Tangy street food from Western India – Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji and Kutchi Dabeli

WHAT THEHEEBEE SAYS :

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We present you with some delicious findings through our ‘Street Food’ segment. In order to bring to you these lesser known yet mouth-watering food, we keep our search active and talk to many people with an aim to get a hint about some street food joint which is worth exploring. Few of our friends residing in Electronic City mentioned us about this very very cramped joint opposite to Venkani Tech Park in Electronic City Phase-1.

“Bombay Style Vada Pav” is a small shack operating in a very very small space between a restaurant and a bakery. If you miss the crowd which is enjoying the food here, then you are sure to give it a miss. It was tough for us to find it. We spotted it by spotting a decent number of people who were enjoying the offerings.

The offerings are limited, only three things – Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji and Kutchi Dabeli. The owner – Mr. Swamy comes from a humble background and has worked several years in Bombay which is attributed to his skills in making near perfect of all the three dishes. He also runs a small bakery in which he bakes all the bread that is needed to run his shop.

We took a dig at each dish one by one. Below is our encounter.

Vada Pav :

Vada-Pav

Vada Pav originated as a street food in Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra and it has gained popularity across India and also in many other western countries where it is termed as ‘Indian Burger’! It consists of a deep fried potato patty which is sandwiched between two layers of a bread (Pav). Which is spiced with some variety Chutneys.

As told by Wikipedia – Vada Pav is believed to have been devised by Mr. Ashok Vaidya who sold street food from a stall beside Dadar Railway Station in Mumbai in 1971. Marathis embraced this dish wholeheartedly and it has now become a part of Marathi culture.

Swamy makes a decent Vada Pav near similar to the Mumbai style. The spices added to mashed potato for making Vada are very similar to what are used in Mumbai. He uses three different kind of Chutneys – Sweet and Sour Tamarind Chutney, Spicy Green Chili Chutney and signature Maharashtrian powder Chutney made out of Peanuts and Garlic. Vada Pav is incomplete without this signature Chutney and Swamy surely knows the secret of making it perfect. Chopped onions are also put in the Pav (which is little offbeat for Mumbai style vada pav) and fried Chilies are given as accompaniment. Vada Pav was just perfect in all respect and helped recollect all the memories of Mumbai.

Vada-Frying

Vada-Pav-Collage

Pav Bhaji :

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji originated as a street food in Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra and is now served in many up-scale restaurants and eateries. It is very popular across India and has many different variations as per the region and innovation skills of the cook. Essentially it is a mixed vegetable spicy curry (Bhaji) served with hot buttery bread (Pav). Onion salad & a slice of lemon are customary with Pav Bhaji.

As told by Wikipedia – Pav Bhaji originated in the 1850s as a fast lunchtime dish for textile mill workers in Mumbai.

As Swamy has worked extensively in Mumbai, he boasts about making a near perfect Mumbai Pav Bhaji. When we got a taste of his Pav Bhaji, we were highly impressed. Reminded us of the small bylanes of Mumbai and its typical small street joints serving Pav Bhaji. This is a must try dish at Swamy’s shack.

Pav-Bhaji-Making-1

Pav-Bhaji-Making-2

Kutchi Dabeli :

Dabeli-1

Kutchi Dabeli originated in Mandvi, a city of Kutch region of the state of Gujarat. “Dabeli” means “Pressed” in Gujarati. The snack consists of a spicy paste made from boiled potatoes. It is pressed between layers of bread. Spicy and sweet chutneys are also mixed along with the paste. Sev, Roasted Peanuts and Pomegranate are essentials which are also mixed as the potato paste is pressed between the bread. Finally all the four sides of the bread are roasted with butter on a tava.

Swamy picked up the skills during his Mumbai days and it was very thoughtful of him to put it as one of his offerings. This was considering the fact that Gujarati community is in good numbers in Bangalore and there are many Gujarati in the nearby IT companies. Also with a smile on his face Swamy says “Gujarati people will not mind travelling long distances for food” & so does he have customers from far-off areas of Bangalore.

Dabeli-2

We highly recommend Bengalurians to visit Swamy’s “Bombay Style Vada Pav” for his delicious street food offerings!!

 

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