Shiv Sena plans to brand Mumbai’s vada-pav

November 23rd, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 23 (IANS) Mumbai’s favourite streetfood, vada-pav, will soon be launched as a brand “Shiv vada-pav”, thanks to the Shiv Sena plans.The party has roped in the burger giant McDonald’s and soft drinks major Coca Cola, to sponsor a “Vada-pav Sammelan” (Vada-pav conference) here Monday, said Maharashtra Vada-pav Vikreta Sena (MVVS) president Sanjay Gurav.

“McDonald’s will provide the bread that will be used at tomorrow’s (Monday) competition while Coca Cola will supply soft drinks to down the vada-pav,” he told IANS here Sunday.

Twentyseven vada-pav vendors from Mumbai, Baramati and Thane will take part in the competition to prepare a recipe for the branded “Shiv vada-pav”.

“The recipes prepared will be checked by our own cookery experts, taking into account various parameters like hygiene, the quality of oil, preparation methods, and consistency in the taste. Then, we shall select the final recipe which will be sold as the branded vada-pav,” he said.

At present, over a thousand outlets in Mumbai and Thane sell about 200,000 vada-pav everyday to Mumbaikars craving for a quick, cheap but filling snack.

Easy to prepare, quick to serve amd easy to down, vada-pav is essentially a type of vegetarian preparation made of boiled potatoes, dipped in gramflour batter and shallow fried.

It is served between two portions of a bun, sprinkled with a tangy red chilli-garlic powder, a green chutney paste and a helping of sweet tamarind chutney.

Mumbaikars swear by its own “burger”, which is available round-the-year. In fact, it was the first snack available on the city’s streets after the floods in July 26, 2005.

Vada-pav’s apperance on Mumbai streets dates back to era of textile mills and black-and-white movies, said culinary expert Swati Sinha.

“It first became popular among the million-strong mill workers of Mumbai early last centuries, and gradually caught on with the general public. Like our famous bhelpuri, vada-pav is now an integral part of Mumbai’s cheap but nutritious and varied street food,” said Swati Sinha, former vice-principal of Atharva College of Catering, Mumbai.

Vada-pav Vikreta Sena chief Sanjay Gurav said Shiv vada-pav was expected to be launched Jan 23 - Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s birthday. Shiv Vada-pav will cost between Rs.5-6 per piece.

However, the MVVS will avoid committing the blunders of the former party scheme - the Shiv Udyog Sena (SUS) - to provide jobs to unemployed Maharashtrian youth.

The SUS, for which funds were raised in 1996 by organising a live show by singer Michael Jackson, floundered since it did not have official permission.

Incidentally, it was handled by none other than Raj Thackeray at the height of the Sena popularity and when the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government was in power in the state.

“Initially, we are applying to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) for 100 licensed stalls at strategic locations in the city. At each stall, the expected daily sale would be around 5,000-8,000 vada-pavs,” Gurav said.

At present there is no proposal for a centralised kitchen to prepare Shiv vada-pav since it tastes better only when prepared and served hot, he said.

“But once we get the requisite funds and work out the logistics, we don’t rule out a centralised kitchen,” he said.

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