we can try another time.
The crowd very much enjoyed watching us eat and enjoy. As always, they were inquisitive about where we came from and why we were in Mumbai. As soon as Andrew mentioned New Zealand, well! The cricket came up, including this one time when Sachin Tendulkar played in Taupo.
Our most cost effective meal yet
The time came for us to pay and bid the crowd goodnight, but they weren’t for it. The vendor wouldn’t let us pay for our food. Even the man who had struck up the most conversation with us wasn’t allowed to pay. He insisted to show us some further hospitality by taking us up the road to his friends shop and buying us a drink. He remarked that we “looked hot” (how could he tell, I wonder?!). From there, we wandered the streets, amazed at how much of life goes on after dark.
After checking out the market stalls and street shops we made our way home, first stopping at one last shop, to buy some hand made sweets. I made the mistake of just pointing at 2 and hoping for the best, as the vendor didn’t speak a lick of English, and my Hindi hasn’t progressed much beyond Namaste…. I had a 50% hit rate, one was sweet and rich like condensed milk with some raisins in it, the other was sort of like pistachio, but not as nice. Next time I’ll make sure to ask more questions!
Has anyone out there got recommendations for good Indian sweets to try?? Hit me up