Bombay mix is a snack food. Typically it will contain lentils, peanuts, chickpeas and various corn derivatives, all deep fried until crunchy. It is topped off with a mixture of spices and an unhealthy amount of salt.

The exact spice mixture used varies between producers, and is often considered a trade secret. When making your own Bombay mix, a good place to start spice-wise is:

  • Three parts chilli powder. More if you like hot food, less if you prefer, but don't leave it out altogether.
  • One part coriander (the seed, not the leaf).
  • One part cumin.
  • One part turmeric. Very important, Bombay mix would not be the same without the obnoxious yellow tint.
  • One part salt. Leave this out if you're especially health-conscious.
  • One part sugar. Again, this is optional.

Some varieties also include raisins, pistachio nuts or whatever other small dried foods happened to be lying around when it was made.

Like chicken tikka masala, Bombay mix is not a genuine Indian dish, and it does not come from Bombay. It does resemble various other Indian snacks, but it does not follow a traditional recipe. It was probably invented in Britain as something to be given to restaurant patrons before the main meal arrives, much the same way as garlic bread is abused by some pseudo-Italian restaurants. Certainly, it is an ideal appetiser — it is cheap, takes little preparation, can be made largely from left-over ingredients and makes anyone who eats it very thirsty.

Bombay mix is also frequently found in health food stores and supermarkets. Like Pringles, it usually comes in packages which are slightly too large to be eaten by one person without making them ill.