vada pav origin history and types

Vada Pav Origin, History & Types – Indian Burger Decoded

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

1.OriginMaharastra, India
2.Invented 1986
3.Invented byMr Ashok Vaidya and Mr Sudhakar Mhatre
4.CourseFast Food
5.Serving Temperature Hot
6.Main IngredientsBread Bun, Boiled Mashed Potatoes & Spices
7.Side DishesDry Garlic Coconut Chutney, Sweet Tamarind Chutney, Green Chili and Coconut Chutney
8.Preparation Time30 Minutes
9.TypesCheese, Schezwan, Corn, Paneer & Butter
10.Price Range 50 - 400 INR
12.Alternative NamesVada 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;

  • Dry garlic coconut chutney (the most popular of the lot)
  • Sweet tamarind chutney
  • Green chili and coconut chutney

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!

Top 10 Reasons to Binge on this Killer Street Dish – What Makes Vada Pav Special?

If you haven’t yet tried Vada Pav, boy you’re missing out! Whether with your evening chai or as a brunch run, this tasty delicacy is sure to leave you asking for more.

Still not convinced about Vada Pav? Here are 10 points that will make you say otherwise;

1 Wholesome Flavours

From the soft bun to the crunchy creaminess of the Vada and the spicy/tanginess of the chutney, the Humble Vada Pav packs in a serious amount of various flavors in just a few bites

2 Available Everywhere

Despite being of Maharashtrian origin, Vada Pav nowadays is a pan Indian snack with lakhs of eateries in almost every major city’s serving them.

3 Very Affordable

One of the key factors that led to the popularity of Vada Pav was its sheer affordability. For a meager sum, you can enjoy a tummy-filling snack & ask for seconds without worry.

4 Superbly Healthy

Aside from being a bit calorie and carb-rich, Vada Pav is one of the healthiest street food available out there. It has proteins, fibers, green veggies, you name it.

5 Many, Many Varieties

Whether you are a spice head or has a sweet tooth, there is a Vada Pav recipe for you some vendors even have secret Masala recipes that can keep you coming back for more.

6 Desi Burger

If you love veg burgers but can’t go for the pricey MNC McAloo burgers. Vada Pav is the next best thing. Heck, in some ways, Vada Pav’s are even better flavor-wise.

7 Excellent Appetizer

A bite of Vada Pav in the evening can be a great palate cleanser for your upcoming hearty dinner. The limited size doesn’t leave you full & the tanginess helps kick-start your metabolism.

8 Helps Build Social Connections

A plate of Vada Pav is the perfect way to bond and break the ice around a table. Being a handy food, you can chat away as you binge on it. Sharing Vada Pav can also be a very romantic gesture.

9 The Perfect Brunch Option

Skipped your breakfast? No time for a sit-down meal? Downing a few bites of Vada Pav on the go are more than enough to keep you satiated till your next meal.

10 Try it for the Sake of Trying

As an Indian, it would be a crime if you don’t try Vada Pav at least once in your life. It packs in all the key flavors of the country in one package. It’s a must-try!

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…

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