Among Others, ‘Misal Pav’ Enters Global 100 Snacks List
MUMBAI, (IANS) – The all-time favorite snack of Maharashtra, ‘Misal Pav‘, has entered the TasteAtlas’ 100 Best Rated Snacks in the World, as per the rankings for 2023.
It rubs shoulders with another Maharashtra light food, the yummy ‘Vada Pav’, ‘Pav Bhaji’, and other Indian favorites like ‘Pani Puri’ and ‘Chaat’.
Standing at No. 95, ‘Misal Pav’ is a traditional dish of the state, quick to prepare, easy to digest, and can be eaten practically 24X7, and savored by one and all.
It comprises a spicy curry of sprouted moth beans, topped with onions, raw green chilies, potatoes, and chivda, dipped and eaten with the baker’s pav (small bread loaf).
TasteAtlas describes ‘Misal’ – literally translated as a mixture of everything’, so the ingredients vary as per the cook, and apart from the ingredients, it must be spicy while the base must be crunchy and the overall look should be like a colorful work of art, and essentially not hard on the domestic budgets.
Another feature at No. 74 is ‘Vada Pav’ on which Mumbai and other parts of the state virtually survive, even while on the go, and is a common feature at every street corner stall, eaters, and even topnotch eateries in recent years.
Featuring in the category of ‘sandwiches’, the dish comprises ‘Vada’ made of mashed potatoes garnished with spices and deep-fried in chickpea batter, and stuffed with red, green, and dry chili powder-garlic chutney in a sliced loaf of bread.
TasteAtlas attributes its origins to a Dadar street vendor Ashok Vaidya who used to whip up piping hot vada-pavs that started a rage in the 1960s and is now a household staple, especially favorite during monsoons. Later, the Shiv Sena founded by the late Balasaheb Thackeray promoted and patronized the traditional Mumbai working-class snack through portable stalls and as a means of easy, low-investment self-employment mode for youth.
Another Maharashtra dish, the ‘Pav Bhaji’ figures at No. 83, and its fame has now transcended the boundaries with availability in several other states or major cities in India.
Said to be around 175 years old, the dish is a mixed vegetable curry with its special spicy flavors, served hot, topped with some grated cheese and butter, along with dry or butter-fried ‘pav’.
Its originals are believed to be the brainwave of some vendors left with several unsold vegetables of the day who mixed and mashed them with spices and butter and consumed it with bread rolls.
Later, it became a favorite with Mumbai’s hordes of officegoers commuting long distances and the millworkers in the 1950-1980s, even as the dish acquired several ‘avatars’ in its long culinary journey to satisfy changing tastes and discerning palates.
The mouth-watering ‘Pani Puri’ is listed at No. 73 and is extremely popular not only in India but the neighborhood of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. The snack is a hollow crisp fried puri, stuffed with some ‘ragda’ or potatoes, onions, chilies, and chickpeas and dunked into spicy water, becoming the anytime snack ‘Pani Puri’. Though its origins are said to be in Uttar Pradesh, it quickly gained in popularity all over the country and the nearby South Asian nations.
One more UP-origin specialty, the lip-smacking ‘Chaat’ is on No. 71, signifying a huge variety of Indian street foods, snacks, quick light meals with a perfect combination of salty, spicy, sweet, and sour flavors. ‘Chaat’ is consumed as an independent meal or combined with other dishes and is available in every street and even at specialized outlets, in all seasons.
TasteAtlas said that till April 2023, it recorded nearly 10,000 global ratings of which a little over 7,000 were recognized as legitimate for the world 100 list.
Several other popular Indian dishes or snacks are ranked in other sections of the TasteAtlas 2023 list.