The vadapav might look like the simplest of snacks. But making the perfect patty is pretty serious business.
We recently paid a visit to the Jumboking vadapav factory in the Malad suburb of Mumbai to find out what went into making the perfect vadapav .
The factory is squeezed into a compound full of small, tiny and practically sub-atomic industries. The greasy, grimy and relentlessly noisy outfits are all spread around the burnt, unrecognizable shell of the abandoned Bombay Talkies building.
In fact, as one walks up to the factory, one may be forgiven for feeling plunging enthusiasm for that “Jumboking Schezuan Senior vadapav with Cheese”. But the factory is spotlessly clean with employees working in clean uniforms, gloves and hair caps.
The potatoes, specifically sourced from Uttar Pradesh, are first unloaded, sorted and then tipped into two large steamers fed by a central boiler. “Steaming keeps the moisture content low, compared to boiling, and the patties stay longer on our shelves without spoilage,” explains Ashish Mirani, factory proprietor.
The steamed potatoes are mashed, mixed with a proprietory mix of masalas and then taken to the third floor to be fed into a patty-making machine. The machine punches out potato patties in two sizes-senior and junior-which are then immediately cooled in the on-site cold rooms.
Each morning trucks carry the patty to outlets all over where they are cooked on the spot, slapped into a bun with sauce and handed out to hungry commuters and office goers. Some of the patties go all the way to outlets in Gujarat.
Check out the slideshow for a step-by-step guide to the process.
But before you bite into that vadapav, proud at this indigenous substitute to that McDonald’s burger, think again. Your vadapav is not as desi as you think. Stay tuned, for tomorrow we will tell you how this hardy little vegetable, key to the vadapav mind you, has a rather interesting, and international, story to tell.