World Vada Pav Day 2019: This is how the famous snack originated

Story of origin of one of the most popular snack item of Bombay - Vada Pav

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Vada Pav is one of the most popular dish of Mumbaikars. There is hardly anyone that would have been to Mumbai and not tasted this delicacy. One can get it almost every roadside joint to some of the famous restaurants. Some like it spicy and the others with a hint of sweet. It is also available at  various price points starting for Rs. 10 to all the way to Rs 100.

Given the popularity, there are many variations of Vada Pav such as Maggi VAda Pav, Cheese Founue Vada Pav and even Chicken Vada Pav. While this snack/ breakfast option continues to be famous, very few know the story of how it originated.

The credit for the same goes to the Ashok Vaidya, who was a street vendor that stood outside the chaotic Dadar train station in the 1960’s and 70’s. Rather than just frying the mashed potatoes dipped in besan and serving them piping hot, he tossed them in a pav along with some chutney and a green chilly.

The political connect

Shiv Sena too has a hand to play in the popularity of this dish. In the 70s and 80s, Shiv Sena promoted Vada Pav as the first choice of Marathi, working class for a snack option. The party encouraged party members to set up Vada Pav stalls. Also if there were factory workers have been laid off, even for them Shiv Sena would rally in support so they could start their Vada Pav stall. It became so popular that they even have a Vada Pav branded in their party’s name – Shiv Vada.  

Even though the name and the scheme got caught in a lot of controversies when it was launched, it still continues to sell in certain places in Mumbai.

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