We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
Mumbai is a city of a few thousand dozen street food joints. These food joints are flanked by more than a few thousand dozen people on a daily basis. For some Vada pav is breakfast, whereas for some Tava Pulao is lunch, for a few the ‘Bhel Puri is a quick evening snack and for a few Dosa is dinner. These are just a very few variants available from these fast food stalls. The best part of these stalls are they can operate either with just a stand or some have a slightly bigger setup. But the bottom line is Mumbai is ruled by these street food joints.
On the mood to explore fast food joints in the farther side of Mumbai we came across this well talked about restaurant known as the Ma Anjani at Borivalli.
Not a fancy fine dine but what is most welcoming here other than the wafting aroma of the fresh food is the smiling owner. Very humble, down to earth and full of enthusiasm.
Hungry that we were we didn’t want to waste time and immediately said yes as soon as they asked if food could be served.
We started our evening with the ‘Pudla’ which apparently is available in just 2 places in Mumbai. One is the Zaveri Bazar and here at Maa Anjani. Pudla is nothing but chickpea flour batter being coated in slices of bread and shallow fried with loads of butter. This is stuffed with fresh veggies like cabbage, onion, tomatoes etc just like a sandwich and served with 3 chutneys. These chutneys were finger licking good. The Corriander Chutney , the Red Chilli & Garlic Chutney and the Sweet Dates & Tamarind Chutney made the Pudla even better.
Next up was the ‘Masala Cheese Khichiya Papad’. A very colourful Khichiya or rice papad topped with crunchy onions, tomatoes, capsicum, and a whole lot of spices and chutneys. Broken to pieces so that it’s easier to eat. This papad was the much better version to the Masala papad. We also got tempted to try the plain ‘Butter Khichiya’ which was equally good.
Next up was the famous ‘Black Pav Bhaji’ for which people like us travel from one corner of the city to the other. The mush of veggies smashed to a smooth perfection and spiced and herbed in such a way that the the taste of the bhaji remains top class and constant. The colour of this bhaji is black, and the reason behind the colour is a trade secret. But be it black or red, we loved it, as we dunked our buttery pav in the black bhaji and cleaned our plate clean within minutes.
A very different and fantastic variation the usual butter pav was the Anjani’s Special Masala Pav. Green Corriander, Chillies, garlic and spices mixed and cooked in a specific way and then smothered in the semi crisp pav. It was par excellence and worth every penny spent on it.
The next dish to be served was our favourite of the evening. The ‘Khada Pav Bhaji’. The vegetables in this Bhaji were not boiled and smashed unlike the usual one. The boiled vegetables are just just broken to random pieces and cooked in a gravy. Though the taste is exactly the same as the usual bhaji but the chunky mix vegetables have it the twist required. Could be made extremely spicy and the best combination with this Khada pav bhaji is the simple butter pav.
Having come to a pav bhaji center and not having tava Pulao is a serious crime. So our next order was the ‘Tava Pulao’. Hot, spicy, flavourful long grained rice tossed in the black bhaji base with chunks of potatoes and green peas and capsicum. We were all bowled over and in love with it.
Lot of spices down, we wanted something to cool our appetite with. We called for the Kulfi Falooda’ and 4 Colour Gola’. The falooda was not too sweet and extremely creamy. The best part was it was doing perfect justice of cooling us after the spicy food we had consumed. Even the gola was perfect and refreshing.
Small joints like these are a blessing to people who love street food but in a not so fancy but clean and hygienic ambience. Our love for the pav bhaji is never ending and the one we had at Ma Anjani will remain the best till we find one more to match those standards.
What not to miss here are definitely The’ 4 P’s” – Pav Bhaji, Pudla, Papad and Pulao. Have it to believe it.
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