Batata Vada: The Indian Burger

‘Batata’ is the Portugese word for potatoes, who introduced them to India. Batata Vada is a potato dumpling, flavoured with various aromatic condiments, coated with a chick-pea batter and deep fried. It is served piping hot and that makes it all the more delicious. It is a distant cousin of the South Indian Aloo Bonda, but that is a story for another day.

Batata vada can be had all by itself, with a variety of chutneys and fried green chillies. But when it is eaten sandwiched between two halves of a pav(a type of Indian Bread), with a generous sprinkling of coriander/mint and/or tamarind chutneys , chopped onions and other garnishes, it becomes the iconic Vada-Pav.

Although it is categorised as a street food, no trip to Mumbai is complete without gorging on this lip-smacking delicacy. But what makes the Batata Vada Pav so popular. The iconic standing of this simple looking dish can be attributed to various factors:

  1. Easy on the pocket: Since it is inexpensive, it is truly the ‘common man’s’ snack. It is very popular among students who are almost always on a tight budget. It fills you up quickly without having to dole out a lot of money.
  2. Easy to carry: Ideal for the office-goer who wants to grab a snack on the go, it is very convenient to carry.
  3. The Taste itself: We Indians love spicy food. Richly spiced, served hot and goes very well with tea. What else do we want?

All these factors have contributed to a somewhat ‘cult’ like status of this Mumbai Classic. These days, it is not only restricted to the city. Many variations have now made their way in many outlets across the country. But the authentic taste developed by those little shops by the corner is really difficult to replicate.

Imagine sitting at home and wanting to eat something not too heavy on the stomach. Or wanting the perfect accompaniment to your cuppa. Voila! What better idea than a Batata Vada Pav. Check these joints serving that authentic taste that will surely make you coming back for more.

Sujata Upahar Gruh (Girgaum)

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This place is very popular among patrons for its authentic Maharashtrian flavour. It is like a slice of history. In addition to the Vada Pav, the Navrang Misal and Thalipeeth are definitely worth a try.

Aaswad (Dadar)

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This is the place to head to if you want to experience truly Maharastrian taste. Almost all the items are a burst of flavour on your palate, the Batata Vada, Vatana Usal, Misal Pav are the most popular ones. Butter and the chutneys served with the items, take the delicacies to a whole new level.

Mamledar Misal(Borivali, Kandivali)

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People throng to this place for the Vada Pav, Misal, Pav Bhaji and Kairi Panna.Their specialty is the coconut-onion Misal Masala.

Shree Krishna Batata Wada(Dadar)

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As their name suggests, their Batata Wada is simple out of the world. The Vada Pav, Kothimbir Vadi, Moong Bhaji, Punjabi samosa and Poha are highly recommended.

Navratna Restaurant (Vashi)
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It is one of the busiest family restaurants. Patrons really love their Vada pav, Masala Pav, Pav Bhaji, and South Indian delicacies. Their Kesar Falooda is not to be missed.

Maharashtrian cuisine is known for its wide variety of snacks. They are usually light on the pocket as well as the tummy. So, find the one suited best to your taste and preference. But having said that, the Batata Vada Pav remains the king of the street food variety. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this specialty fits every bill.

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