I am obsessed with street food and that is the only reason when I heard of this place recently, I decided to take a 2.5 hour drive in peak, evening traffic towards Borivali to sample its fares. Maa Anjani was started by Devang Trivedi and his father (who happen to be stock brokers by the day) more than three years ago. Their passion for bringing some delicious street food to scores of Mumbaikars has seen this place burgeon from merely a pav bhaji place to that offering numerous other famous street food preparations like pudla, pani puri, tawa pulao, falooda, gola, khichiya papad etc.
So, here is a look at my gluttony at this place:
BUTTER BREAD CHEESE SANDWICH PUDLA
This dish draws inspiration from the pudlas served in Zaveri Bazaar area of Mumbai. Bread slices are dipped in besan (gram flour) and crisped on a griddle. Between two crunchy slices of bread grated vegetables and loads of processed cheese are packed. The dish is served with three types of yummy chutneys - tamarind, garlic & mint-coriander.
KOTHMIR MASALA PAV
This preparation takes your taste buds by storm. Generous amounts of chopped, fresh green coriander leaves are sautéed with a dash of spice and loads of butter. This coriander mix is then stuffed inside as well as topped on a butter drenched laadi pav. The mellow pungency of coriander contrasts well with the flavor of butter and makes this preparation yum. One can choose to have this dish prepared at three different levels of spiciness - Level 1 to 3 with level 1 being not at all spicy while level 3 being fiery.
CHEESE MASALA KHICHIYA
The khichiya or thick, rice poppadum is toasted on direct flame. It is then dabbed with generous amounts of melted butter followed by topping of finely chopped vegetables (onion, tomato, beetroot & cucumber), rice sev, chutneys, chaat masala and grated cheese. The khichiya was perfectly crisp while the topping was delicious.
BLACK PAV BHAJI (Level 3)
This pav bhaji is visually different from the regular, crimson colored version we are all accustomed to eating. The color cannot be termed black but it is a dark hue of brown arrived at by using herb & spice mix which is the owner's secret recipe. I opted for the level 3 pav bhaji and it did pack a punch in terms of chilli and was lip-smacking.
HANDI KHADA PAV BHAJI WITH TAWA FRY SALAD
This was a filling meal in itself comprising of a spicy version of their house special black bhaji mixed with khada masala, paneer (cottage cheese) cubes and green peas. This vegetable preparation was on the lines of handi sabzi or a thick gravy, was super spicy over due to use of whole spices, had a mild nutty flavor from a restrained use of cashewnuts and came with a generous garnish of grated cheese. Along with the bhaji three buttered laadi pav, a lightly tawa fried chopped onion & tomato salad sprinkled with pav bhaji masala, a bottle of water and soft drink were provided.
PERU PANI PURI
While one can savor this street food with its regular flavors, this place does have seven different, yummy renditions of flavored water to offer. My pick from these was the peru or guava flavored pani puri where a suji (semolina) puri was stuffed with lentils and dipped in guava extract that gave the entire dish a zest reminiscent of peru chaat.
TIRANGA KULFI FALOODA
After all the spicy and scrumptious food I had indulged in, it was time to wrap the meal with this chilled, sugary, milk-based beverage. This drink was called TIRANGA as three different flavored & colored syrups - rose, saffron & pistachio were used to arrive at this drink. Also instead of ice cream this sweet delight had kulfi (Indian version of gelato) which was also consisting of three flavors - saffron, malai and pistachio.
The food was indeed delicious and I will definitely be back here soon.
Also, when you arrive to dine here do not expect a fancy ambience. In keeping with the theme of street food, the seating arrangement merely comprises of table and chairs housed under a canopy overlooking the adjacent road. The place is operational only during evening hours each day from 7pm-12pm.
So, do try out this place and let me know of your experience.
Till then, HAPPY EATING...
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast