Imagine vada pav and your mouth waters with the thought of sinking your teeth first into a soft, golden brown crust and then into a tender filling of flavourful potatoes.
Vada pav is actually a street food in India but is also served in hotels and fondly made in our homes as well. Mostly known as an Indian (veggie) burger, it is mainly popular in the state of Maharashtra, especially in the cities of Mumbai and Pune. But it is now gaining popularity the world over. Different places have their own versions of preparing and serving; it could be served with spicy green chutney, sweet ketchup or a tangy tamarind dip.
Tasty hot Vada pav recipe:
2 cups boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
½ cup Poha- (flattened rice) gently rinse the Poha in a colander or a pasta strainer. Sprinkle ¼ tsp turmeric and ½ tsp salt on it and keep aside.
1-2 green chillies-chopped into big pieces
1 tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
7-8 curry leaves
1 tsp whole coriander seeds- lightly roasted and ground coarsely
5 -6 garlic flakes- sliced
½ cup finely chopped coriander
1/3 tbsp oil for the Poha
1 ½ tsp desiccated coconut or use finely grated, fresh coconut (optional) (add more or less depending on how much you like the flavour of coconut)
1 or 2 mint leaves- finely chopped or a pinch of mint powder (optional) (since mint has a rather strong flavour, add only if you are fond of mint)
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying
Ladi pavs (Indian bread type that is square-shaped and is made of all-purpose flour. Get one pav for each vada)
For the batter:
About 1 cup gram flour (you may need more depending on how thick your batter is)
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of Baking soda
¼ tsp. hot oil
About 1 tsp. finely chopped coriander
For the batter:
Combine all the ingredients except the coriander. Add enough water to make a smooth, thick batter (a little thinner than the ones you make for your cakes) mix well so that it is free of any lumps. Now add the coriander and mix again. Keep this batter aside and prepare the vadas meanwhile. If you can prepare the batter ½ an hour before frying the vadas it would make the covering softer and fluffier.
For the Poha:
Heat 1/3 tbsp oil in a non- stick pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle add the curry leaves and the garlic. Sauté till the garlic is light brown. Add the green chilli, Poha and the red chilli powder and mix gently to combine. Shut the gas and keep this aside till it cools down to room temperature.
Prepare the vadas:
Once the Poha has cooled down add it to the mashed potato. Add the coriander seeds powder, the coconut, the chopped coriander the chopped mint leaves/ powder and enough salt and gently mix everything with your hands. Make balls out of this and dip them in the batter one by one. Make sure each ball is coated entirely with the batter. Heat oil in a pan for deep-frying and gently add the coated balls in the oil. Keep the flame on med-high and after you have added enough vadas into the pan lower the heat a bit. Deep fry and take them out when reddish-yellow. Serve them hot either with Pav, or all by itself.
Ways in which you can serve:
Slice each pav horizontally leaving one end attached (this is our traditional style of serving the snack) and stuff hot vadas; one vada in each pav.
You can relish them by dipping them in sauce or green chutney (made of coriander, mint leaves etc.) or tamarind chutney.
Or layer green chutney on one side and tamarind chutney on the other side of the pav before placing the vada in it.