Ulta Vada Pav: This Upside-Down Vada Pav From Nashik Makes For A Drool-Worthy Breakfast
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During my trip to Mumbai in 2019, I made sure that I grab one Vada Pav on the last day before my flight. I also ensured I haggled for extra chutney and made sure it was one last memorable meal before I left for Delhi. Sure, there are plenty of vada pav stalls in the capital too now, but there’s always something amiss. Vada Pav was first sold by a man named Ashok Vaidya, who would set up his stall outside Dadar Station. He would sneak in a batata vada or a batter-coated, stuffed potato fritter inside a pillowy Pav or bread and serve it with chutney. Countless mill workers would throng his humble stall after work and soon, Vada Pav became the go-to snack of the ‘working class’ in the 70s. In later decades, Vada Pav attained a cult status across Maharashtra. Today, we have many variations of vada pav, like Schezwan and Cheese Vada Pav, but have you ever had a Vada pav, that is inside out?  

Nashik’s famous Ulta Vada Pav is another classic street food that you must try as and when you can. To make this snack, fresh pav is laced with a pasty mix of mashed potatoes, chillies, and garlic. A thick and liquidy batter of besan (gram flour), salt, baking soda and water is prepared using hands. The consistency of this batter is medium-thick, since it is supposed to cover the pav completely. The pav is dipped in the batter, until all the white edges are nicely coated. These batter-coated pavs are then dropped in hot oil and fried on medium flame. It is essential to fry them on medium flame so that they are cooked from the inside. The pav is fried until it gets a nice, golden brown colour and the exterior is perfectly crisp. The pav vada is served with fried green chillies and spicy red chutney, and when you tear this vada, a soft and fresh pav awaits you inside.  

Ulta Vada Pav or Pav Vada is a popular Nashik breakfast. People enjoy it with a glass of chai. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Pav Vada is more popular in Nashik than the classic Vada Pav. The core difference between these two snacks is that in the Vada Pav, you have two components in the snack, the vada, which has to be nicely stuffed with spicy potato mixture and dipped in enough batter for the vada to have a nice round and firm shape, this vada is then placed inside Pav, and served with dry garlic chutney or a pudina chutney). In Pav Vada, the effort of making a Batata Vada and shaping it is eliminated. You just have to spread the Potato mixture on the pav, dip it in the batter and fry.  

What would you prefer the vada pav or the pav vada, do let us know.