My first taste of Swati Snacks

by Khushboo on March 22, 2013

After living in Bombay for over 3 years, I finally tried one of its most popular restaurants Swati Snacks earlier this week.  For those of you not aware of it, Swati serves traditional recipes from Indian homes with mouthwatering flavors of street foods (taken from its site).  Although the place is far from fancy, its food seems to more than make up for that.

menu

I have never had much of a taste for Indian food and still don’t.  However considering I seem to be the only person in Bombay who doesn’t crave Swati or yearn to eat there, I figured I should at least try it.  Taste buds evolve, right?  After constant nudging from some friends who are Swati ‘connoisseurs’, I gave it a shot.  I agreed to try everything so long as there wasn’t any ‘kothmir’ (=coriander) involved.  Although the pictures aren’t the greatest, here’s a glimpse of some of the dishes we ordered

  • Idlis (savory cakes made from fermented black lentils & rice) with sambar (broth/stew made from dal & mixed vegetables) & Coconut Chutney

photo 1

  • Panki (savory rice pancakes steamed in a banana leaf)

panki

  • Moong Dal Chilla (split green gram pancakes) with Green Chutney
  • Sada Dosa (fermented crepe made fom rice batter & black lentils)

photo 2

I wouldn’t say I loved the food BUT I did like it enough to go back.  On a separate note, I couldn’t help but laugh while browsing the menu.  Several of the dishes served are naturally “vegan“, “wheat-free” and “gluten-free”, and I’m pretty sure those buzzwords would have been plastered all over the menu if we were in the West.  Although Swati is already always packed, perhaps they need a menu revamp to attract a different niche market.  Anyone know how to get in touch with their marketing department ;)?

What’s your favorite Indian dish? Tandoori anything or chaana masala

What’s your favorite cuisine? It’s a toss-up between Japanese & Italian

Related posts:

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I’ve never had rice/legume pancakes like these before! I’m really curious to try them. I’d actually never had Indian food before this week, when I made myself a lentil dal. It was so good!

My favourite cuisine is a tie between Italian, Japanese and Mexican! Oh, and Mediterranean. 😀

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

Wow I’m impressed you made lentil dal on your own- I am still yet to try making it myself!

Reply

kandarp March 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm

May I add that ‘lentil dal’ is analogous to:
– chai tea
– biscotti biscuits
And other such gaffes 🙂

Fav food: Mexican, Indian, Georgian

Next time try the “full on” oily Chana bhatoora at the food court. Punjab’s guilty pleasure!!

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

Haha Kandy- never gonna happen ;)!

Reply

Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever had any authentic Indian food, but I’m really liking the sound of all those “gluten-free” pancakes and crepes. As for favorite cuisine, I’d have to say Mexican. I’m on a serious salsa kick right now, and when you add guacamole, chips, and cheese to the mix? Ohhhh heaven.

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

How could I forget Mexican- cheese+salsa+guac+carbs = winning combo 🙂

Reply

Sam @ Better With Sprinkles March 22, 2013 at 5:24 pm

I’m intrigued by those Panki! I’ve never seen it around here. I love Indian food once in a while – favourites are anything vindaloo (usually chicken) or mattar pancer. And naan basically goes without saying. Now I’m thinking I need to go to the Indian buffet down the street soon…

Favourite cuisines are Japanese and Mexican. Although Italian is up there too!

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Although I’m not the biggest fan of Indian, I do love garlic butter naans….mmm :)!

Reply

Parita @ myinnershakti March 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

LOVE dosa – one of my favorite Indian dishes. Vishnu’s family is South Indian and his mom makes the BEST dosa and coconut chutney. I go all out when we’re at his house and dosas are on the menu! I also love Punjabi food – makhani is probably my favorite when it comes to that region. And of course, I love (most) Gujarati food – a good khichidi is my favorite (usually my mom’s or grandma’s). 🙂

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Clearly you need to make a trip back to India asap 😉

Reply

Z @ kickingkilos March 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I love tandoori chicken. My fav cuisine would be Italian.

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Looks like we’re on the same page food-wise 🙂

Reply

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl March 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I really love Indian food so it is really hard to me to choose my favorite dish… probably red lentil dal, saag, vegetable korma, or chaana masala. That is as far as I could narrow it down ;).

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:28 am

Perhaps you and me should switch nationalities 😉

Reply

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig March 22, 2013 at 7:32 pm

OMG how do you not like Indian food?!? I love it but Rob doesn’t so I rarely get to have it. Our favourite is Thai though – SO good! Oh and I don’t get how people don’t like coriander either….. you weirdo 😉

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hahhaah just the word coriander makes me squirm. It drives me nuts when it sneaks into Thai food (why kill an otherwise amazing dish)!

Reply

Allie March 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I love any and ALL Indian food! Oh my gosh, I’ll come eat it for you 🙂 That restaurant sounds fab! Indian and Thai are my favorite cuisines! I just love all the spice and flavor.

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

Although I’m not a fan myself, I’ll be happy to indulge your love for Indian food when you make it to Mumbai…some day 🙂

Reply

Alex @ therunwithin March 22, 2013 at 8:23 pm

i want to try all of it!!!

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

🙂

Reply

Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! March 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm

you have no idea how jealous I am right now – I LOVE Indian food! And we can get it pretty tasty in NYC, but a lot of the food at the cheaper restaurants is too greasy for me. My favorites are the same as yours though! Love channa masala and anything from the tandoori. Also can’t forget a good tandoori roti or dosa 🙂

It’s nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite cuisine, but I love all food NOT from America, ha. My top three are probably Japanese, Mediterranean, and Indian.

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

Your love for Indian food makes me smile :)! We need to swap ethnicities, given out food preferences…love American food!

Reply

Honey What's Cooking March 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm

i prefer channa masala over tandoori stuff, anyday! favorite cuisine, you know this – MEXICAN!!! love it. i like Indian food, but I think because I’m Indian and I’m used to Indian food, its not my first choice. Have a great weekend.

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

I’m with you about Mexican food- I don’t know how I forgot to mention that as a favorite!

Reply

Komal March 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi Khusboo,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while, found it through Parita’s. Just never commented, but since you posted about Swati’s couldnt resist. We go to Swati 1-2/ week everytime we visit India. Since we pretty much eat out on a daily basis while we are there, this is the closest thing to home food. My family is upsessed with its Dal Dhokli (gujrati) ! Wasnt aware it was so big in India, thought it was only in Ahmdemad. I am sure my family will be thrilled to know its also in Bombay 🙂

Also love all your posts on healthy food and fitness. You definately give a great view of a different India, than what we are used to.

Komal

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

Hi Komal, thanks for your comment and glad to hear you are enjoying my blog :)! Where about do you live i.e. which country/city?

Reply

dixya@food, pleasure, and health March 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

im glad you had a nice experience there. Im a big fan of Dosa and my boyfriend just introduced me to idli which I never cared for in the past. I am not a big Indian food person but there is always some sort of comfort I associate it with because Nepali food is very similar to it. I like chana masala, dosa, chaat stuff over curries on most days. I like Pakistani/Afghan tandoori stuff though 🙂

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

It’s funny because dosas & idlis are amongst the few dishes which I actually enjoy :)!

Reply

Alexis @ Hummusapien March 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Chaana masala is my go-to Indian dish of choice as well. I love naan with a bunch of different chutneys, too. That restaurant looks like it has some fab options!

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

Naan is amazing right….especially the garlic butter varieties freshly made!

Reply

Brittany March 22, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I’m almost ashamed to say the only Indian style cuisine I’ve had lately has been from Trader Joe’s which TOTALLY doesn’t count. I have only been to an Indian restaurant I think once, but I did really enjoy it!! I must try it again!

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

Hahah from what I’ve heard, Trader Joe’s is pretty legit ;)!

Reply

P March 23, 2013 at 2:05 am

This reminds me of when my fam and I used to eat at Saravanaa Bhavan and Sangeetha’s when we visited relatives. We also always used to stop at Krishna’s Sweets before our flight home! 😛

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

Do you visit India often?

Reply

P March 24, 2013 at 12:00 am

Our routine was that we’d visit every two years, but we haven’t been back since the end of 2008…we are due for a trip :P!

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

Looks like you’re due for more than one trip now 🙂

Reply

Meghan@Clean Eat Fast Feets March 23, 2013 at 7:03 am

I only recently discovered Indian food, but I really like it. What’s not to like? So many delicious veggies and fabulous seasoning. Yum.

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

I think the spices kill it for me….there’s too much going on in each dish ;)!

Reply

Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets March 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I like a lot of spices, well except too much cumin, but I really love how veggie friendly they are. For many American restaurants, your choices as a vegetarian are a) a salad with the meat removed, b) pasta with the meat removed, or c) some kind of fried appetizer. I was always scared to try new cuisines, but then I saw how veggie-tastic Indian, Ethiopian, and Asian foods were, and I was head over heels. I bet my Indian food is vastly different than yours. It’s probably been all Americanized, and I would love to try yours.

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

You raised a great point, Meghan! I think India is one of the few countries where menus tend to have more veg options than non-veg!

Reply

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 23, 2013 at 8:05 am

I love Indian food – I’ve been on a roll lately. Even had it last night! I prefer the food from the kerla regions more… it’s so different than the “typical” Indian foods we see around here.

But my favorite cuisine? Italian. It warms my soul.

Reply

Khushboo March 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

You and me both…I could live off Italian food. Annnd I’m suddenly craving authentic marinara sauce!

Reply

Jess March 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I love Indian food!!! It is amazing how much of their food is vegan or gluten free! Would be everywhere here! 🙂

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

It definitely appeals to a variety of dietary preferences!

Reply

Tessa @ Amazing Asset March 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I say I love Indian food but I always get the same thing… Chicken Tandoori lol. So perhaps trying other dishes would help me to decide if I actually do like it? You are right about the gluten-free and vegan labels… and it’s such a growing thing here in the states. Restaurants claiming that they offer such choices. Which is good because there are more and more people that need these other options!

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

As chicken tandoori is one of the few Indian foods I enjoy, I’d say you are spot on with your choice of dish ;)!

Reply

Meghan @ After the Ivy League March 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Its so funny you should say that! I discovered the joys of GF Indian food a couple years ago and was beyond psyched when dishes were made with chickpea flour and other grains besides wheat. I quickly learned that ethnic foods are my friend (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican). Really just American and Italian foods need to be avoided!

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

Nothing like an intolerance to make you more open to different cuisines right ;)!

Reply

Ameena March 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I LOVE idli, sambar, dosa…the whole nine yards. I really do like Indian food but it’s not easy to find good stuff here in LA, plus I am terrible at cooking it.

So envious it’s at your fingertips!

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

Ohh what I’d do to have the number of sushi options available to me as you have in New York!

Reply

Shreya @ rushofendorphins March 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

I’ve never been a fan of idlis and dosas – I prefer north indian dishes to south. But that’d be limited to their vegetarian fare only, because I don’t exactly enjoy tandoori/butter chicken or fish curries. Mmm hot chapatis with channa or dal!

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

If you ever visit Goa, I recommend giving fish curries another shot…trust me on this :)!

Reply

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish March 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

As I was scrolling past your pictures of the different varieties of rice and legume cakes, my first thoughts were, these are all gluten free items! I could eat everything here! Thus, I couldn’t help but laugh when I read your marketing comment; it’s so true! “Gluten free” would definitely be plastered all over the Swati Snacks menu if it were a Western restaurant. 😉 However, gluten free or not, I’m intrigued by the use of so many different ingredients and flavors in these cakes. While they’re flavors I’m certainly not familiar with, I’d LOVE to try them!

I think my favorite Indian dish is chicken tikka or chicken tandoori. I also love the flavor of curry, although I find it to be too rich for an entree.

Favorite cuisines: Mexican, Thai, and Japanese!

Reply

Khushboo March 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Agreed about curries- they tend to be quite heavy especially if they contain a coconut milk base. I think that’s one of the reasons why most Indians (including myself) tend to prefer ordering family style- it allows you to try a number of dishes without having to commit to any single one! 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: