Paverful Breakfasts: Discovering the Pavs that power Mumbai

If you’re visiting Mumbai and are really looking to get a taste of the city, avoid trawling Colaba’s tourist spots for fry-ups and cereal, try breakfast the way true-blue Mumbaikars have it. From students to businessmen, everyone has their favourite grab-and-go Pav in Mumbai. The word Pav has been borrowed from the Portuguese word for bread – ‘Pao’ and is inspired by their bread-rolls. But they will probably be awe-struck to see what we have done to the humble bread. Try one or more of these dishes completed with Mumbai’s signature Pav (bread bun). It is a crime to have these in Air-Conditioned restaurants, best had from the alfresco style stalls on the city streets.

Pav bhaji
This specialty dish originated  in Mumbai for the convenience of textile mill workers of the city and Mumbai undoubtedly makes the most finger-licking Pav Bhaji in the world! Bhaji is mashed boiled mixed vegetables (mainly potatoes, peas, tomatoes, onions and capscicum) cooked in spices and straddled by a slab of butter. The Pav served with it is shallow fried in even more butter and served with lemon and chopped onions. Squeeze some lemon on the bhaji and dig in with your fingers. It’s a week’s worth of butter but worth every calorie! Sometimes cheese and paneer (cottage cheese) are added to make it more sinful.
Though widely available at local restaurants and beachside stalls, I can guarantee you will lick your fingers at:
– Sardar’s – 166-A Tardeo Road Junction, Tulsiwadi, near Tardeo bus depot
– Amar Juice Centre – No.3, Gulmohar Rd, Beside Kupar Hospital, Vile Parle West

Sardar Pav Bhaji-Mumbai-morning

Missal Pav
Missal Pav is a rustic dish, quintessentially from Pune and specially popular among the local Maharashtrians for breakfast. A mix of curried sprouted lentils, topped with batata (potato) bhaji, poha (rice flakes), chivda, farsan, raw chopped onions and tomato. Though these by no means are the mandatory or fixed ingredients. Every outlet has its own unique recipe and at the same place, the taste is always consistent. This hot and spicy dish might be the tastiest and the most underrated something-Pav from Mumbai.
You get great ones at:
– Vinay Health Home, 71/83, Jawahar Mansion, Fanaswadi-Thakurdwar Corner, Girgaum
– Mamledar’s Misal Pav : Located at mamledar’s office (local council/municipal), exactly opposite Thane Police Station

Mamledar Misal Pav-Mumbai-Mornings

Vada Pav
This one you have surely heard about, often known as Mumbai’s burger – Vada Pav is definitely the King of Pavs satiating million hungry tummies every day. Potato patties mashed with garlic, chillies and coriander are dipped in besan (chickpea flour), deep fried and then then laid in Pav that’s spread with coriander chutney and sprinkled with garlic and chilli powder. An added touch is a plate of rock-salted fried green chillies, which aren’t nearly as fiery as you might think.
Almost every lane has a Vada Pav seller and every locality has it’s favourite. It is no wonder that organised chains such as Goli and Jumbo King have sprung up and have started making exotic variations of the humble Vada Pav.
I wouldn’t dare to declare the best Vada Pav in the city but can vouch for these two:
– Anand, opposite Mithibai College, Gulmohar Road, Vile Parle West.
– Ashok Satam’s Stall, on the Flora Fountain side of the Central Telegraph Office (CTO), Fort.

Anand Vada Pav Mumbai Mornings

Brun, Broon or Kadak Pav
One of the many gifts the Bawa gave Mumbai’s palette is the iconic Brun Maska. Brun translates to Bread and Maska to butter. You may wonder how different and special can bread and butter be? But this is no ordinary bread and this is no ordinary butter. It’s Brun, Gutli or Kadak Pav – crisp and crumbly on the outside and soft inside. The butter is not just applied on the Brun, copious amount of butter is slathered on the sliced Brun. Some even prefer to sprinkle sugar on it. Dipping the Kadak Pav in a cup of sweet Irani chai is the only way to have it.
You can find these at all Irani cafes but the most historic ones are at:
– Kyani & Co, 657 Jer Mahal Estate, Opp. Metro Cinema, Dhobi Talao.
– Yazdani Bakery, 11/11-A, Cawasji Patel Street, Fort.


Samosa Pav
It is difficult to have a Samosa and not fall in love with it. If you mind treadmill-ing an extra week to offset the samosa calories, do not try it. Lovingly shaped into triangles, the crisp crusts of samosa is stuffed with steaming chunks of spiced potatoes and peas. This deep fried deliciousness seems to have originated from Central India. In Mumbai we put our Samosa between the versatile Pav and voila you have a complete meal.
Tough to pick my favourite, but you can get very very good ones at:
– Guru Kripa Hotel, 40, Guru Kripa Building, near SIES College, Sion
– Punjab Sweet House, Pali Naka, Bandra west

Kheema Pav
Kheema Pav, another Iranian speciality. Minced mutton cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, chillies and spices takes on many avatars. Topped with a crisply fried sunny side up egg, it is called kheema single fry. And scrambled with eggs, it is called ghotala. While most other breakfasts can be found all over the city, Kheema Pav deserves a visit to South Bombay.
Soak in some history and start with breakfast at:
– Olympia Coffee House, Rahim Mansion, 1 SB Singh Rd, Colaba
– Stadium Restaurant, IMC Building, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate

kheema-pav-mumbai-mornings (1)

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Bhurji Pav
Anda Bhurji or Egg Bhurji is basically a nastier, spicier version of scrambled eggs. The best way to start the day but an equally appropriate way to end a long night, the one that goes on till wee hours. Fluffy eggs are scrambled with onion, tomato, green chilies, fresh coriander leaves and each stall-owners secret combination of spices. The Pav is slit open and buttered, sometimes griddled to golden crispness. Pile on the steaming hot eggs and dabs of tangy, coriander chutney and enjoy a filling meal.
The one I highly recommend is
– Suresh’s special bhurji Pav stall right outside Andheri (west) station. It opens at 11 pm and stays busy till breakfast hours.

Anda bhurji Mumbai Mornings

Bhajiya Pav
Kanda Bhajia Pav though available round the year tastes better in monsoons. Simply translated they are onion pakoras or onion fritters sandwiched between a Pav and served with dry garlic chutney or green chutney and with fried green chilies.The edges of the Bhajiya bring in the required crispiness and the chutney adds zing to the stack stuffed inside the pav. It is the no-one-can-eat-just-one kind of snack.


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Omlette Pav
Omlette with diced onions, a pinch of salt, mirchi powder and garam masala accompanied with hunks of Pav. Night birds, clubbers and pretty much anyone who’s looking for a meal to cure hangover or hunger will keep coming back to Omlette Pavs. Best had when it is steaming hot straight out of the tawa.
– Vijay’s stall outside the main entrance of Churchgate station is extremely popular. His stall does not have a name, just ask around for the Omlette-Pav man.


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These are the most popular Pav dishes in Mumbai but enterprising local chefs are constantly inventing new dishes that stay unique to them or gain mainstream popularity. Masala Pav, is made by stuffing spicy tomato-onion gravy inside butter-laden pavs.Hot-dog Pav, is a variation of Pav bhaji, Pav with pieces of potato, tomato and onion, topped with some spice. Baida Pav or Anda Pav is used to refer to Omlette Pav or to hard-boiled egg stuffed inside a Pav. While these seem extremely simple to make, I would say don’t try these at home and even if you do – know, they will never taste the same 🙂

Which is you favuorite thing to put between Pav?


You’re only one swim away from a good mood

I fondly remember the days when I was learning to swim, my coach would tell me to not grab hold of the water, not fight, not struggle but just think of the water as a friend. I kept repeating this in my head till water became my best friend. It gave me the BFF kind of feeling but inevitably, life happened. I moved to Mumbai, work became stressful, made new friends and forgot to keep in touch with the old.

Mumbai encourages and celebrates some sports very well, sure you’ve heard or even participated in the famous Mumbai Marathon. I think it is a great event, even if people are participating because of the social pressure it’s forcing them to run a few miles and keep fit for at least a month in the year.

Mumbai is by and large humid throughout the year making if difficult for running (except of course if you run in an air conditioned room on a treadmill, which obviously takes the fun out of running). But isn’t this the perfect whether for a dip in the pool? Relief from the heat, innumerable physical benefits and also a great way to relax, right? It hardly feels like a workout when it actually is a really effective one!  Sometimes you can just float effortlessly, enjoy the silence under water, focus on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke – I would call it meditation.


I wonder why, swimming isn’t encouraged in Mumbai as much as it should be. I learnt recently that Indian Air Force associated with IDBI organised a Swimmathon as part of its initiative to promote and popularise the sport of open water swim in India. Indian Air force channel swimming team ‘Delphinus’, successfully completed the extreme endurance Swimmathon, the longest open water swim in Asia. The Swimmathon commenced from the Gateway of India, Mumbai on October 28th at 14:30 hrs and culminated at same place on October 30th at 1600 hrs involving around 50 hours swim clockwise around Mumbai. Kudos!

Mumbai Swimathon

We probably need many more such events and probably also more accessible swimming pools in the city! Once I started looking for a pool near me, I realised there is a serious dearth of facilities. You either have to be a member, a lifelong member of the (mostly) arrogant sports clubs. Membership here is mostly inherited or very very expensive. Or, you have the 5 star hotels which charge you exorbitant rates per swim. However, there are some lesser known clubs in most localities that you could look out for! I joined the C’est La Vie in Bandra which has a rather small pool but is very well maintained, well located and the price is comparable to that of joining a gym in Bandra. And every day that began with a swim was a good day, already! I also discovered that they do Swim-n-Sangria brunches on Sunday at a restaurant by their pool. Must try 🙂

Anyway, while looking up I found these to be the other accessible pools in the city:
(can’t vouch for each of them but this can be a good starting point if you’re looking for one in your locality)

  1. Swim Sure, Powai
  2. Dadar Club, Dadar East
  3. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Club, Vile Parle East
  4. Surbhi Health Club Swimming Pool, Kandivali East
  5. Priyadarshani Swimming Pool, Mulund West
  6. Country Club Swimming Pool, Andheri West
  7. Country Club Spring, Kandivali West
  8. Sea Princess hotel, Juhu
  9. S C N Sports Club & Swimming Pool, Kandivali East
  10. Juhu Vileparle Gymkhana Club, Juhu
  11. Matoshri Arts Swimming Pool, Andheri East
  12. Celebration Club Swimming Pool, Lokhandwala, Andheri
  13. Dolphin Swimming Academy, Juhu
  14. Andheri Sports Complex, Andheri West
  15. Sindhi Society Gymkhana Swimming Pool, Chembur East
  16. Mandpeshwar Civic Federation & Swimming Pool, Borivali West
  17. Karnala Sports Academy & Swimming Pool, Navi Mumbai
  18. Swim For Better Living, Dadar West
  19. Evershine Club Swimming Pool, Kandivali East

Do drop in a comment if you know of any other pools that are fairly accessible.
And for everyone contemplating, take the plunge!



So yesterday, I woke up to this award nomination. Though I was pretty clueless about what it meant, it sure sounded like a good thing and got me super excited.  Some google search revealed, almost everyone in the world knows and has already received this award! It’s the sweetest blogging-community-thing ever. The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.


Thank you so much hiddenharmonyworld for the nomination. It means a lot. Thank you also for introducing me to so many beauty and fashion blogs that were nominated with me, now I am inspired to glam-up my blog a bit 😉

Getting to the rules (yes, there are rules but fun rules)

1. You have to link back to the person that nominated you.
2. You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
3. After completing these questions you must nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
4. You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
5. You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

Here are my answers to the questions:

1. Ultimate dream to fulfill?
My startup (theitchlist.com) gets enough support and supporters, so I am not forced to go back to a 9-5 job!


2. What are your Essentials for a holiday?

Backpack Mumbai-Mornings-ipod   havaianas-yellow-havaianas-unisex-two-tone-strap-flip-flops-yellow-product-2-597569-062983775_large_flex

3. What are your Beauty principles?



4. Which camera do you use for blog photography?
Beauty is in the eye of the iPhone holder 😛


5. Most unforgettable beauty or makeup experience?
My wedding makeup! I am not such a makeup person and I was shocked at the amount of plastering on my face. Both the make-up chic and me wanted to get rid of each other at the soonest!


6. ONLY One product can take on a deserted island, which one would it be?
Does food product count? No? Then, edible makeup

7. Place you had best coffee ever?
In bed 🙂

Mumbai- Mornings -Coffee-In-Bed

8. Bargain Shopper or Brand Hunter?


9. Who do you prefer? Rugged men with no/minimal skincare regime or men who use cleanser, moisturizer and eye cream?
Minimal skincare, yes.

10. Road-side stall food or a Michellin star restaurant?

11. Culture enriching holiday spot?
Cambodia. Though many places in India itself are culturally enriching, but I am usually at least sort of familiar with the culture before I visit them but Cambodia was a totally new experience. Yet to wear the skirt I got STITCHED from there!


Here are my questions:

1. Tea or Coffee?

2. Beaches or Mountains?

3. Backpacker hostels or Luxury hotels? (assuming you have the money)

4. What is your favourite food?

5. Which city would you love to live in?

6. Who inspires you?

7. If a day had 25 hours, what would you do in the additional hour?

8. What would the name of the movie based on your life be?

9. What is the one thing (single most important) you itch to do in life?

10. What is holding you back?

11. What is the one piece of advice you would want to give all your readers?

Finally, the 11 bloggers with under 200 followers, I wish to recognise:
(apologies if you have more than 200 followers, I tried my best to check)

1. http://tapasmi.wordpress.com/

2. http://emilylivingstone.wordpress.com/

3. http://adelightfulspace.wordpress.com/

4. http://applestrudelsandblues.wordpress.com/

5. http://walktomarket.wordpress.com/

6. http://justsomethingiwasthinkingabout.com/

7. http://maureenoblaq.wordpress.com/

8. http://speculatingsunrise.wordpress.com/

9. http://tastefortongue.wordpress.com/

10. http://amindlessinktramp.wordpress.com/

11. http://athousandsilentstorms.wordpress.com/

Have a good day all!


What do you call your Coffee?

We love to give nicknames to people and places, right?

They are personalised, usually easy to say, and a little lazy. As though uttering a person’s proper name takes too much effort. Strangely though, it is not rare for nicknames to be longer or more complex than the original names, often we assign someone a moniker (nickname for name ;)) that stems from a memorable incident, trait or idiosyncrasy. It’s almost a matter of pride to assign someone a nickname that stays, it somehow hints at a special bond you share with that person or place. Sometimes there is a also a sense of possession in using someone’s nickname, as though not every one has gained authority to use it. For instance, It disturbs me when tourists refer to Mumbai as Aamchi Mumbai.

So, something as special as your dear cup of coffee should not be coldly referred to as, ‘Coffee’. Here is a compilation of Coffee nicknames that may help you think of a name for your Coffee:

Cup of Joe

Cup of Jolt




Arbuckles (Cowboy Coffee)

Battery Acid

Black Ichor Of Life

Black Tea

Brain Juice


Wakey Juice




Caffeine Fix

C8H10N4O2: (The molecular formula for caffeine)

Cup of Brew


Cup of Joe

Rocket Fuel

Cup of Jolt


Cupped Lightning

Daily Grind



High Octane

Jamoke: (Java + Mocha)

Java: (Island of Indonesia)

Jet Fuel

Jitter Juice

Kaffe: (Swedish)

Kape: (Manila)



Liquid Energy



Morning Mud

Morning Thunder


Warmer Upper





The Fix


By the way, I call mine ‘Fuel’. What do you call your coffee?

Updating the list with the nick-names you guys suggested in comments 🙂



Dark Brown Cuppa

Wake-up juice

Morning margarita



Breakfasts worth waking up: Five spectacular breakfasts

A nice cup of coffee is usually enough bait for me to get out of bed. And if I am on a holiday, imagining the breakfast buffet (better when complimentary!) makes me spring out of bed with much enthusiasm. But my eyes popped out of my head as i discovered these spectacular breakfasts, I have not yet experienced! Here are the ones I am really itching to go to:

Breakfast in Bed At The Library in Koh Samui, they take breakfast in bed seriously. They call it their Breakfast culture, I can adapt to that!


Breakfast with Giraffes Giraffes are my absolutely favourite vegetarian animals (otherwise tigers are my favourite). At the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, the resident Rothschild Giraffes often drop by for breakfast. To be hand fed!


Continue reading


Breakfast like a Bawa: 5 must-try Parsi breakfasts

Mumbai is undoubtedly a smorgasbord of cuisines which reflects the city’s cosmopolitanism as much as its carbohydrate-fueled routine. Of the many shapes and sizes of food joints you experience in the city, Parsi cafes are sort of exclusive to Mumbai, rather South Bombay (as a townie may protectively point out).

You cannot miss the distinct old-world charm of Parsi cafes- the high ceilings, dusty chandeliers, slowly turning ceiling fans, ubiquitous antique wall clock, quirky quotes and posters on the crumbling walls, chequered table cloth and the endearingly eccentric people who run it. Parsis play a huge role in giving character to the city.

Likewise, their food is simple with a distinct flavour. Their love for edu (eggs) can be seen in their breakfast like in all other meals. A wise Bawa once said, when in doubt, break an egg. Here are some of the most delightful Parsi breakfasts (more like breakfast experiences) in town:

Brun Maska @ Yazdani bakery and cafe

To begin with the simplest, Mumbai’s best brun maska! Hot toasted white bun with a crunchy crust, slathered with copious amount of Amul butter. Dip it into the chipped china cup of hot sugary chai and enjoy the bread melting in mouth. Can you have a better start to the day? Yes, if you add their apple pie (more like raisin pie) to your breakfast!


Opens at 5:30 am for the morning larks! Yazdani is known for its baked goods, which it has been making since the 1950s. Tucked into a by-lane in Fort it is quite easy to miss, because of its unassuming exterior. Take one of the many wooden benches; the framed posters on the wall, the archaic clock and the antique brass bell will surely transport you to a past era. To take-away some of the charm home, customers often buy their multi-grain bread, ginger biscuits, mawa cakes and rum-soaked plum cakes (during Christmas)

Getting there: 11/11-A, Cawasji Patel Street, Fort. Opens at 5:30 am Continue reading