The Wow Pav Of Mumbai.


The most common and popular street food in Mumbai is pav. If you go to north India and ask for the main course meal you may be served with some kind of paratha, chapati or roti. Bread isn’t popular in the north like in the west. What is that makes pav popular in west? Let’s start from the beginning, we know that baking was not so popular before the Muslim invasion. Indians ate wheat and atta or whole-wheat flour. While maida or refined flour came with the Muslims.

Our experiences with maida parathas and naans only started after the arrival of Muslim traders and rulers and even when maida did penetrate and got popular in large parts of India, Muslims remained the best traditional bakers because of their skills at using maida. (majority of the traditional bakeries in Bombay are Muslim-owned).

Bombay, the dream city is full of life and rush. Every day, thousands of people get down here for work and their living. Although it is the commercial capital of the country, the major population of the city is labor and people who work for industries. The first pav-bhaji vendors appeared all over Bombay in the late 1950s and (more likely) 1960.

They opened in the evenings and did not go home till early next morning. The first stalls were located near the old Cotton Exchange, traders waited for the New York cotton prices (in the 60s, these were carried prominently in all Bombay papers) that came in late into the night and early in the morning.

It was found easy to toast pav on their travels than to make fresh bread. Plus, the principal component of pav-bhaji is Amul butter and the bread soaked it up better than any Indian roti. In the west, pav is served with keema, kebab, bhaji, samosa, and most of the main course. Pav in the west is equivalent to roti or parathas in the north. Bombay pav has traveled to the corners of India. Other than West, it is found in the upmarket menus. There are many pav food ventures that emerged recently. Go grab some pav with a delicious gravy right now because I’m craving to!

To know more about the yum side of ‘Mumbaikars’, Checkout 8 best Street Food to eat in Mumbai

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Written by Sharad Maverick

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