Are you sitting in the curry house and wondering what that small bowl of utter deliciousness is in front of you? Don't worry, everyone finds it moreish. So, dig in and enjoy. Just what is Bombay mix, and why is it so darn tasty? Well, today, my curry loving chums, we are taking a deep dive into this little snack, and I'll tell you what it is all about. Enjoy!
Bombay mix is an Indian snack made of several fried or dried ingredients. A typical pack of Bombay mix contains; noodles, fried lentils, peanuts and dried peas. Occasionally it may also contain raisins. It also contains several spices like chilli, coriander powder, salt and cumin.
The above really doesn't do it justice.
Ever been to the pub and can't stop digging into peanuts?
It's even worse with the Bombay mix! It's one of the tastiest Indian snacks around. Here's what it is all about….
What Does Bombay Mix Consist of?
Let's take a deep dive into exactly what is in Bombay mix. Considering it's a snack more than a meal, there are actually quite a few ingredients in there, so it pays to go into them in a bit of detail. Here's what you'll find in your average handful: -
Noodles usually make up the bulk of Bombay mix. If you are wondering where the noodles are, it's easy. They are normally the long thin bits you'll see in Bombay mix. Noodles are made of wheat flour made into a stretchy dough before being pressed flat and shredded or pressed into a circular form (think spaghetti).
Unlike in Italian dishes, where noodles are boiled, in Indian dishes, they are baked or fried until dry and crunchy. From there, they are chopped into sections.
Because noodles are quite absorbent, they are the main carriers of the lovely flavours found in Bombay mix. They are the tastiest bits that everyone fights over!
Lentils are a type of legume or 'pea' if you will. The little dark green 'circles' are particularly crunchy in Bombay mix. When you see them in Bombay mix, they are normally deep-fried. There are normally several different types of lentils. You'll tend to find that Bombay mix contains green lentils and occasionally red split lentils.
Want to know something funny about 'peanuts'?
They aren't actually a 'nut' at all! They are, in fact, a pulse. In broad terms, this means a bean. Nut allergy sufferers still need to be careful, however.
There isn't too much done to the peanuts in Bombay mix. They don't soak up flavour and are simply roasted and salted.
Chickpeas are actually jam-packed with protein and are one of natures superfoods. They feature heavily in middle eastern and Asian cuisine, so it's no surprise they appear in Bombay mix! Chickpeas are fairly mild in flavour.
When they appear in Bombay mix, they are baked or fried, turning super crispy. Due to their large size, they are perfect for coating in a spicy Bombay mix spice.
Raisins are actually dried grapes. One of your five a day? Yes, please!
Ever had something salty and sweet at the same time?
Bombay mix is all about contrasts, and raisins are the perfect way to achieve this.
You won't always find raisins in Bombay mix. Some include it, some don't.
Rice sticks are one of those optional extras that depend entirely on who's made the Bombay mix in front of you. Like noodles, these sticks are made from rice ground into flour before being shaped and baked or fried.
How is Bombay mix… mixed?
Here's an entire village making this delicious snack bit by bit? Check this out…
Granted, this won't be how they make it commercially, but it gives you a great idea about the process.
Bombay Mix Flavour
Let's be honest.
Dried chickpeas, noodles and lentils sound pretty boring, right?
Yeah, I agree.
The good news is that Bombay mix contains so much more…
There's a fair few Indian spices in there. Most Bombay mixes also contain elements of the following Indian spices in varying proportions: -
- Coriander powder
- Chilli powder
- Garlic Powder
This can vary from each manufacturer, but generally, you can expect strong savoury taste aplenty!
Is Bombay Mix Good?
Bombay mix is the ideal bar snack. It is spicy, salty and savoury (and even a little sweet if there are raisins).
It works well with various drinks such as beer, wine and even non-alcoholic drinks. Because it is quite high in carbohydrates, it is also filling.
So, if you are having a little nibble before ordering an Indian, go easy on the Bombay mix!
Why is it Called Bombay Mix?
This tasty snack has Indian origins and harks back to the days of the British Empire when the city of Mumbai was known as 'Bombay'. In fact, it is only generally referred to as 'Bombay mix' in the United Kingdom. Elsewhere it is known by different names. It's the same snack. It is just called something different. Here's what you might hear Bombay mix referred to outside of the UK: -
Alternative name to ‘Bombay Mix’
The above all describe the same thing. The key ingredients are the same, whether 'Bombay' mix or 'Bhuja'.
What Does Bombay Mix Taste Like?
Bombay mix is pretty tasty (and a bit addictive). It has a strong savoury taste laden with spices typically associated with Indian cooking, such as coriander, cumin, garlic, and turmeric. Occasionally it can be a little spicy with a dusting of chilli powder.
Generally, Bombay mix has a fairly strong taste, heavily influenced by the spices used to 'dust' the various ingredients. It is a little spicy, with chilli powder, and is quite salty because the mixture includes a seasoning dust.
Which is the Healthiest Bombay Mix?
If you are out for an Indian and there is a plate of Bombay mix on the table, you can expect one to be the same as the other health-wise.
Looking for a healthy Bombay mix for home?
Here's the best I've found and the best value.
The less money? Well, none of them is expensive.
Check these Bombay mixes. Here's my at glance guide based on calories, heat and price: -
Price per 100g
Calories per 100G
Healthy? At an Indian?
What is Bombay Mix? | The Bottom Line
Bombay mix is a tasty Indian snack made of dried noodles, chickpeas, nuts, lentils (and occasionally raisins). It's normally served as a bar snack or appetizer in Indian restaurants. It's just a bit tasty and is ideal if you want a little Indian spice, even if you aren't having a curry. Want to know more about Indian spices? Check out my curry powder guide here.