Honestly, I love Mumbai; there is something in the city that draws me to it, it’s complexity and its speed tends to fascinate me. As does its food. I have discovered so many cuisines and dishes in Mumbai as I haven’t so far in any other city I have explored.
One such dish that I have grown to love would be the Masala Khichiya Papad. The best ones I have had come from the Khau Galli in Bhuleshwar. So, one evening, I decide to make them at home, the recipe is quite simple. And since I am cooking, it’s pretty obvious I won’t go by the book and add my own twists to it as I go along.
I take the Khichiya Papad. I roast them on a roti maker, just as an experiment. I get great flat and unburnt roasted Khichiya Papads. The Khichiya Papad is crunchy, made of rice flour. Ideally, they are burnt in places and have an uneven surface and are broken to large bits before layering the toppings. I layer them with spicy mint chutney and sweet tamarind chutney. Then I layer it with chopped potatoes and onions and some fresh plucked coriander leaves. I squeeze a bit of lemon juice on the top just to get in those tangy flavors. Then I sprinkle some sev, some achar masala, some vadapao chutney, some garlic chutney and some chaat masala. One need not add in so many masalas and dry chutneys on the top, I just like my food spicy, so I sprinkled in so many.
Why do we love street food? Because it is different from home food, it is generally more spicy or more tangy or a little bit more on the extreme side than home food would be. That’s why, more often than not, even when we try to make the same dish at home, it won’t taste the same, sometime not even close.
Next time you are in Mumbai, make sure to enjoy the Masala Khichiya Papad. The Bhuleshwar Khau Galli is a good bet. I have also heard that Boriwali West has some great Khichiya Papads too.