There's nothing more exciting than watching two competing chefs cook up a storm. They'll sledge and slice, they'll shout, they'll use any ingredient at their disposal and add all the spices it takes to churn a dish so appetizing that you'll be literally eating out of their hands. But when its a fight over the humble vada pav, then we are talking serious business.
If it weren't for the pow-vow (pun intended) between two Masterchefs of Mumbai--Mr Fadnavis, a head chef in his cabinet and a certain Ms Shobhaa De known for her acerbic tongue--the 'Vada Pav Wars' would never have gotten this kind of publicity.
The cauldron ignited after CM and Chef Number One arbitrarily decided to compulsorily include Marathi movies on the primetime menu of theatres.
"Many feel the 'Vada Pav Wars' were in a bad taste. I beg to differ. In fact the Masterchef potboiler has ensured the vada pav moves up the food chain."
Chef Number Two found this unpalatable. De, being a Marathi manoos and a celebrity chef in her own right, had not been consulted. So she snapped her fingers and summoned for the secret sauce. And then she liberally sprinkled it and put the meat to roast.
'Devendra 'Diktatwala' Fadnavis is at it again!!! From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!,' she tweeted.
But it wasn't pungent enough, so she peppered her creation even more. 'No more pop corn at multiplexes in Mumbai? Dahi misal and vada pav only. To go better with the Marathi movies at prime time.'
Ah! That did the trick. Her famous skills to spice up just about anything had worked again.
De's delectable tweets had the Shiv Sena gather in droves outside her home. As as sign of gratitude, she was also gifted a basket of vada pav. The goodies just kept flowing in and De was not complaining.
But did she get the CM's goat? Not one to lick his wounds in a catfight as delicious as this, Fadnavis dished out his ultimate weapon. He handed his opponent a Privilege Notice. Last we hear Chef De is still figuring out the ingredients but is not complaining either. In fact, she's ready for 'The Vada Pav Wars Part 2'
Many feel the 'Vada Pav Wars' were in a bad taste. I beg to differ. In fact the Masterchef potboiler has ensured the vada pav moves up the food chain. My friend even tells me its gotten pricier!
From a creation by an ingenious entrepreneur in the 1970s the vada pav has certainly come a long way. A fare that prided itself in being called 'street food', its finally got a toehold into the gastronomically delightful platters of the bons vivants. Every aspiring chef and food connoisseur now ought to know what goes into a perfect vada pav.
And hey, the next time you are at a soiree and are served a crispy golden fritter of creamy potatoes, sandwiched in a soft bun and garnished with herbs, chutney and spices, please don't be a culinary ignoramus. On the platter is the now not-so-humble vada pav.