Vada pav

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Vada Pav
A plate of Vada Pav with seasoning of red chilli powder and a green chilli.
A plate of Vada Pav with seasoning of red chilli powder and a green chilli.
Alternative namesBombay Burger, Vada Pao, Wada Pav, Wada Pao, Pao Vada, Pav Vada, Pao Wada, Pav Wada, Batata Wada Pav
Place of originIndia
Region or stateMaharashtra
Main ingredientsDeep-fried mashed potato patty, chilli peppers, garlic, ginger, bread bun

Vada Pav, alternatively spelt Vada Pao, Wada Pav, or Wada Pao, is a vegetarian fast food dish native to the Indian state of Maharashtra. The dish consists of a deep fried potato dumpling placed inside a bread bun (pav) sliced almost in half through the middle. It is generally accompanied with one or more chutneys and a green chilli pepper.[1] It originated as cheap street food in Mumbai, but is now served in food stalls and restaurants across India. It is also called Bombay Burger[2] in keeping with its origins and its resemblance in physical form to a burger.


Vada comes from the Marathi compound word batata vada, which means "potato fritter". Pav is a derivative of the Portuguese word "pão", which means bread.


Boiled potato is mashed and mixed with spices, usually with green chilli, garlic, asafoetida, turmeric, and mustard seeds. The mass is then coated in gram flour batter and deep fried. The resultant fritter is served in a bread bun, accompanied by one or more chutneys and fried green chilli.


The first man who made it was Ashok Vaidya but the story of vada pav is connected with the political party Shiv Sena. In 1966, Bal Thackeray asked his Shiv Sainiks to set-up small businesses. Among his Sainiks, there was one Ashok Vaidya who believed in Thackeray’s ideology. He started selling batata vada outside Western Railway’s Dadar Station. And one day, he just tried to put a batata vada between a pav, that he had borrowed from an omelette stall near-by and served it with a bit of green chilli and red chutney. That’s how the city got its first vada pav. In 1970, with the help of Shiv Sena, Vaidya got an official vendor license. Gradually, Vaidya made vada pav the official snack for all Shiv Sena meetings and rallies.

The most common theory of the Vada Pav's origin is that it was invented in the erstwhile mill-heartland of Central Mumbai, then known as "Bombay". The carbohydrate-rich snack catered to the mill workers of what then known as Girangaon. The combination of the potato dumpling (batata vada) placed inside a pav quickly became popular in Girangaon and later the rest of Mumbai. Despite the ethnocentrism in Maharashtra, Vada Pav is claimed to be a part of the culture of Marathis despite the concept of a sandwich (a filling of potato within slices of bread) being western.[3][4]

One of the earliest kiosks selling Vada Pav is said to be Khidki Vada Pav located in Kalyan.[citation needed] It was started in the late 1960s by the Vaze family, who used to hand out Vada Pav from a khidki (the Marathi word for "window") of their house facing the road.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "Famous Vada Pav places in Mumbai". The Free Press Journal. 30 July 2015. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  2. ^ Bhattacharya, Suryatapa (12 January 2010). "The world's best fast food". The National. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  3. ^ Graves, Helen. "Vada pav sandwich recipe". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  4. ^ Sarma, Ramya. "In Search of Mumbai Vada Pav". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 27 January 2015.