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Deccan Herald » Metro Life - Sat » Detailed Story
Bole to yeh vada pav hai!
Michael Patrao

The famous vada pav, the popular street-food and fast food of Mumbai, is making its entry in Bangalore through franchisee units of Jumbo King, a popular vada pav brand, in prime locations like MG Road, Brigade Road, Jayanagar, RT Nagar and Indiranagar.

Managing Director Dheeraj Gupta of Jumbo King Foods Private Limited, who was in Bangalore recently, says he hopes to have seven to ten stores in Bangalore, followed by stores in Hyderabad. Jumbo King has already opened in Ahmedabad, Surat and Pune.

Vada Pav is one of the most popular fast-foods in Mumbai. It consists of a vada, served in a bun or roll (pav, a Portuguese loanword.) The vada is usually potato-based patties. Potatoes are mashed/diced, made into balls and coated and mixed with green chillies, ginger and a tadka (tempering) of mustard seeds and turmeric. These are then dipped in a herb- seasoned batter made with gram flour, then deep fried. The finished vada is wrapped in bread and served with condiments such as chutney, red chilli powder or fried green chilli (sometimes fried and salted). A common accompaniment is dry red chilli and coconut chutney. Another popular choice is garlic chutney.

Vada pavs form a breakfast, lunch or snack for many Mumbaiite. It is served in trains too. The Karjat station is famous for the vada pavs available on platforms.

It is claimed that vada pav was first made when Ashok Vaidya, a snack seller outside Dadar railway station, decided to experiment. The humble vada pav is combination of batata vada and the split pav continues to be desi equivalent of the burger, that can give competition to foreign brands.

The prices range from Rs 2.50 to Rs 6 depending on the establishment. Some variations include "cheese vada pav" (where slices of cheese are added), "samosa pav" (where "samosa" is used instead of vada) and "Jain vada pav" (without  onions or garlic).

Says Gupta, “We started with the standard vada pav, with no variations, priced at Rs 5 six years ago. It was hygenically wrapped too and accounted for 80 per cent of sales, the other things available being lassi and cola. Today we have variations like Schezwan vada pav (Rs 12), Cheese vada pav (Rs 14), Chole vada pav (Rs 10) and Brown bread vada pav - low on calories - priced at Rs 7. The regular one is priced Rs 6.”

Jumbo King’s clientele  in Mumbai is largely the youth. With its college crowd and call centre employees, the vada pav should do well in Bangalore, feels Gupta.

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