Maddur is synonymous with Maddur Vade, the iconic century-year-old snack. I made a train trip to the small town Maddur to take a bite of the legendary vada.
The hawkers selling vade in trains starts 30 km before Maddur and extends to a similar distance past it, beginning at Ramanagara in one direction and Mandya in the other.
It was in April 1917 that its famous vada first appeared in Vegetarian Tiffin Room (VTR) in Maddur’s only railway station.
We were fortunate to meet the owner of Maddur Tiffanys restaurant- D.N Chathura. He is a fourth-generation descendant of H.D. Hebbar who managed Vegetarian Tiffin Room ( VTR ) at the station from 1948 to 1973. Chathura happily shared the Maddur vada story with me.
Family legend has it that on a particularly busy day, he just mixed up some ingredients and instead of making them in the shape of pakoras, which would take longer to cook, he flattened the mixture into discs and fried them. The result was a new snack that became popular as Maddur vada.
We also oversaw the preparation of Vadas deep inside the kitchen of Maddur Tiffanys restaurant.
It was a perfect bite of history spanning over 100 years. It was about how a simple vada transformed the landscape of a small town. For me, this is the real food heritage of India.