Why Mumbai is the spice capital of the world
The spice markets of Mumbai are truly the heartbeat of Maharashtra’s capital city. A living and breathing entity that will leave you in awe of its bright colours and vibrant atmosphere.
For hundreds of years, Mumbai’s spice markets have brought masses of locals, curious tourists and business men and women from across the globe to India, making it the biggest exporter of spice in the world.
The most famous market of all is the Crawford Market which houses some of the world’s finest and rarest spices within its labyrinth of corridors. The stalls are family-owned and have been handed down from generation to generation, and a sense of old India infuses the entire place.
An eye-catching highlight of the markets are the thousands of dried chillies stacked to the brim in large sacks lined up outside the stalls. Surprisingly, the chillies sell out within a day, with the sacks being replenished daily with fresh stock.
The plethora of chillies on offer is truly outstanding, from Kashmiri to Guntur. One thing’s for certain, the Mumbai spice markets definitely have this spicy vegetable covered.
Although chillies are the highlight, you can buy almost any other spice you want at the stalls. Mounds of spices such as turmeric, nutmeg and saffron are piled high, accompanied by more abstract produce such as dried coconut flesh, leaving customers spoilt for choice.
Most stalls will even let consumers use their equipment to grind down their own spices or create their own masalas by mixing different combinations of spices together.
The unique energy that the markets emit makes it a must-see landmark of India for anyone visiting this great nation, and cements itself as a true wonder of the world.
In the latest episode of our travel series, the Three Indians and an Englishman made a visit to the markets to gather inspiration for our new Mumbai-inspired menu. Head to our Facebook page to watch the video, or find out more about our incredible new dishes here.