Steaming hot Potato Masala Vada (patties) fried golden brown in hot oil, coupled with a spicy green chutney (or ketchup), and served packed within two soft pavs (buns) – yum, yum, yum!
Vada Pav is the peak of Maharashtrian street food. Be it as a quick breakfast as you dash to the office or life safer at the end of the month when your wallet runs dry, we have all enjoyed Vada Pav in one way or another – as millions are doing across India. It’s filling starch heaven, an energy booster, and carnival on your Palate. Again, yum, yum yum!
Also called as Mumbai burger, Vada Pav Makes the perfect snack to munch on any time of the day, be it breakfast, brunch, or as an evening snack with your tea.
Come, let’s get to know more about this heavenly snack, including its history, varieties & cool facts;
Vada Pav – Quick Glance
|3.||Invented by||Mr Ashok Vaidya and Mr Sudhakar Mhatre|
|6.||Main Ingredients||Bread Bun, Boiled Mashed Potatoes & Spices|
|7.||Side Dishes||Dry Garlic Coconut Chutney, Sweet Tamarind Chutney, Green Chili and Coconut Chutney|
|8.||Preparation Time||30 Minutes|
|9.||Types||Cheese, Schezwan, Corn, Paneer & Butter|
|10.||Price Range||50 - 400 INR|
|12.||Alternative Names||Vada Pao, Wada Pav, Wada Pao, Pao Vada, Batata Wada Pav|
Vada Pav Origin & History – Who Invented It?
Interestingly, the history of Vada Pav is heavily influenced by the far-right political policies once was prevalent in a bygone era, namely the 1960s.
In those decades, Balasaheb Thakaray – the head honcho of nationalist group Shiv Sena – appealed to the Maharashtrian to become self entrepreneurs like their southern counterparts. Inspired by his nationalistic words, Mr. Ashok Vaidya set up a snack stall outside of Dadar station – the then heart of Mumbai, and served Vada, Poha, and omelet Pav to the hungry textile workers.
One day, he came up with an idea to place a Vada between two buns and serve with some chutney to add a bit more flavor and started selling it. Finally, the legendary Vada Pav was born and obviously, it became an instant hit!
Vada Pav – The New Age Snack for the Working Class
Over the years, Vada Pav has witnessed a meteoric rise – and why not? It was cheap, convenient to eat on the go, super tasty, and easy to digest.
Even today in this era of Mcdonald’s, India’s obsession with Vada Pav hasn’t waned a bit. In fact, the popularity has only grown. Almost every Vada Pav seller has a secret recipe or a special ingredient that makes his Vada Pav Unique and irresistible. Also, the snack has that punchy spiciness that is unique to Indian culture and kitchen.
Indeed, this spicy, filling snack is so popular; there is even a Vada Pav day, which is celebrated every year on the 23rd of August!
How Vada Pav is Prepared?
There is a reason why Vada Pav is called the “Mumbai Burger.” From the shape to the texture and the ingredients, they are so very similar – yet they couldn’t be more world apart.
The traditional Vada Pav recipe goes a lot like this: you have the Vada, which is made from boiled and mashed potatoes with a pool of spices. Many often pan-fry them in advance to give that trademark crunch. They then cushion the Vada between two slider-sized buns but not before smearing the insides with mouth-watering chutneys.
Depending on the vendor, you can enjoy many, many different types of chutneys with your plate of Vada Pav, including;
Nowadays, you can also indulge in Ketchup, Mustard, and even chili sauce if you really wanna take your palate on a flavor adventure.
To wash it all down, you can go for a glass of sweet/salted lemon water.
5 Different Types of Vada Pav – Let’s Talk About the Varieties
Ever since its inception in the 1960s, much hasn’t changed for the Vada Pav saga. The core ingredients (save for secret items & masalas) are the same as always. You are still getting it burger-style, and it has impressively stayed purely vegetarian all this time. Heck, even the size has stayed pretty uniform all over India. You can still finish a Vada Pav with 2 or 3 bites.
Still, there are Vada Pav varieties, mainly in relation to flavors. Some are regionally inspired while others have successfully experimented with exotic and foreign recipes.
Here are 5 Amazing Vada Pav types that WE think offer the best value for your tummy and soul;
1) Cheese Vada Pav
If you are a cheese lover (as we mostly are), this one’s a no-brainer. This Vada Pav recipe features a slice of half-melted cheese on top of the Vada along with green and red chutney. Think of it as a desi-version of an American cheeseburger.
2) Schezwan Vada Pav
Putting a Chinese spin on our beloved Vada Pav, this recipe calls for the use of Schezwan sauce and a mix of fried veggies such as cabbage, carrot, capsicum, spring onion, etc…). The Vada will be extra fried to give it that distinctive crunch.
3) Corn Vada Pav
Healthier and more fiber-rich, this awesome Vada Pav has a Vada that has sweet corns infused and fried to a crunchy and chewy texture. This I best enjoyed with a healthy dash of Tamarind chutney for that sweet, sweet goodness.
4) Paneer Vada Pav
As the name suggests, this Vada Pav has grated paneer added to the mashed potato made Vada and has another layer of grated Paneer on top of it along with red/green chutney. It’s extremely rich in protein and can be an excellent brunch option.
5) Butter Vada Pav
Starting from a spoonful of butter spread wide on the open buns and the Vada and then roasted for 2 minutes straight on a Panto bring out the creaminess, butter Vada Pav is sure to leave you drooling at the plate, guaranteed!
Final Words – If You Haven’t Tried, You Haven’t Lived!
Mumbai and its awesome street food recipes have had caught the fancy & appreciation of many food lovers since time immemorial – but none to the level of what Vada Pav has done!
Spicy, tummy-filling, and light on the wallet, this Maharashtrian explosion of flavors is the ultimate binge-ready dish you NEED after a hectic day. It works as a perfect appetizer and it also rich in calories and nutrients so it has got healthy plaque nailed down too. Just make sure to get them from a hygienic location though.
Finally, the main question on the origin of Vada Pav still remains: what gave Ashok Vaidya the idea to put a Vada between two pieces of bread? We may never know. But we are plenty glad he did…