Monday, December 17, 2012


My Favourite Indian Fast Food - Vada Pav

On most evenings I go for a walk in down the main road from Hinjewadi towards Aundh and on my way back I stop for relishing a piping hot Kolhapuri Style VADA PAV at a street-food eatery called THE BEST just a short distance away from Wakad Chowk, near the Water Tank. 

In my opinion this superb Batata Vada was superb is the best in Pune.

This lip smacking Batata Vada evokes, in my mind, mouthwatering memories of the inimitable CTO Vada Pav which I used to relish during my glorious Mumbai days.

To revice nostalgic memories, here is a piece I wrote more than ten years ago after a bite of my favorite Mumbai Vada Pav.


वडा पाव 


Vada Pav (or Wada Paw, if you want to spell it that way) is my favourite Fast Food. 

It is affordable and fulfilling. 

In fact Vada Pav is the ultimate Indian Fast Food - what a Burger is to America, Vada Pav is to India

Yes, the VADA PAV is truly a value-for-money Indian Burger.

I have a Vada Pav almost every day and have relished Vada Pav at countless places, and though it’s been a long time, I still have fond mouthwatering memories of my all time favourite Vada Pav – the inimitable CTO Vada Pav at Ashok Satam’s stall on the Hutatma Chowk (Flora Fountain) side of the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) in Mumbai which I enjoyed every afternoon on my way back home from office or during my evening stroll.

The Vada is served freshly fried piping hot and is crisp and crunchy on the outside. 

That is how a good Vada should be from the outside – nice and crisp, not soft and soggy like most of the fare dished out elsewhere.

The moment you bite the sharp zesty effect of the spices and greens hits you there is an abundance of tangy greens in the tasty fusion inside: green chillies, coriander, curry patta, ginger-garlic.

Don’t chew, just roll your tongue and press the hot stuff against your palate and let it dissolve. 

You will feel stimulated for sure!

The Vada is not only mouth watering, it may be nose-watering too if you have a delicate tongue. 

So might as well put the vada in a pav and savour the CTO Vada Pav gazing at the Hutatma Memorial, the Fountain and nice pretty faces in the crowd rushing by, to and from Churchgate, CSTM and the bus stops.

I wonder whether the CTO Vada Pav Stall still exists.

I also wonder if the Vada is still as zesty and delicious as it was long ago. 

Will some Foodie Vada Pav aficionado Mumbaikar let us know.

Meanwhile, can anyone tell me where I can enjoy a good Vada Pav in Pune?  

I have tasted a few so far, even the famed Joshi, Diwadkar, Rohit et al, also during ontervals while watching plays at Balgandharva etc, not to forget the ones at Karjat Railway Station too, and found them quite soggy and insipid compared to the Ashok Satam’s crisp, zesty and stimulating Vada near CTO in Mumbai. The only Batata Vada that comes close is the Best Vada Pav at Wakad.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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1 comment:

Commercial Spaces Pune said...

Interesting to know the food habits of Pune!