Yes, our Maddur Vada has a charming history. Back in the year 1917 Ramachandra Budhya was running Vegetarian Refreshment Room at the Maddur railway station in Karnataka. This is where he catered to the idli vada and pakoda cravings of many train passengers traveling between Mysore and Bengaluru.
It was April that year when Ramachandra Budhya was running a tad bit late in frying the usual pakodas for the incoming train passengers. In a jiffy, he threw ingredients together to prepare at the very least, something edible for the passengers to munch on when they arrived. Little did he know that he had created a masterpiece.
100 years later, that food item has become one of the most iconic delicacies of Karnataka – the Maddur Vada. It took the name of the village it was born in, Maddur, which sits about 80km from Bengaluru in the Mandya district of Karnataka. The snack is an extremely popular savory tea-time snack that is usually sold on trains between Bengaluru and Mysore.
Maddur Vada’s journey after Budhya
After Budhya introduced it, the snack became an instant hit. Seeing the soaring demand, Budhya’s descendants put a lot into its marketing and its popularity just kept increasing. Budhya ran VRR till 1937 before his kin took over and managed it till 1948. After that, the delicay has been in the hands of the family of HD Hebbar. His progenies are running Maddur Tiffanys now on the Mysore-Bangalore National Highway.
It is said that HD Hebbar who was in-charge of VRR till 1973 worked on enhancing the quality of the snack. The next step was serving it outside the station, which was made possible by his son, D Gopalaiah. The food was loved by members of the Mysore royal family who even visited the HD Hebbar’s canteen to taste the heavenly delicacy and had silver vessels full of the snack delivered to their doorstep. Slowly and steadily, the snack made its way to different shops around the country.
The original canteen at the station was shut down in January 2017 after competition from unauthorized vendors and the scarcity of trains stopping at the station but Maddur Tiffanyss still stands strong ever since it was set up by D Gopalaiah’s son, Jayaprakash in 1987. Jayaprakash went on to state that the snack belongs to the entire village of Maddur and not just his family, which is why they never opted for the patent of the snack.
The Ingredients of Maddur Vada
Onions for the vada, which give it the distinct flavor and fragrance, are sourced only from the state of Pune. They are blended together with rice flour, semolina, cashew nut, sliced coconut, curry leaves and masala in the right proportions to create the magic that is the crispy Maddur Vada.