Idly, the safest food in the world, undoubtedly belongs to Tamilnadu, a South Indian state. Due to its taste, safety, and popularity, it is now even served in the heights of Himalayas. Yes, I found a vendor in Auli who operated from a tent and selling hot idly. Auli is a ski resort situated at 10,000 feet in the Himalayas.
That was a plate of mini idlis soaked in sambar. It is also known as, button idly.
Though a South Indian delicacy, people from all parts of North India too developed a taste for idly. Slowly, cooks from Mumbai and Delhi also have learned to make idli and its fabulous accompaniments chutney and sambar.
A few decades ago, people from Tamilnadu found it hard to eat when they traveled to any part of North India. They craved from their favorite idly. The scene is totally changed now. The soft idly and sambar are available in hundreds of restaurants in Mumbai.
Mumbai has a fairly large population of Tamilians. Matunga is one area where a large number of Tamilians live. To serve their needs, almost all the restaurants in Mumbai have started serving the idli.
Based on a video that I recently stumbled on to, I have covered some of the best idly spots in Mumbai, especially Matunga. All the restaurants are 100% vegetarian. Apart from Idli, these vegetarian restaurants in Matunga and other places in Mumbai also serve other favorite foods of Tamilnadu such as vada and dosa.
If you are an idli lover like me, come and get to know these superb idly spots in Mumbai.
Arya Bhavan, Matunga East, Mumbai
The name, “Brahmin Idly” is not heard of even in Tamilnadu where the idly began their journey to all parts of India and even to Norway. The shape of the Brahmin idli is cylindrical with a slightly broad base. It looks as if the idlis are cooked in stainless steel tumblers (glass). Wherever you are served idlis, they are always accompanied by a cup of chutney and sambar each. These days, apart from the white coconut chutney, a red-colored chutney made up of onion is also served.
Arya Bhavan is also visited by people for its spongy snacks called, “Paniyaram”, a slightly modified version of dosa. Arya Bhavan is a well-known idly spot in Mumbai.
Address of Arya Bhavan, Matunga East, Mumbai:
Shop Number 9 And 10, Bhanujyoti Building L.N. Road, Opposite Matunga Railway Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019
Phone: 022 2415 9449
Banana Leaf Restaurant, Andheri West, Mumbai
I must appreciate the chef’s of North India, especially Mumbai for their innovation in idly making. Not only the shape of the idli has changed from a small circular disc shape to bigger and bulgier idlis, their tastes have also undergone a sea of change. Mumbai restaurants have started making various varieties of idlis that include:
- Palak Idli
- Vagharela Poriyal idli masala
The above two exotic varieties of idlis are made in Banana Leaf restaurant in Andheri, one of the tastiest idly spots in Mumbai.
Address of Banana Leaf Restaurant, Andheri West, Mumbai
Ground Floor, Shubham CHS, Juhu Versova Link Road, 4 Bungalows, Opp Vikram Petrol Pump, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053
Phone: 022 2628 9090
Ramashray, Matunga, Mumbai
24, Shreeji Sadan, Bhandarkar Marg, Opposite Matunga Kabutar Khana, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019
Phone: 022 2410 236
It is also known as hotel Ram Ashraya. The most unusual and unique idly this hotel in Matunga is the “Kadi Idly”.
The kadi idli shown above shows the idlis are lying on a bed of kadi on a plate.
Kadi is a thick liquid made from buttermilk basically. When I first heard of it, I thought you eat the idli, dipping it in a bowl of Kadi alone. But the video I gave credit at the beginning of this blog post showed the plate of kadi idli is also accompanied by cups of sambar and chutney.
Hotel Ramshray also serves other varieties of idlis such as rasam idli and butter idli.
Food and Taste Theory, Ghatkopar East, Mumbai
This Mumbai’s idli spot is known for its pizza idly.
That’s large indeed topped with cheese, oregano, tomato, and olive! I could not find any reviews of this special idli in a Mumbai restaurant. However, I doubt the pizza idli doesn’t boast of many takers. I too would prefer idly as idly. Nothing on top of it or bottom.
Address: C-WING, RB Mehta Marg, Sindhu Wadi, Ghatkopar East, Tilak Rd, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400077
Phone: 098333 2832
Cafe Madras, Matunga, Mumbai
Address: Kamakshi Building , 391/B, Bhaudaji Road, Kings Circle, Matunga, Mumbai-400019
Phone: 022 2401 4419
The name says it all. It’s an idly spot where you can eat absolutely authentic Madrasi idly. One of the items on their menu is the “Podi Idly” which means the idli is covered on top with chili powder (podi). The waiters add a generous dose of ghee on top of this steaming idly that is accompanied by sambar and chutney.
This video has covered the idli podi dish very professionally.
Warning: If you completely watch the 15 minutes video, you are likely to develop hunger pangs.
The idli podi served in café Madras looks very appetizingly appealing. The podi-topped idlis are served floating on a bed of coconut chutney. The usual sambar also comes with the plate.
Ayyappan Idly Stall, Matunga, Mumbai
Address: Brahmanwada, 2, Telang Cross Rd Number 3, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019n
Phone: 091671 01077
Ayyappan Idli stall is always crowded by the local Mumbaikars. They simply love the “Thatte Idli”. Thatte means flat in the Tamil language.
Unlike the thatte idli that is served in Bangalore, the thatte idli in Ayyappan Idli spot is not all that flat. It is bulgier and also topped with chili powder. I could see a blob of butter is placed on top of the thatte idli. If I ever go to Matunga, I would surely visit this famous idly spot in Mumbai.
Balaji Idly House, Kandivali West, Mumbai
At Balaji Idli House, I heard the diners are crazy about the Mahabalipuram idli that is said to be unique. I could not find a suitable image of the Mahabalipuram idli.
Address: Shop No.1 & 2, Panchasheel Arcade, Opp Xth Central Mall, Mahavir Nagar, Kandivali West, Mumbai- 400067
Phone: 022 2967 213
Udipi Idly House, Matunga East, Mumbai
One of the finest idly spots in Mumbai, their ‘Kanchipuram idli’ is not served in any other South Indian hotels in Mumbai.
Hey, it seems Matunga in Mumbai is a food haven for vegetarians.