With the abundance of the kebabs, tandoori legs and those keema paos on Mumbai streets, vegetarians have to make do with the regular toast sandwiches or the chaats and fruit platters of the world. Having heard of the famous khao gallis in Mumbai, we decided to step out and visit Ghatkopar’s all-veggie khao galli to get some lowdown on the street food served there.

WTC Pasta

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First up we stopped at the WTC Pasta stall stand, already busy serving its customers. It had at least 50 variations of pastas to offer, from Maggi pasta to mix soss {their special red and white ‘sauce’ pasta}, pizzas pasta and our favourite and the most unique item on the menu, khichchiya pappad that has six different variations.

We went for the khichchiya gravy pizza papad. Khichchiya papad is basically a papad that is first roasted, then topped with the delicious pasta sauce that they make with fresh cream, herbs and olive oil {yes, they use olive oil} – and served with shredded cheese on top. It’s crunchy, light and worth going in for a second round {which we obviously did}.

Price: INR 100

Jay Mashitala Juice Center

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Right behind the pasta stall you’ll find this juice centre boasting of exotic shakes and juices. Ever felt you’ve been ripped off at a cafe for an Oreo shake, or a Ferraro rocher shake? Then this juice centre will satisfy your money qualms. The shakes are so cheap that we decided to try out two different types, coconut milk shake and a Kit Kat shake. But the best bit is observing the process of making the juice – almost art like the way it is served – in a glass with cut up tender coconut insides.

Price: Coconut milkshake INR 55, Kit Kat milkshake INR 50

Hot Spot

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Following our simmering down session with the shakes, we got back on track to our gluttonous mission – to conquer as many eateries as possible. We hopped off to next one, Hot Spot,  which is a tiny barbeque stand right next to the pasta stall. They do tikkas and rolls of baby corn, mushrooms, paneer, allu and more.

Enticed by the stacked barbequed paneer tikkas, we asked for a plate. The tikkas were scrumptious, just a tad bit spicy served with green chutney and onions. Having devoured all six pieces under two minutes, we were starting to feel our appetite for the mains, and so we moved along.

Price: Paneer Tikka plate INR 70

Sai Swad Dosa

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What momos is to Lajpat Nagar, Sai Swad’s dosas is to Ghatkopar khao galli. Stacked in a single row, these dosa stalls are famous for their whacky variety of dosa fillings like paneer schezwan, Maggi dosa or even pasta dosa. This joint is so popular that on weekends, expect to wait for 40 minutes to get your order {thankfully we were served under five minutes}.

We decided to go for their classic and really popular Gini dosa – with fillings of melted cheese, onions, capsicums and condiments for flavours served with a mix of green-white chutney and schezwan sauce. However, we especially loved the fact that everyone worn aprons {upping the hygiene factor} and that it was all freshly made right before us. It’s served all fancy as well, cut up in small blocks topped with shredded cheese – nothing less than that of a gourmet restaurant’s take on the desi dosa.

#LBBTip: Our eyes played around with the cheese chocolate dosa a bit but we weren’t brave enough to try it. So maybe you can and let us know?

Jain Pani Puri

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With the intention of bringing our street gastronomical tour to an end, we headed for a sober end to our never ending courses. Jain Pani Puri is just a stone’s away from Guru Kripa restaurant on the same stretch of road after crossing the tiny traffic signal.

As the name goes, they only make Jain-style pani puri – which includes a stuffing of besan boondi, red chilli powder and their assortment of masalas. The pieces are tiny so you don’t have to worry about dropping it all over you and really smooth and light – easing our insides up after all the indulgent dishes we had before.

Price: One plate of six pieces INR 20

So, We’re Saying…

Ghatkopar maybe a bit of a trek, but the metro line has made it easier to get there. We suggest going there on a weekday to truly enjoy the food sans the crowd. Herbivores and carnivores alike, it’s a street that ought to be on every food lovers map. It’s cheap, offers a range of dishes to choose from and is probably one our favourite, if not the best, khao gallis of this city we’ve been to.

How to get there: Get off either at the Ghatkopar Metro station, or you can take the Central Line and get off towards Ghatkopar East. It’s a 10 minute auto ride from there.

Timings: 6pm to midnight

Photos: Athul Prasad/LBB