The one chat (snack) of Mumbai that completely describes all the attributes of Mumbai would be "Pani-Puri" Its a spicy, colorful, tempting, crispy snack that makes you want to have more of it.
Pani-Puri is one of the most famous snacks found in Mumbai, there are many restaurants that serve Pani-Puri in a sophisticated fashion but the best type is found along the road side.
It was originated in the Hilly parts of Nepal, Bihar & Kolkata and it found it's way to Mumbai, Pani-Puri is know by various names in various parts of India like, Pani Ke Patashe in Haryana; Gol Gappa in New Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. Pani ke bataashe / Patashi in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh; Pani-Puri in Maharashtra (Mumbai and all the parts of Maharashtra), Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat(Mainly in Ahmedabad), Andhra; and is known as Pakodi in Gujarat.
In Mumbai the recipe is usually spicier in comparison to the other parts of India and contains boondi (Sprouts) in addition to other ingredients. Panipuris are also eaten with curd and different types of masalas such as onion, sev (a type of besan vermicelli without any spices & seasoning) (a fried snack shaped like thin noodles made from besan flour), and mixture (a mix of different types of fried snacks mixed together) or Bhujia along with available seasonal nuts, as the base of the snack.
Typically, 4–8 panipuris are served over a portion on a circular plate made from dry sal leaves. Some places offer panipuris prepared on a whole plate, but the popular way for them to be served is one-at-a-time from a roadside vendor. Customers hold a small plate or bowl (katori) and stand around the vendors cart. The server then starts making one panipuri at a time and gives one to each individual. Panipuri servers have to remember each customer's preferences such as sweetened pani, more filling or extra onions, for example. The server must keep count of how many panipuris each person has had.
Traditionally, panipuris are eaten by placing the entire puri into the mouth in one go and biting into it. This releases a barrage of tastes and textures. Panipuris may be finished off with a cup of the pani, sweetened or made tarter to taste.
Just like Cricket and Bollywood, Pani-Puri also is one of the many crazes of Mumbaikars.
If you don't have a sharp ringing sensation in your ears while you stuff your mouth with Pani-Puri, you haven't enjoyed it at all XD
Pani-Puri nahi khaya toh kya khaya?! :P