Vada Pav(Mumbai style)

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Vada pav is yet another street food in India. Mostly popular in the streets of Mumbai, Vada Pav can be considered as an Indian Burger. Strangely enough, I had never tried vada pav when I was in India. I got introduced to this dish when I visited a Maharastrian family while I was in Michigan. At that time, when I didn’t know the basics of cooking, I had never thought I would ever make this delicacy by myself ever 😛

Well, last day I got some pav(unsweetened bun) from the store thinking I would make pav bhaji(which is what I usually make when I buy pav). But since I had a lot of potatoes at home, I thought, for a change, I will try making vada pav. I never thought that this dish would become a huge hit. Personally, I liked it a lot and to my surprise, without even being asked a question about it, DD came and told me 3-4 times that he really liked this thing!!! 😀 For those of you who don’t know the history, the last thing DD would voluntarily come and appreciate would be any kind of food!! So then I knew that this is one of those things that I am going to be making more often than I thought I would! And pleasantly so 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

Potato – 3 medium sized
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
Asafetida/Hing – ¼ tsp
Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Green chilli – 2 nos
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Curry leaves – 7-8 leaves
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 5-6 strands
Salt – to taste(apprx. ½ tsp)
Oil – 1.5 tbsp
Oil – 1.5 cups – for deep frying the vadas

For the batter:-
Gram flour/Besan – 1 cup
Rice flour – 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. ½ tsp)
Baking soda(Optional) – ¼ tsp
Water – a little over ¾ cup

Other ingredients:-
All the below ingredients can be bought from stores(I used home-made coriander chutney). Also, use the measurements as per your taste. I like more of coriander and dry garlic chutney in my vada pav. Those who like more sweet and sour taste, can use more of tamarind-date chutney.
-Pav
-Coriander chutney-recipe here
-Dry garlic chutney
-Tamarind-date chutney
-Chopped onion

METHOD:
1. Boil potato in a cooker/microwave and remove the peel. Mash the potato gently(Don’t make it into a smooth paste, but gently mash it to form small chunks).
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when it crackles, put cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds also splutter/get brown, add asafetida, chopped curry leaves, chopped green chilli and grated ginger.
3. Saute till ginger becomes light brown. To this add turmeric powder. Saute for few seconds and then the mashed potato.
4. Mix well so that the seasoning is spread evenly over potato. Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder to the potato and mix well. Cook for another minute or 2.
5. Remove from heat and garnish with lime juice and chopped coriander leaves. (You could get the batter ready while you wait for the mixture to cool down).
6. Once the potato mix cools down a little, make lemon sized balls with it.
7. In a deep kadai/sauce pan, heat oil for deep frying the vadas.
8. For the batter, in a bowl, mix all the ingredients listed under ‘For the batter’ section. (I had not used baking soda and it still came out well). To avoid lumps in the batter, mix it thoroughly till it becomes a smooth paste. The easiest way is to whisk the batter. The batter shouldn’t be too runny. It should be of thick consistency.
9. Dip a potato ball into the batter and coat it well with the batter.
10. Slowly drop the dipped ball into the hot oil and fry it. Fry in medium high heat. When the vada becomes light brown, you know that your vada is ready. Gently remove the vada from oil and put on a kitchen towel/cheesecloth to drain excess oil. Repeat this for the remaining balls(You can fry upto 3 vadas together).

Assembling the Vada Pav:-
1. Slice the pav/bread into halves.
2. Spread your preferred quantity of coriander chutney on inner side of either halves of the pav.
3. Pour the required quantity of tamarind-date chutney also on either halves.
4. On the bottom half, put the dry garlic chutney and chopped onion.
5. Place the vada on the bottom half and place the other half of the pav on top.

Serve with extra dry garlic chutney, chopped onion, roasted green chilli and a lime wedge on the side. Enjoy this lip smacking vada pav with loved ones.

NOTE: 1. I didn’t use baking soda for the batter. It still came out well.
2. Rice flour makes the vada crispy.
3. For deep frying, put the vadas into the oil only when the oil is heated well. If not, the vadas will drink a lot of oil. You can do a test to check if the oil is ready, by putting a drop of the batter to the oil. If the batter goes down into the oil and comes back up quickly and turns brown immediately, it means that the oil is heated well.

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