With this post, my husband joins me on this blog.
If you are a Mumbaikar, you would definitely have your trysts with wada-paav. It’s an integral part of the city’s DNA, inseparable from its ethos.
I grew up in a city called Kalyan, about 45 km outside Mumbai. Now a bustling satellite city of Mumbai, Kalyan used to be a sleepy town, cut off from the Mumbai metropolis, socially and culturally. In fact, Kalyan used to be culturally more like Pune than Mumbai, though geographically it was one-thirds the distance from Mumbai to Pune by rail. The Kalyan culture was defined by the middle-class mindset; Maharashtrian ethos; mixed populace of Maharashtrians, South Indians, and few others; and presence of distinctly small-town amenities.
But one thing of repute in Kalyan was a local brand of vada-paav called as Khidkivada (meaning window vada). I am calling it a brand, because it satisfies all the conditions of the definition of a brand, which I learnt much later from business literature. A brand stands for a promise and is played out through its attributes that consistently deliver the promise of the brand.
Undoubtedly, Khidkivada is a shining example of a brand created in 1968, when it opened as a household venture with the wada being sold out of a window. Hence, the name.
Here’s the website: http://www.khidkivada.com/home.html
I can bet my last shirt and vouch that Khidkivada represents the top benchmark in all vadapaavdom. Its mixture is still a trade secret and is patent-pending and the name is trademarked since 1991. It now has outlets in Kalyan, Dombivli, and Pune. The secret mixture is available for sale and you can attempt a do-it-yourself (DIY) on the vada or make many other things out of it. The unique mixture reportedly lasts for 6 months without a change in flavor.
You will never get a Khidkivada that is cold because it turns around so fast that a lot of 25-30 vadas won’t last longer than 10 minutes. Served in a piece of newspaper with dry garlic chutney, the hallowed combination would give you a gustatory sensation that would transport you to stratospheric heights of gastronomic bliss.
The lore and lure of Khidkivada is reason enough to make a trip alone to Kalyan. You just need to hail an auto outside the station and ask to be taken straight to Khidkivada.
(pictures source: www.khidkivada.com)