Indians love their street food. having a huge diversity in the Indian cuisine, the Indian platter is huge and have many dishes to offer, each state, its own specialty. This is a West Indian- Mumbai street food specialty. DSB takes a new challenge and creates a fusionistic version of the Classic, all time comfort food , Mumbai’s vada Pav !!
Vada Pav is a all time vegetarian street food dish. To me, if any dish could come near to the construction of burgers, it is this Indian renderation. Vada Pav can be simply described as a spicy, potato ball fritter sandwiched between 2 sides of a Pav bun (Indian milk buns). Usually accompanied with extra spicy, dry coconut garlic chutney, these vada pavs are my ultimate comfort food. To make it even more hot and spicy, it is also served with fried green chilies… caution : not everyone can handle it ! I for one, could not eat chilies along with this wonder food, the coconut garlic chutney was enough for me 🙂 For daring people, please give it a go … it is actually pretty awesome if u can handle the heat 🙂
This recipe actually came about as a big, real time challenge for me. If some of you have been around for a while, reading my posts,i had participated in a “one day restaurant event” and there i made a couple of Indian comfort foods where 2 of my dishes were the start attractions : Vada Pav and veg shammi kebabs.
The challenge was to serve something Indian with bursting flavours, balance of ingredients and a mouthful so that the dish was complete, filling and satisfying. I was really inspired to do some burgers when a flash came in my mind and the instant answer was “Vada Pav”. I then took my own spin to this classic and made it a notch less spicy so that people could handle it. It was awesome and the Vada pavs finished off much before i expected !! It was a huge success. Read more about the DSB’s food frenzy on restaurant day here.
Mumbai’s Vada Pav
Mumbai's Vada Pav
This dish has the following components –
- Vadas – It has further 2 components : Potato filling and Chickpea batter
- Pav Buns
- Mint-Coriander Chutney (recipe here)
- Pickled Onions (Onion rings in vinegar. Optional to use)
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp soda bi carb – This makes the batter light, fluffy and when the potato balls are coated with this batter, it will not make the vadas hard
- 1/2 cup water – The batter has to be thick
- 2 tsp hot oil
- Oil for frying
- 3 medium sized potatoes – boiled and mashed by hands
- 1/2 cup peas – boiled
- 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- 2-3 Garlic cloves – roughly chopped
- 2 Green chillies – roughly chopped
- 1 inch ginger – roughly chopped
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
- 2 tsp chopped Coriander
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon oil
For the Pav Buns*
*For the pav dough, follow the same recipe as that used to make Bread. You can find the recipe for making the bread on my blog here.
For the Pav
- After the dough has risen once, punch to remove excess air and divide into 6 equal balls and bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes. You can sprinkle sesame seeds on the bun before baking.
- Once the buns are baked, let it cool down completely.
- Slit each bun vertically and roast on the griddle/tava with butter till crisp. Serve hot. As an interesting twist, you can also convert your pav buns into garlic bread and serve with Bhaji.
For the Vada, we have 2 components, Potato filling and the batter.
For the Potato filling,
- Take a Pan. Add in Oil and bring to heat. Next add in asafoetida and turmeric.
- Grind green chilies, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste and add into the pan.
- Next, add in the mashed potatoes, boiled peas, salt and mix well so that all the spices are well incorporated.
- remove from pan and keep aside. To this, add in the chopped coriander, lemon juice, crushed roasted peanuts and mix well.
- Now with the help of a masher, mash the filling to a semi-smooth consistency. The potato filling is ready
- Take a mixing bowl and to it, add chickpea flour(sifted). Next add in salt, red chili powder, sod-bi-carb and turmeric and combine well.
- Next, to it, slowly add in the water and mix thoroughly so that there are no lumps and a smooth batter is formed. The batter should not be too thin.
Preparing the Vadas
- Divide the batter into 4 equal portions and make into balls.
- Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, pour in the oil for frying and bring to heat and keep ready.
- Once the balls are ready, dip them into the batter and make sure the balls are coated well throughout. With the help of a fork, remove the balls from the batter and put them into the hot oil and fry till the vadas are crispy and golden in color.
- Remove on a kitchen paper to absorb extra oil. The vadas are ready.
Take a pav bun and slit in half horizontally. To this, put generous amount of mint-coriander chutney on the lower half of the Pav bun. Place a vada on top of it and add some pickle onion rings on top of it. Place the top half of the pav bun on top of the assembly and insert a toothpick/skewer in through the middle of the assembly to keep the vada pav together. The DSB’s interpretation of Mumbai’s Vada Pav is ready.
These Vada pav’s were a big big hit at my Restaurant day. For the event, i did not make the Pav buns at home and instead got a bakery to do our job… we just had to make so many portions !
The twist was what was so interesting and intriguing. Since my audience were not Indians, we kept the spices a notch lower than what Indians would prefer in general. But the true delight was the introduction of peanuts and pickled onions in it which kind of picked up the whole dish and took it to a new level.
i highly recommend this dish to all non Indians to give it a go.. its decadent and so mouth watering that you would come back for seconds and maybe a third 😛 For all the lovely Indians out there try my renderation for the Indian nostalgia of amazing street foods during this wonderful monsoons ! Have fun