You won’t find a non-veg dish here if your life depended on it.
It’s easy to get lost in the bylanes of South Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar. Located in the 3rd Agiary Lane, this is the city’s largest jewellery, gold and diamond hub. Expensive jewellery shops interspersed with little food stalls that have mushroomed around them.
“This is where working class people (including rich jewelers) get good food at cheap prices after a hard day’s work,” says Akash, chef at a South Indian restaurant tossing his famous Mysore Masala Dosa.
During teatime, the bazaar is practically impenetrable. There are scores of craftsmen and traders out on the streets, devouring freshly cooked vegetarian snacks like kachoris, chaat, samosa and pudlas. Other favourites include Dayaram’s Namkeen which was started 70 years ago and is famous for its Chhappan Bhog. Mohanbhai Pudlawala was established in the year 1968 and its moongdaal pudla is a real crowd puller.
Khau Galli comes alive between 4-7pm everyday with the Gujarati, Jain and Marwadi community out in full force. This vegetarian brigade loves their tea-time snacks and vendors have seen the same faces, some of them for over five decades now.
Some changes happened after the 2011 bomb blasts that claimed 27 lives. The city’s civic body drove away several hawkers to ease the congestion in the area. But stalls cropped up again, though not as many as before. Several diamond merchants also shifted to the more secure Bharat Diamond Bourse in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), which meant that stall owners lost some of their most loyal patrons. But life moves on and old patrons have made way for the new.
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3rd Agiary Lane where khau galli is situated
Cramped lane of Zaveri Bazaar
Agrawal Fast Food famous for it’s pyaaz kachori and sev khaman
Sev khaman sold by weight
P.P Sandwich and Sevpuriwala, famous for their sev puri sandwich
Kela (banana) chutney sandwich, famous amongst the Jain community
Kichiya papad in the making
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Pudla in the making at the famous Mohanlal Pudlawala
The famous pudla
Akash South Indian making his famous Mysore masala dosa
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By Rashi Arora
Photographs by Rashi Arora
Cover photo credit: thefoodfanatic.com