Culinary Expert, Writer & Consultant
I write about food history and stories most often around ingredients, cuisines, and the people who cook them. I also own and run A Perfect Bite Consulting and @APBCookStudio through which I curate culinary experience and help F&B brands and businesses connect with their consumers.
This #Foodle is dedicated to my friend of long standing Vikas Khanna in honour of the launch of his book Savour Mumbai last year because I consider it iconic to our friendship. We first met over him shooting a Vada Pao to discuss my working on the initial draught of Savour Mumbai back in 2010. I am just back from the launch of the same at infinity mall and I was inspired to #foodle the vada pao next for my Mumbai streetfood series.
The Vada Pao is one of the first
things that comes to mind when one thinks of street food in Mumbai. This
quintessential street snack that Anthony Bordain described as the
Bombay Burger is a signature offering of Maharashtra that dates back to
the 1970’s. A favourite with Bombayites on the go, vada pao is quickly
assembled. A pao (a sour dough bun that is a legacy of the Portuguese in
India) has a pocket created in it by pulling apart three sides of it
and pressing the middle down. The insides are slathered with spicy green
chilli chutney AND / OR a pungent dry red chutney made with garlic,
coconut and red chillies. Then a large freshly fried vada (a batter
fried ball of mashed potato flavoured with crushed ginger, toasted cumin
and tempered with curry leaves) is flattened slightly and sandwiched
into the pav, Served with a fried green chilli of two for added kick it
comes wrapped up in old newspaper. Sink your teeth into soft bread,
crunchy savoury chickpea coating and the spicy potato filling to get a
taste of the quintessential food that fuels Mumbai.
Vadas fresh from the frying pan, Picture by Astha Mehta
Where do you get your fix of Vada Pao? Share the best vada pao places in Mumbai with us in the comments section....