Amidst all the cheering and hooting a voice calls out to ask the crowds to settle down. Chants of ‘Saddi Delhi’ and ‘Majhi Mumbai’ echo in the tiny makeshift stadium. Nervous onlookers bite what is left of their fingernails and as the clock nears 8, the chants and the cheering voices get louder and louder.
The two contenders enter the stadium, their looks enough to make the onlookers drool.
Let the food war begin!
01. The Wiki Test-
Come on now! We all know that the first page that you probably read on your first interaction with the internet, was Wikipedia. So, what better than Wikipedia to judge the popularity of a particular dish? The number two position on the Google search results page is Mumbai’s Misal Pav, while Delhi Chaat occupies number four! While this is just something to start with, Delhi Chaat has an elaborate description on its page. Just when you thought Mumbai’s Misal Pav was going to pull the rug underneath Delhi, the chaat steals the show!
Chaat - 01 Misal - 00
02. The Health test-
This test is for all those who put their diet before anything and everything else in the world, and often shun even the thought of street food. But, what if the same shunned street food was made up of sprouted lentils, ginger garlic and other healthy ingredients? Yup! Mumbai’s Misal Pav has it all! Where as Delhi Chaat and all its variants are primarily based on fried dough, and sadly will have to step down in this test.
Chaat - 01 Misal - 01
03. The Spice test -
This one is a toughie. On one side you have the gloriously spicy and crisp sauce of the misal with its health factor and its crispy fresh farsan floating above, not to forget the freshly baked buttery pav, and on the other hand you have a dish that leaves your palate wanting for more with its creamy curd base, topped with a little special masala and beneath it a heap of mashed potato, crispy crushed bhel, with sweet and spicy chutney that blends and holds the dish together. Whew, in our opinion, we give both these dishes 2 bonus points for being so irresistible!
Chaat- 03 Misal - 03
Even after the food showdown, we couldn’t select one over the other. If you were expecting one clear winner, we’re sorry to disappoint you!
Afterall who can choose between the head and the heart? But what you can choose is to book your air ticket and fly into any one (or even both) of these street food heavens- Delhi and Mumbai, and settle this gastronomical battle!
Author : Roshal Mascarenhas