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Maddur Vada | 100 Tasty Years & Going Strong!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Maddur Vada turned 100 tasty years on 20 April 2017. We read few articles on the iconic crispy snack reaching a century.

As travellers, we are avid foodies too. We love to eat whatever is available local. Travelling in India is always a gourmets’s delight and we love it for that.

There are many eatables in India which are named after their place of origin. For example you have Dharwad peda, Tirunelveli Halwa, Davanagere Benne Dose, Hyderabadi Biryani, Mysore pak etc. Maddur vada is one among them.

It was surprising to hear that it has been 100 years since Maddur vada was invented in a small railway restaurant in Maddur in 1917. Let us hear from Poorna who always keep talking about his experiences of Maddur and its famous vada.

Over to him……

My memories go back 40 years. It was a ritual for us to visit relatives in Mysore once a month. Dad being in Railways the journey was always by train. Courtesy free railway pass!

It was the era of steam locomotives and it was a single track. Life was slow and the leisurely journey to Mysore took four hours with stops at major towns.

My early memories of Maddur is that of the  Chamundi express driven by a steam locomotive coming to a screeching halt at the station. Maddur railway station being “Crossing station” which means the train has to wait for the train in opposite direction to arrive to get a “clear signal” to proceed. This was also the “watering station”. A steam locomotive needed periodic refilling of water and some stations were identified as “watering stations”.

Both this meant that the train halted here for almost for 30 minutes. Enough time to fetch the Maddur vada and Idlis from the Vegetarian Refreshment Room (VRR) in the railway station!

maddur vada

Maddur railway station.

As soon as the train stopped, everyone rushed to the VRR or Vegetarian refreshment Room where Maddur vada and Idlis were sold. We didn’t want to buy it from their platform vendor as the one sold in VRR was always fresh! As this was a morning train, the arrival at Maddur around 8.30 AM was apt for breakfast. After a bit of jostling and pushing, we used to be back to our seats with three idlis and two Maddur vadas with chutney on a plantain leaf!

maddur vada

The platform vendor.

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The VRR which downed its shutters last month.

As the train started we savoured soft idlis and crispy Maddur vadas. My dad once took us inside the kitchen to show us how the Maddur vada was prepared. The fact that my grand dad was once the Station master in Maddur was useful as the owner of the VRR knew him. A small dingy kitchen with fire wood burners with huge kadais. The cook prepared the the crispy vadas. Since the trains were few, the the number of vadas prepared were also not large. Advantage of Maddur vada is that it retains its crispiness hours after it is prepared. That helped.

maddur vada

Fresh and crispy Maddur vada. Yummy indeed!

From then on, i have been hooked to Maddur vada. It is a ritual to halt at Maddur Tiffanys whenever we travel to Mysore. To eat a couple with chutney and then to pack some to savour at home.

The Iconic VRR which was managed by the family which also runs Maddur Tiffanys, downed its shutters in April. It is sad that you will never be able to eat Maddur vada on trains anymore. Thus the only place where you can get authentic Maddur Vada now is at Maddur Tiffanys. Many people have tried to copy the recipe but you will never get the same taste of the vada you get in Maddur Tiffanys.

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Maddur Tiffanys on Bangalore – Mysore highway.

Next time around when you are travelling to Mysore, don’t forget to stop at Maddur Tifannys and savour few crispy, tasty vadas. If you are going towards Mysore, it is just before Maddur town on the right side. If you are driving towards Bangalore then it is after the Maddur town on the left.

Our advice, don’t eat it anywhere else. Maddur vada should be eaten in Maddur Tiffanys. At other places, it is only in the name. Not the taste.

What has been your memories of the tasty snack? Please do share it with us.

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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