Traditional Marathi flavour

PAV TALK

Traditional Marathi flavour

AUTHENTIC: An exterior view of the eatery. DH photos by Manjunath M S

If you want to grab a quick bite in the vicinity of Jayanagar, which is fairly healthy, won’t burn a hole in your pocket,  Rajvardhan Foods is an off-beat, but perfect choice.

The modest food joint, located at 9th block Jayanagar, next to the Big Bazaar, has surprisingly delicious and authentic Maharashtrian fare served.

Here the Vada Pavs are what burgers are to McDonalds. The place serves a host of dishes including Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Kichdi, Thalipeet and Shrikhand, that is not only god sent for homesick Maharashtrians but also for localities who relish the taste of West.

Rajvardhan Foods was started more than 10 years ago by U Dhananjay and his wife Madhuri Upasani. “This place is my husband’s brainchild, when we started out, nobody knew what Vada Pav was, and wondered why Pav was cold, but slowly over the years, the business picked up, and today, the space outside is packed by 8 pm.”
Apart from Vada Pav, which of course is a unanimous hot favourite of customers, the place serves some very traditional recipes. “Thalipeeth roti is one of them,” says Madhuri, “it is made of 10 types of flours. In summer, we serve Aamras Puri, which is also very popular. During festivals, we have special fares, in Dusshera, we make Puran Poli and Modak during Ganesh Chaturthi. I miss Maharashtra a lot, so with my cooking I want to share the spirit of Maharashtra with the people of Bangalore.”

The regular menu also includes items such as Pav Bhaji, Puri-Bhaji, Puri-Shrikhand, Parathas, Missal Pav, Dabeli etc, usually served along with sweet curd and tamarind chutney and desserts like Shrikhand, Besan Laddu, beverages like Keri Panna and Kokum Sherbet are also popular. There are home-made selections of spice powders such as onion garlic powder, peanut garlic powder, pickles, sweet and salty snacks available over the counter.

Speaking about the name of the joint, Madhuri says, “We actually consulted the astrologer, and he told us that it is good to have 13 letters in the name. My sons are named Harshvardhan and Kirtivardhan, so for me Rajvardhan is like a third child.”
She continues talking about her family, “My family immensely support this business, my kids especially. When there is a short of labour, they come and pitch in,” referring to the bright-eyed children often spotted sitting at the cash counter.

So are there any plans to open any more branches in the City? “There are customers who travel 20-25 kms just to have a Rs 14 Vada Pav, so many have requested us to start an outlet at Koramangala or Majestic. We are thinking on those lines, but if we do, it will only be for Vada Pav and Sabudana Vada.”

Food items are priced reasonably and even an extravagant meal with beverage and dessert won’t exceed Rs 80. Says Alka, a software professional, “I am crazy about the Vada Pav here, this is my second round today.”

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