It might be heresy but I’m not afraid to say it – I don’t get the Mumbaikar’s love for the vada pav. I get the utility factor of it, but at the end of the day, it’s still a freaking bonda stuck into a bun and slathered with chutney.
Now the pav bhaji, I understand. The contrast in textures, the hint of butter, the teekha, the lime carrying the weight of the spices, the way the pav mops up the bhaji… it’s all around deliciousness! (And now I’m hungry.) If ever a dish deserved acclamation, the pav bhaji is it.
The vada pav on the other hand sits there like the bonda it is (here’s my new fave chef showing you the intricacies of the ‘oloo bonda’), glumping over the poor pav and killing it entirely with its weight before scratching its way down your throat and settling in your stomach like lead. And don’t tell me I haven’t had the “right one” – it’s vada pav, not a potential husband.
If I must eat bondas, then make mine a Mysore bonda (VahChef has a version for this too!) and dunk it in some Udipi sambar. Yummy.