One of the largest Desi franchises in North America is none other than Royal Paan, serving up a variety of Mumbai and Punjabi-style street food (Bhel Puri, Paan, Pani Puri, etc.) at over 40 locations across the continent.
Currently as the team at Wizcraft Design and Build is responsible for renovations and contracting, I frequently paint artwork at several of their locations. The art tends to remain cohesive and consistent, and usually features street vendors preparing some of the aforementioned dishes.
This former Caledon location featured a vendor making Paan -
Note the Sari fabric used for his lungi
Bhel Puri is a type of Chaat (savoury snack/ hors d'oeurve served roadside) made from puffed rice, vegetables and tangy tamarind sauce. Commonly associated with the Mumbai beaches Juhu and Chowpatty, many theories of its origins exist.
Whatever the case, it has become so popular that other communities such as Sindhis and Mangaloreans have created their own unique variants. The Bengali variant is called 'Jhalmuri' (spicy puffed rice) and the Mangalore version is called 'Churmuri'.
The original Mumbai recipe has found its way across most of India, where ingredients have adapted to suit local food availability.
Mumbai Bhel Puri - me sees pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves
This Royal Paan in Brampton depicts a street vendor
making a batch of Bhel Puri
Not much more to say here for the moment, I'll update as I add more locations to my portfolio and as I think of fresh and creative ways to recreate this iconic vendor scenes.
Until we meet again,