vadapavThe vadapav is an extremely popular vegetarian fast food sold on sidewalks, and in starred restaurants all over the city. It is cheap, hot, filling and, in comparison to so many other dishes that are classed as ‘fast’, nutritious — starchy, energy-rich and not too greasy.

Vadapav sometimes spelled wadapav or VadaPaav , is a popular vegetarian fast food dish native to the Indian state of Maharashtra. It consists of a batatavada sandwiched between 2 slices of a pav. The compound word batatavada refers in Marathi and Gujarati to a vada (fritter) made out of batata, the latter referring to a potato. Pav refers to unsweetened bread or bun.

The vada is made of boiled and crushed batata, or potato, which is mixed with spices, herbs and onions, chillies, ginger and garlic, and shaped into a patty, dipped in a coating of gram flour or besan with spices and then deep-fried in very hot oil. This is inserted, piping hot, into a fresh pav, or unsweetened bun.

The vadapav was initially started as the cheapest form of a meal for low income group, but due to its taste, this dish became so popular that many sophisticated hotels also have started serving out this wonderful dish, at a higher cost. However, this dish has still retained its charm and taste as an evergreen dish, and many people still have it at for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Vadapav is actually the Indian version of a burger and one of the most loved fast foods available on the streets of Mumbai.

Credit for creating this Mumbaiyya staple is often given to Ashok Vaidya, a snack vendor who set up his stall just outside Dadar station, a major commuter hub in the metropolis. Vaidya reportedly came up with this recipe in 1971 to appease the hunger of the rush of commuters who wanted a snack they could carry and munch on without needing implements or cleansing wipes. He served it up with a fiery red chutney that could include coconut, peanuts, chillies, garlic and tamarind pulp. And it flew off his stall and straight into the eager mouths of the always-rushed daily commuter.

There can be many variations to the vadapav like the cheese vadapav where cheese are added and samosa pav (where samosa is added instead of vada) and the Jain vadapav which does not have any onions, garlic and potatoes. The vadapav is fried in dollop of butter or oil and dried red chili powder and then chutney is applied in the hot fried pav and the vada is placed between it.

Vadapav is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fat, dietary fibre and iron.