26 must-try dishes during Mumbai monsoon

Tuck into piping hot samosas when its pouring.
Image courtesy: al_la via Thinkstock

I genuinely feel that every city looks prettier in the rain and Mumbai rains are one of a kind. Whether you love them or hate them, they are sure to make you want all things hot, crispy and slurp-worthy. Here’s an A-Z list of the most craved rain foods. Read on and try hard to not salivate.

Just a whiff of these puffed, golden crispy delights during the first rain shower sets the mood for the next three months. The hot fried plate of aloo pakoras dipped in cool green chutney is a party like no other.

Also read: Mumbai’s iconic eateries

Also read: Best seafood restaurants in Mumbai

Also read: Mumbai’s best health cafes



corn is smoked and sold by poor people on indian roads,streets,markets etc. these are heated with coal pieces  over a piece of meshed tray obtained from discarded windows etc.
Image courtesy: Jai Singh via Thinkstock

When the sky is grey, purple and blue, a walk on the windy promenade by the sea to have this charred snack is mandatory. The smoke from the coal, the hit of red chilli on the bright yellow corn and that extra squeeze of lime on the cob hits the right spot every time.


Making 'pahadi' ginger cardamom tea
Image courtesy: ©Praveen Ladwani/500px

When the rain gods go wild, this elixir of life is your best friend. Sweet and spicy chai in the comfort of your home or in the striped glass at the local chaiwala is all you need.


Plate of dumplings with some dipping sauce
Image courtesy: ©jeffbergen/Getty Images

A spread of translucent steamed dim sums on a rainy Sunday brunch with your friends is good for the stomach and soul. Truffle edamame, prawn and chive, chicken and mushroom, spicy pork…. don’t forget that chilli oil.

These buttery glazed masala cheese or aloo toasties are sheer beauty. Customize them in your kitchen or enjoy them during a downpour at a sandwich stall. They will leave you singing in the rain.


Watching the rhythmic movement of mixing coffee in the Madras-style traditional tumbler is almost therapeutic. The frothy Filter Kaapi is delicious, calming and the perfect companion on a cloudy day.

The elegant gin and tonic is absolutely refreshing for those dark drizzly evenings. Garnish your glass with the classic lime wedge or the increasingly popular orange peel or slice.


This creamy cocoa drink is not just for kids. Adults can spike their mug with a sprinkle of chilli powder or their preferred liqueur. In the cold rain, this concoction is like a warm hug.

If you’re anything like me, and you like cold in the cold, a luscious scoop of ice cream will do it for you. Minty choco chip sandwiched between chewy chocolate cookies, or a drunken waffle ice cream sundae is an instant cheer-me-up on those endless rainy days.


Indian popular sweets Jalebi on the street market
Image courtesy: ElenaMirage via Thinkstock

Hot, sugary, crispy and chewy all at the same time… What’s not to like? Devour these gorgeous orange circular fritters for breakfast or have them as a decadent dessert with cold creamy rabri.

Hot or cold, rice or vermicelli, almonds or pistachios, kesar or elaichi, a good dose of this milk and sugar preparation goes straight to the heart. Payasam, fereni, seviyan … Take your pick!


A cup of coffee in a white cup on wooden background
Image courtesy: ©OTOBOR/Shutterstock

An hour spent at your favourite coffee house watching the rain pour down with your monsoon playlist over a cup of latte is better than therapy. This espresso and steamed milk brew will leave you feeling warm and cosy.

Butter indeed makes everything better. In an Irani cafe slathered on a bun, or as a light tea time treat on a pav, Maska pav is one of those simple pleasures of life that packs a big punch.

Melting morsels of meat and bone marrow in a spicy broth is a must do during the month of Eid on Mohammad Ali Road. Dipping warm naan or kulcha in this rich stew that cooks overnight is a great way to celebrate the Mumbai rains.

At the slightest hint of the first rainfall, these crispy balls made of stringy sliced onions are fried in a delicious batter in my house. Probably the most popular of rain foods, this snack brightens up a murky evening.


Potato Masala Curry with Puri, Indian Food
Image courtesy: mukesh-kumar via Thinkstock

It’s always fun to poke the cloud-like airy puris and watch the steam blow out. Combine this fried bread with a perfectly seasoned and almost smashed aloo bhaji and you’ve got yourself a breakfast of champions.


Black beans spiced sweet potato quesadilla. toning. selective focus
Image courtesy: nata_vkusidey via Thinkstock

This popular Mexican fare can be compared to our Indian paratha. Flat tortillas stuffed with cheese and grilled on a hot pan with a side of spicy salsa and guacamole is an ideal accompaniment for those rainy wine nights with friends.


Image courtesy: Bharati Kandhari

The Japanese bowl of goodness is gaining popularity and a serious fan base in the city and tastes great after getting soaked in a torrential downpour. Hot and slurpy, the Ramen bowl includes noodles, crunchy bean sprouts, green onions, seaweed and the kitchen jewel – a perfectly soft boiled egg.

The fat kid in me jumps with joy at the sight of glistening samosas. This popular movie theatre snack is even better outdoors when the rain is falling. Stuff it in a pav or have it just the way it is. And remember not to share that golden crust.

Warm, creamy, coconut curry fragranced with Thai basil and lemongrass over steamed white rice is a winner. It’s comfort food for the mind, body and soul. Be it with veggies, meat or seafood, a good bowl of Thai curry never disappoints.


Deep frying medu vada in the pan. Medu Vada is a savoury snack from South India, very common street food in the India.
Image courtesy: ©Rahul Dsilva/Shutterstock

Famously known as Medu vada, this is a golden brown, crispy fried donut with a soft doughy interior. Dunked in hot sambar or cool coconut chutney, these make for a lip-smacking breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Mumbai runs on these mouthwatering sliders. Revisit your favorite Vada Pav joint this season (it will always be the one outside Mithibai college for me) and have your Mumbai moment yet again.


You can be rest assured that any preparation in a wok generates intense heat in the food and body. It’s quick, easy and yummy. A good stir fry or fried rice can really set the tone on a damp night.

A popular and delicious Goan chicken curry made in a complex blend of spices and coconut, and served with steamed rice is sure to transport you from the cloudy city to a sunny beach in Goa. Don’t forget that pint of chilled beer.

Few things in life can be as simple and tasty as yellow dal with a sizzling tadka of garlic and chillies. Accompanied with rice, roti or bread this homely Indian staple is all you need to feel toasty and snug.


Hyderabadi Biryani from India
Image courtesy: ©PI/Shutterstock

Saffron infused Zafrani biryani brings family and friends together. A treasure of the Nizami cuisine, this succulent meat biryani is decadent and comforting. And there’s nothing wrong with getting those hands dirty in hot biryani and cold raita on a rainy day.

AUTHOR'S BIO: When she's not working behind-the-scenes on Bollywood films, Writer/Assistant Director Bharati Kandhari is indulging in her unhealthy obsessions of New York, coffee and banana pancakes. Mentally playing her life as a musical montage, she is on a constant lookout to satiate her wanderlust and find her La La Land.

 Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *