Mumbai was the primary cease on an eight-month, round-the-world journey I took with my husband in 2014. The longest time I’d spent out of the UK previous to this had been three weeks. I’d solely ever visited three locations outdoors Europe, and it took me an entire 12 months to influence my different half to affix me. And our essential goal for these months on the highway? To eat.We hurled ourselves in on the deep finish, beginning in Mumbai. It’s so huge and sprawling that it’s arduous to not assume the whole nation should lie inside this metropolis alone. It was a minimum of 10 occasions as alive and chaotic and exhausting as I’d dared anticipate. Mumbai affords an unrelenting onslaught on all of the senses, notably listening to: the horn honking doesn’t cease.Leyla Kazimand her husband consuming vada pavs in MumbaiI knew there can be a kaleidoscope of unimaginable meals in Mumbai, however the place would a vacationer even start to start? To assist us distill the town’s eateries right down to a handful that would not be missed on a primary go to, I related with three native meals bloggers – Sameer, Jahan and Jagruti – and spent a spectacular night scooting across the metropolis in a rickshaw, grazing on among the tastiest bites on the town.We scooped up raj kachoris at Elco within the upmarket Bandra district. These are nice huge puris loaded with yoghurt, chutneys, bean sprouts, chickpeas, potato and fried crispy bits, completely unimaginable to eat in a single chew.One in all India’s favorite quick meals is the vada – a deep-fried crispy ball or patty. At Prakash in busier Dadar, we stopped for a diffusion of crunchy sabudana vadas, a mixture of soaked tapioca pearls, potato, floor peanuts, chilli, coriander and lemon juice, rolled into balls then fried.That is the place the author ateBut all my excited anticipation was reserved for vada pav. I’d come to Mumbai nicely versed on the town’s favorite avenue meals and wanting to strive what the bloggers deemed essentially the most superior specimens.Vada pavs are native to Maharashtra, the big western state of which Mumbai is the capital, and generally known as a Bombay burger. It’s quick, low-cost and is available in a bread roll – however I’d have this veggie snack over a burger most days.The spicy potato balls are coated in gram (chickpea) flour, deep-fried and served with a lick of a minimum of one scorching chutney – usually a garlicky inexperienced one – in a smooth bun, with a blistered inexperienced chilli for good measure. They’re salty, spicy, supremely satisfying and the most cost effective factor we had within the metropolis. Thirty rupees (roughly 30p) for 2.You will discover distributors slinging these on each avenue nook in Mumbai and past, however solely about 5 stalls do them rather well. We had ours within the north-west of the town, from Dhiraj Vada Pav, just a few blocks from the seaside in Juhu, reverse prestigious Mithibai Faculty. Recent from the fryer and nonetheless too scorching to deal with, they had been a powerful contender for the favorite factor to move my lips throughout the whole 5 weeks I spent in India. I believe I ate three in a row.Mumbai’s vada pav sandwich with chutneysVada Pav. {Photograph}: Neha Sadaye/AlamyMakes six For the inexperienced chutneyFresh mint, small bunchCoriander, small bunch (together with stalks)1-2 inexperienced chillies, roughly chopped1 tbsp floor almondsJuice of half a lemonSaltFor the crimson chutney3 tbsp desiccated coconut1 garlic clove, finely sliced1-2 tsp chilli powderSaltFor the vada potato balls3 potatoes, boiled and mashed2 inch piece of contemporary ginger, grated4 garlic cloves, minced1 tbsp sunflower oil1 tsp mustard seeds1 tsp turmeric3 inexperienced chillies, finely chopped1/2 tsp asafoetidaHandful of contemporary coriander, finely chopped (together with stalks)SaltFor the batter and frying150g gram (chickpea) flour1/4 tsp turmeric80ml heat waterSaltSunflower oilTo serveSix small smooth white rollsButter (non-obligatory)Six inexperienced finger chillies, deep-friedFirst make the chutneys. For the inexperienced, mix the mint, coriander, chillies and floor almonds, add among the lemon juice, and blitz. Preserve including lemon juice till you’ve a spreadable consistency – it shouldn’t be too moist. Chances are you’ll not want all of the lemon juice. Add salt to style.For the crimson chutney, toast the coconut in a dry pan till it turns a pleasant color, mix with the garlic, chilli powder and a pinch of salt, then pound utilizing a pestle and mortar. Add a splash of water if wanted to loosen the combination barely – it must be dry and crumbly. Set each chutneys apart.To make the potato balls, warmth the oil in a frying pan on a medium to excessive warmth. When it’s scorching sufficient for one mustard seed to sizzle, add the remainder of the mustard seeds and the asafoetida. When the mustard seeds begin popping vigorously, cut back the warmth to low to medium and add the ginger, garlic and chillies. Cook dinner for one minute, then add the turmeric and prepare dinner for one more minute.Now add the mashed potato and contemporary coriander, totally mix and prepare dinner for one more minute. Add salt to style. Take away the mashed potato from the pan and put aside to chill.Weigh the entire quantity of potato and divide this quantity by six so you know the way a lot every portion ought to weigh – mine had been about 75g every. Measure out six parts and roll into balls together with your fingers. Put aside.To make the batter, mix the gram flour with the turmeric and a pinch of salt. Add the water a little bit at a time, mixing with a whisk till you’ve a easy and pretty thick batter. Put aside.Fill a heavy-bottomed saucepan with sufficient sunflower oil to achieve midway up the vada balls. Warmth on medium to excessive. To check if the oil is scorching sufficient, add a little bit batter. If it sizzles and cooks to a golden color, it’s prepared. First drop within the six finger chillies. Once they’ve cooked and blistered, take away and drain on kitchen paper.Coat every ball within the batter, and gently drop into the recent oil. Flip the ball round within the oil till the entire thing is cooked and golden. Take away with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat for all of the balls.To serve, slice every roll in half and butter, if desired. Smear on some inexperienced chutney, add a vada ball, among the dry crimson chutney and a deep-fried chilli, and devour.Leyla Kazim is a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s The Meals Programme and a digital creator specialising in journey and meals. Observe her on social media @thecutlerychronicles and @leylalaa