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Mumbai sandwich - Mumbai style vegetarian sandwich

Sweet, salty, spicy and savory. This classic Mumbai sandwich recipe is full of flavor that will leave you wanting more! It contains beets, potatoes, butter, cilantro chutney and is a popular street food in Mumbai. Serve this sandwich as a filling and delicious breakfast or snack.

The Mumbai sandwich, also known as the Bombay sandwich, is an incredibly delicious vegetarian Indian street food where chutney, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and gooey melted cheese meet a hefty dose of spice.

There are many different sandwich recipes served in the city of Mumbai. But this popular and delicious vegetable sandwich was one of my favorites during my college days. Whenever I forgot my lunch box, my friends and I would go to a sandwich stall across the street from our college and order our very own custom vegetable sandwiches.

My sister especially likes the toasted version of these sandwiches and always orders them when we go to restaurants and cafes in Mumbai. This post is especially dedicated to her.

Where does the Mumbai sandwich come from?

As a colonial heritage, the sandwich is generally attributed to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. According to "The Oxford Companion to Food" by Alan Davidson, Montagu preferred to eat food in this form so he wouldn’t have to leave the card table.

Because this format for simple food was so obvious for commercial use, it soon exploded onto the English food scene.

But before the British could popularize the sandwich outside England, India was already buzzing with two other colonial imports, bread and potatoes from the Portuguese, who had already settled in India.

Then the British came and brought us the concept of the sandwich. The idea of vegetables in the sandwich, such as peppers, beetroots, cucumbers and onions, as well as the chutney in the form of coriander and pudina (mint in Hindi), came from different parts of India. However, everything was very easily available in Mumbai and the triumph of the Mumbai sandwich took off.

There is no real date as to when exactly the Mumbai sandwich originated. It probably originated in the 1960s, when many migrant workers came to the city as a result of the booming mill industry. While the closure of the mills brought the textile industry in Mumbai to a halt, the Mumbai sandwich survived this period completely unscathed. Nearly four decades later, this humble creation can still be found on just about every street, enjoying unwavering popularity among college kids and blue-collar workers alike, all the way up to high society.

Ingredients for Mumbai sandwich

Vegetables - The various vegetables that make up the bulk of this sandwich are cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and beetroots. Sometimes green bell peppers are added as well.

You may find it unusual at first to have beetroots on a sandwich, but this earthy vegetable elevates the flavor of these sandwiches from ordinary to premium. The beetroots are cooked and sliced before being layered into the sandwich. This adds a nice sweetness and ties all the savory and tangy flavors together. I highly recommend using beetroots to create a truly authentic Mumbai sandwich, and one that tastes just fantastic to the hilt.

You can, of course, omit vegetables you don't like or add others you prefer. There isn’t really any limit to your creation, but for a well-rounded street food experience as in Mumbai, I suggest adding all the vegetables as listed in the recipe.

Dhaniya Chutney (Coriander Dip) - The chutney can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. It is versatile and can be added to Kathi Rolls, Pakoras or Chaat.

Spices - Black salt and Chaat Masala add a lot of flavors to this sandwich recipe. You can also add Bhuna Jeera (roasted cumin powder) as well as freshly ground black pepper for more flavor.

Chaat Masala - An important ingredient is the Chaat Masala powder. Chaat Masala is a spicy blend of spices that is often sprinkled on Indian snacks. You can easily find Chaat Masala online or at any Indian grocery store. But the best way is to just make it yourself with the help of my recipe. It's ready in no time at all.

Bread - Soft, fluffy white bread is the best bread choice for your Mumbai sandwich. However, you can but of course use your favorite type of bread as a substitute. For healthy sandwiches, whole wheat bread, multigrain bread or soft rye bread are some good options.

Butter - Regular dairy butter, usually salted, is used in this vegetarian sandwich, but you can substitute it with vegan butter instead.


  • Vegan Option - To prepare a vegan version of the vegetable sandwich, substitute dairy butter for vegan butter.

  • A variation of this sandwich recipe also includes cheese. You can use grated processed cheese or cheddar cheese. In India, we use the popular brand Amul processed cheese.


Can I use garlic in coriander chutney and leave out the mint?

Yes, you can add garlic to the cilantro chutney, I do that sometimes too. If you ever don't feel like mint flavor or don't have mint on hand, you can leave it out altogether.

How do I pack my sandwich for my road trip?

I don't recommend packing this sandwich for road trips, as the sandwich can get a little soggy. But for other sandwiches that don't use watery ingredients, wrap the sandwich in foil and then place it in a tiffin box. The sandwich is now ready to go!

Serving suggestions

These sandwiches are so good, I often make them for brunch or as a light lunch or dinner. They are absolutely recommended as an evening snack in front of the television as well.

Ingredients for 5 Sandwiches

For the vegetable sandwich

  • 10 slices of white bread, whole wheat bread, brown bread or any soft bread

  • 2 small to medium potatoes, boiled and sliced

  • 1 medium beetroot, cooked and thinly sliced

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 1 small to medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

  • Butter soft and room warm, salted or unsalted as per your preference

  • Chaat Masala, as per your taste

  • Black salt, as per your taste

  • Schwarzes Salz, je nach Geschmack

  • Black salt, as per your taste

  • Bhuna Jeera (roasted cumin powder), as per your taste - optional

  • freshly ground black pepper - optional

To prepare Dhaniya Chutney (Coriander Chutney)

  • 1 cup of densely packed coriander leaves

  • ½ to 1 tsp of Chaat Masala powder

  • 1 to 2 green chilies, or more, as per your taste

  • Salt or black salt, as per your taste

  • 1 to 2 tsp. water to mix or grind - optional


Prepare the chutney

Put coriander leaves, Chaat Masala powder and green chilies in a blender.Add a pinch or two of salt. Chaat masalaalready contains salt.

Grind the chutney ingredients until smooth. It is not necessary to add water. But if the ingredients are not ground properly, add 1 or 2 tsp of water.

Transfer the Dhaniya chutney (coriander chutney) to a bowl.Check the taste and add a little more salt if needed.

Cover the chutney and set aside for a short while if you are making vegetable sandwiches immediately, otherwise put it in the refrigerator.

Prepare the vegetables

Boil or steam beetroots and potatoes until tender. You can steam both vegetables in a skillet, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot.

Peel both vegetables after they have cooled. Then thinly slice the beetroot and slice the potatoes as well.

Peel the onion and cucumber and cut them into thin slices. Finally, cut the tomatoes into thin slices as well.

Assemble the Mumbai Sandwich

Generously butter the bread slices evenly.

Now apply the Dhaniya chutney on the slices.

Place the vegetable slices in single layers on one bread slice.Sprinkle the black salt and . Chaat masala on each vegetable layer. If you want it less spicy, skip sprinkling one layer at a time.

Cover the sandwich with the second slice of bread.

You can toast the sandwich in a panini grill or even in a cast iron skillet until the bread has a golden crispy layer.

Cut the Mumbai Sandwich in half.

Serve freshly made Mumbai Sandwich with ketchup.


  • Green chutney adds a delicious spicy flavor to this sandwich. When making green chutney from scratch, you can add less or more of certain ingredients. For example, add less green chilies if you prefer a milder chutney, and add more if you want more heat.

  • You can also add fresh mint leaves to the chutney for a refreshing mint flavor.

  • Trim the edges of the bread slices if desired.

I look forward to hearing from you...

...if you like my blog, my recipes inspire you and your curiosity for Indian cuisine has been piqued.

Feel free to give me feedback if you would like to share your cooking accomplishments or have a suggestion for improvement. I appreciate any kind feedback. Whether via the comment function, email, Facebook or Instagram (best tagged with #heutemalindisch and @heutemalindisch, then your cooking success can also inspire others).



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