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Vada pav

Vada Pav (also spelled Wada Pav and pronounced WUH-daahh POW) is an Indian vegetarian fast food commonly eaten in Maharashtra, India, and 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 a potato-based patty. The potatoes are mashed/diced, made into balls, coated and mixed with green chillies, ginger and a tadka(tempering) of mustard seeds and turmeric. These balls are then dipped in an herb-seasoned batter made with gram flour, then deep fried. The finished vada is then wrapped in bread and served with condiments such as chutney, red chilli powder or green chillis (sometimes fried and salted). The chutneys are often made of coconut or garlic.

Vada pavs are considered a staple breakfast for many of the local people of Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, where it has been popularized as street food. The snack is sold nearly everywhere in Maharashtra and also often served at breakfast and at tea time in many of the state's small eateries and on long distance trains. The Karjat railway station is famous for the vada pavs available from vendors on it's platforms.

It is claimed that the vada pav was first made when Ashok Vaidya, a snack seller outside Dadar railway station, decided to experiment. The combination of batata vada and split pav continues to be Mumbai's sledgehammer answer to the hamburger.

The prices range from Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 6.00 (two of these can be considered a meal for the average person) 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" (where the vada does not have onions or garlic).

Several chains of fast food outlets in India specialise in vada pav including a rapidly growing chain called Jumbo King Vada Pav(see picture). Vada Pav is also known as 'wad pav' in rural Maharashtra. It is also commonly addressed as 'Garibon Ki Pav Bhaji' (poor people's pav bhaji). There is also another fast expanding chain of Vada Pav known as Goli. They are predominant in the Central Suburbs of Mumbai.

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