One of the best things about being a frequent traveller is the luxury to taste global cuisine. The first thing I do when I travel to a new place is try the local fare. Being a foodie, trying different cuisines helps me explore a new culture and gain an understanding of different palates, unique cooking styles, ingredients and more.
In the past few years, Mumbai has become a paradise for food lovers. Mumbaikars don't need to travel the world to try world cuisine; they just need to travel to a different area within the city. From Chinese, Burmese, Thai, Mexican, Japanese, Spanish and Italian, we have plenty of options to choose from.
However, for the past couple of years, I have noticed that most newly opened/upcoming eateries in the city are specialising in Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Lebanese cuisine. Restaurateurs are playing it safe by sticking to culinary styles that have been tried and tested on the Indian palate. Though some restaurants experiment by serving multiple cuisines, they lack authenticity.
Since Mumbai is a diverse city, it would be nice to see some stand-alone restaurants that serve unique flavors. After all, like Mary Lou Cook says, "Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun."
Here are five international cuisines that I am eagerly waiting to see in Mumbai.
Most people think Persian food is similar to Arabic but in reality it is quite different. Persians are known to use fresh herbs and vegetables in their food. Every dish has a delightful aroma and is filled with flavour. I would like to try some of their authentic specialty dishes like tahdig (crunchy fried rice), bademjan (eggplant and tomato stew) and gormeh sabzi (green herb stew).
Influenced by Spanish, Arabic, French, Chinese and African cuisines, Cuban food is mostly sautéed with basic herbs and spices. Since this cuisine is a melting pot of various cultures, it is unique, interesting and well worth a try. Cuban sandwiches (slices of Cuban bread with fillings of pork, ham, cheese, pickles and mustard), pastelitos (sweet or savory puffs) and empanadas (baked or fried stuffed bread with chicken or meat) are some famous Cuban dishes that surely will be a rage when they hit the city
Moroccan cuisine is characterised by a distinctive mix of mouthwatering flavours and spices. It is mainly influenced by Arabic and Mediterranean cuisines. Known for its couscous, tagines, Moroccan mint tea among other dishes, this is one type of cuisine I think would take the city by storm
Very few people in India know much about Ethiopian cuisine. The most famous dish is injera, a flatbread prepared by using tef, an Ethiopian grain. Much like an Indian thali, spicy stews, meats and vegetables are spread on top of various pieces of injera. Cooked with varied Ethiopian ingredients and spices, stews such as doro wat, a chicken dish, are particularly delicious and best followed by some freshly brewed Ethiopian coffee. Incidentally, Ethiopians, like us, usually relish their food by eating with their right hand instead of using cutlery.
Over the past few years, the number of health conscious people in the city has been on a rise. Since Peruvian cuisine mainly uses healthy ingredients, and features an array of soups, vegetables, fruits and sandwiches, it will find plenty of takers looking for that elusive blend of taste and lightness. With European, African and Asian influences, it is one of the world's most popular fusion cuisines. The main ingredients used in a variety of preparations are corn, potatoes, quinoa and other legumes. Some popular Peruvian dishes are pollo a la brasa (blackened chicken), ceviche (fish cured in acid, usually lime), salchipapas (sausages and fries) and cau cau (vegetarian stew served with rice).
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