Vada with a hole: ID gets it right with patented spout

Sravanthi Challapalli Chennai | Updated on January 19, 2018

ID Fresh Food’s newly launched squeeze-and-fry vada pack

The product was three years in the making, and there were times when the team suggested dropping the project.

The vada is an age-old snack with an age-old problem — that of shaping it, with the hole intact!

Now, Bengaluru-based ID Fresh Food has come up with a squeeze-and-fry pack that will form the vada as the batter is squeezed through the spout. The company makes a range of readymade idli and dosa batter and other convenience foods.

Most new-generation homemakers, ID Fresh found out, had no idea how to achieve the hole in the vada.

Providing readymade batter was no solution as it’s extremely sticky, and getting the shape and size right is a messy job, PC Musthafa, CEO and co-founder, ID Fresh Food, told BusinessLine. “We realised consistency was crucial, especially in a pack with a spout. Traditionally, vada batter is ground in a stone grinder or a mixie. Replicating it with industrial-scale equipment was a challenge,” he explained. Several trials were done to ensure it had the right viscosity.

The company even experimented with ready-to-fry vada-shaped dough packed in a tray. That failed. Next came a spout through which the vada could be dispensed. What emerged was just a round blob, the hole in the centre still missing. After some modification and re-engineering of the spout, the company got it right, said Musthafa.

This product was three years in the making, and there were times when many in the team suggested dropping the project, he added.

What did the company have to keep in mind designing this pack? “Safety was a critical aspect. We had to ensure the spout didn’t come apart at any point,” said Musthafa, adding that they have patented the spout. The substrate used in the packaging supports the viscosity of the batter, and can take the pressure applied to form the vada shape.

The pack is priced ₹80 for 375 gm and can yield 10 vadas.

There are vada makers available in the market for around ₹225 and above. They consist of a container to hold the batter and a mechanism attached to it, containing a knob and a spring, to push the batter out. Is his product similar in any way?

“The two are not even comparable,” said Musthafa. The squeeze-and-fry pack can be used to drop the vadas directly into hot oil, from a safe distance.

Published on January 19, 2018

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