Vada Pao: Bombay on the go

I realised that no food blog from Bombay can be complete without a note on the city's signature snack, Vada Pao.

This is a roadside snack which nourishes Bombay's teeming busybees. I used to have it at a stall outside LIC Building when I used to work at Nariman Point as I walked back to Churchgate Station. Those guys made some of the best vada paos. They would serve the vadas straight out of the frying pans..

'Vada' is the round yellow coloured thingie in the picture. It is a slightly mashed potato patty spiced with mustard seeds, red chilly powder and turmeric and deep fried in a gram flour batter. This is then put into the 'pao' which a slightly coarse local bun. This is seasoned with a bit chutney and chilly powder and is often served with fried green chillies and is served in an old newspaper.

Off late there have been a few who (e.g. Jumbo Vada Pao0 have tried to build a business model inspire by burger chains.

However, in its purest form vada paos have to be had from roadside sellers, when they are piping hot. One is enough to fuel one till one's destination.

So here's to the hot dogs of Mumbai.