Genelia Deshmukh Genuinely Loves Vada Pav

Genelia Deshmukh, nee D'souza, is a well-known Indian actress who has acted in a number of Bollywood and South Indian films. She has a massive following on social media, particularly on Instagram, where she regularly shares glimpses of her personal and professional lives. Recently, on an AMA on Instagram, when asked what her favorite thing to eat was, the daughter-in-law of the former CM of Maharashtra, without missing a beat, pointed to an icon of Bombay – Vada Pav.   

Vada pav, for those who are not familiar with it, is a popular street food in Mumbai. It consists of a deep-fried potato dumpling (vada) sandwiched between two slices of bread (pav) that have been toasted with a layer of spicy garlic chutney. The dish is said to have originated in the 1960s, when a man named Ashok Vaidya started selling batata vada (potato fritters) in a pav (bread) in Dadar, Mumbai. Over time, the dish evolved into the vada pav we know and love today, and it has since become an integral part of Mumbai's culinary identity. It is like Mumbai in a morsel.   

To understand just how important vada pav is to Mumbai, one need only take a walk through the city's bustling streets. Vada pav stalls can be found on almost every corner, from fancy restaurants to tiny roadside kiosks. They are a go-to snack for Mumbaikars on the go, whether they're rushing to work in the morning or taking a quick break from shopping in the afternoon. It's carb loading at its finest. The dish is so popular that it has even spawned numerous imitations and spinoffs, from the Chinese schezwan vada pav to the vada pav burger (a vada pav stuffed between two burger buns).  

The reason for vada pav's enduring popularity is not hard to fathom. For one, it's cheap, making it accessible to people from all walks of life. It's also filling and delicious, with the crispiness of the vada contrasting beautifully with the softness of the pav. The garlic chutney adds an extra layer of flavor and spiciness, making the dish a favorite of those who love their food with a little kick. Moreover, the dish is easy to make and can be customized to suit individual tastes. Some people prefer their vada pav with extra chutney, while others like to add a sprinkling of sev (crispy noodles) for an extra crunch.  

Some of the best restaurants to try vada pav in Mumbai include:  

1.    Goli Vada Pav

This chain of vada pav joints has multiple outlets across the city and is known for serving freshly made, delicious vada pavs at reasonable prices. 

2.    Ashok Vada Pav

This tiny, unassuming stall in Dadar is said to be the birthplace of the vada pav, and has been serving the snack for over 50 years. The vada pavs here are made using a secret recipe that has been passed down through generations. 

3.    Jumbo King

 Another chain of vada pav restaurants, Jumbo King is known for its large, juicy vadas and soft, fluffy pavs. The restaurant also offers a range of interesting vada pav variations, such as Schezwan vada pav and cheese vada pav. 

4.    Aram Vada Pav

Located in the heart of Mumbai's Fort area, Aram Vada Pav has been serving delicious vada pavs since 1939. The stall is known for its crispy, flavorful vadas and soft, buttery pavs. 

5.    Vinay Health Home

Don't let the name fool you – this restaurant serves some of the most indulgent vada pavs in the city. The vadas here are made with a mixture of chana dal and urad dal, and are served with a generous helping of garlic chutney. 

Whether you prefer your vada pav from a street vendor or a fancy restaurant, there's no denying that this Mumbai snack is one of the most delicious and iconic dishes in the city.