Mumbai Masala – Indian Street Food in Joburg


Those of you who have been reading my posts,will know how much I love and miss the street food India – not Indian food per se, but snacky stuff like pani puri, bhel puri,  dosas, idli, chole bhature, etc. These are actually called ‘chaat‘. You can read more on all these yummylicious ‘desi’ delights in this post.

Every few weeks, I get this insatiable craving for chaat and the urge is so strong that I cannot think of anything else. Obviously it’s not possible to fly back each time I have such a craving. So the next best alternative was to find someplace in Joburg. A lot of people told me to head to Fordsburg. After all, it’s the mecca for everything Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi. However, on several visits to Fordsburg, I could not (and still haven’t) found a place to have anything other than dosas (Dosa Hut makes really good ones). So after much research and asking around, when I stumbled upon a place in Killarney, my happiness knew no bounds!

Mumbai Masala, located on the ground floor of the Killarney Mall, has become a saviour for both K and me. It saves K from my constant ranting ( I can get really obsessive about pani puri) and me from the crabbiness that descends on me if I go to long without a dose of chaat!

I have been here several times but only thought of writing about it after my visit on Saturday. Why should I be the only one to have fun 🙂

The restaurant is actually a fast food corner, and is owned by the same people who run Swad, located right next to Mumbai Masala, if you are looking for some solid Indian food. The service at Mumbai Masala is prompt and efficient. For drinks, besides the usual lemonade, iced teas, etc., you can choose very Indian thing like sweet or salt lassi (yougurt based drinks), or mango lassi!

Pani Puri
Pani Puri

If chaat is what you are in for, then head straight for their pani puri (crispy shells filled with savoury water and potatoes), dahi papdi chaat (crispy flat wafers served with potatoes, onions, mint chutney, yogurt and spices) or samosa chaat (samosas filled with potatoes and served with chutneys, onions and spices). Their menu explains each of these very well. While I always have the pani puri, notwithstanding the fact that the taste of the water (pani) and the chutneys, almost always is different! Somedays good, somedays ok – but never consistent. However, this has never stopped me from ordering these as they are the best I can get in Joburg.

Their bhel puri (puffed rice served with an assortment of sauces, topped with onions, tomatoes, coriander and sev) and dahi vada (lentil dumplings served with spiced yogurt) are quite nice and the portion size is good to share. The other thing tha I really like eating here are the dosas – crispy crepes made from fermented rice batter and served with coconut chutney and sambhar (lentil soup with vegetables). Dosas can be had plain or stuffed – with potatoes or cottage cheese.

Dosa with chutney and sambhar
Dosa with chutney and sambhar

Besides the chaat, they serve other popular street foods from Mumbai such as pav bhaji – toasted bread served with a spicy melange of mashed vegetables, and vada pav – potato dumplings sandwiched between two rolls of bread and topped with spicy sauces.

So the next time you want to try a different kind of Indian food, head to Mumbai Masala. They also have a branch in Parkmore now.

PS: if you are looking to catch the latest Bollywood movies, the Cine Centre at Killarney Mall screens most of the big commercial Hindi as well as Tamil and Telgu flicks.


Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Road,Killarney.


130, 11th Street, Parkmore.

11 thoughts on “Mumbai Masala – Indian Street Food in Joburg

    1. Lassi is a very cooling drink..had especially in peak summet when temps soar to almost 50deg. And it differs in its composition based on which part of indian you are in! Like in the south, the salted lassi is tempered differently than the north I.e spices used are different. As for whether salt lassi is preferred over sweet…I would say its mixed or maybe the sweet is preferred over salted. We indians do have a sweeth tooth 🙂

  1. I really enjoyed the food at Mumbai Masala in Sandton. Thanks for letting us know. Been in SA for two weeks and must say this is the closest I have got to authentic food. Have tried Delhi Durbar in Parkmore but I do love my dosas and chaats. Their curries with the paratha have been good as well. Not so sure about the decor and the movie posters.

    1. Have never eaten at Delhi Durbar. Try Thava in Norwood. That’s my favourite! So how long are you going to be here in Joburg?

      1. Will be here till the end of August. On a project and not mobile so I stick to the restaurants in Saandton. Parkmore is convenient and there are a couple of good Chinese restaurants as well. Will try out Tava if possible. Mumbai Masala seems to have expanded their menu and added lots more curries so will try out some of the new dishes.

  2. I stumbled upon the Sandton one just by chance one day.
    I was so excited to find Vada Pav locally I instantly gorged myself:p

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