Pomegranate seeds glisten like rubies at Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se in Artesia
Pomegranate seeds spill from the sandwich after each bite, brilliant and glistening like freshly polished rubies. Peanuts tumble out too, speckled with flecks of cumin, cinnamon and ground chiles. They land with a percussive patter that completes the sensory experience that is the Indian snack dabeli, a White Castle-sized, potato-based slider that's a staple on the streets of Mumbai. At Artesia's Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se, dabeli is just one of Sailesh and Shruti Shah's edible odes to their former home.
The husband and wife brought the pulse of Mumbai's cosmopolitan streets with them to the United States a decade ago. Sailesh spent most of his years here as a software engineer, all the while accumulating the knowledge and resources required to launch a restaurant. A year and a half ago, he put programming in the past and opened Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se with Shruti.
Much about the Little India restaurant is familiar: Its tableware is disposable (plates are Styrofoam, cutlery is plastic) and its ambiance depends on whichever choreographed bit of Bollywood happens to be dancing across the TV. But Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se (literally "from the streets of Mumbai") is unique to the neighborhood. While Gujarati chaat shops offer an increasingly familiar cast of snacks, Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se is the only eatery to focus on the flavors of India's largest city.
To read the rest of Miles Clements' story, click here.
Photo: Christina House / For The Times