A fisherman’s favorite, bombil is a plentiful lizardfish found in the waters around Mumbai and widely eaten throughout the city. Bombils are pounded thin, then dipped in a spice-filled chickpea flour called besan, and fried in oil. The result is remarkable – crunchy and crisp-skinned on the outside, yet soft and tender on the inside so the meat is delicate and easily pulled apart. Bombils make a tasty starter course or a main meal served with chapattis – a thin pancake made from unleavened whole-grain bread.
To combat India’s intense summer heat, locals drink plenty of aam pana – a drink renowned for its thirst-quenching properties. Aam pana is made from unripened raw mango, roasted cumin, sugar, black salt, and mint leaves. These ingredients help prevent the loss of sodium chloride and iron resulting from excessive sweating. In addition to its hydrating benefits, aam pana is regarded as a tonic to protect against anemia, tuberculosis, dysentery, and cholera. Grab a cold glass of this tangy, sweet beverage and take a swig!
Six miles east of Mumbai you’ll find Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site home to an incredible labyrinth of rock-cut cave temples. To get there, you must cross part of the Arabian Sea. Ferry rides will only cost you a few bucks each way, and for an extra small fee you can buy a premium seat on the upper deck for panoramic views of the voyage. Once you arrive on Elephanta Island, you can explore five Hindu Caves and several Buddhist temples dating back to 2nd Century BCE. The impressive stone sculptures hewn from solid basalt rock narrate Hindu mythologies and Buddhist ideology.