For foodies, Swati Snacks is a bit of a religious experience. For me, it is an education in Gujarati cooking. This time, I learnt about the panki.
I'd never seen a panki before, although I've lived in Bombay for more than 20 years. The couple at the table next to me ordered it, and they seemed to know what they were doing. So I recklessly said "I'll have whatever they're having".
Ten minutes later, my plate arrived. It had this yellow, paper thin pancake, steamed in banana leaves. You open the folded leaves, peel off the panki and pop it in your mouth with green chutney. It tastes divine.
The panki is made of ground rice mixed with a paste of yoghurt, green chillies, fenugreek and asafoetida. It is not spicy, and therefore the tangy green chilli in the chutney complements it wonderfully.
The panki is Swati Snacks' signature dish - if you do go there, you'll find others ordering it. You'll also see some variants of the panki on the menu. Just do what I did - look around, subtly point at someone's plate and say 'I'll have what they're having!".