Vada pav – Indian version of burger, must be one of the most loved street foods. Vada is a spicy potato mixture with a coating of gram flour, deep fried in oil. Pav is a special kind of soft bread, almost square in shape. V and I are great fans of this absolutely yummy dish from our college days in Belgaum. Somehow I was always hesitant to try vada pav as I was not too sure. I thought it had a very elaborate procedure. Finally yesterday I made it. I had invited few of our friends for a small vada pav party. It became an instant hit.
The chutneys for this were very easy to make. I made all the three chutneys even though the green chutney and the red garlic chutney are the most frequently used ones. Sweet chutney is not always a part of it. But I remember eating it in Belgaum. It suited very well for our party because many of us cannot take very hot food and the red and green chutneys are quite hot. I went with my instincts and few other chaats I have made in the past, since when I searched in the internet, there were so many different recipes for all these chutneys.
3 cups boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes (that is about 4 big potatoes)
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn ginger garlic paste
2 green chilies
3-4 strands coriander leaves
1/2 cup chopped onion
A pinch turmeric
Heat a little oil and add mustard, cumin seeds. When it starts popping, add curry leaves, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, onions and fry till onions turn translucent. Add the potatoes, turmeric, salt and mix well. If there are any big pieces of potatoes, add a little water and close and cook for few minutes, then mash and mixed well.
Add chopped coriander leaves and mix. Let it cool a bit.
1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
1 tbl spn rice flour (added for crispiness)
1/2 tea spn chili powder
Mix all the above ingredients with water to make a smooth paste. As soon as water it added to the flours, it starts becoming lumps, so mix it with hand to remove lumps or use a egg whisk. Do not make it too thin, the coating does not hold on to the stuffing it is too thin.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Make a ping-pong ball sized round from the stuffing. Dip the ball into the coating batter and deep fry in hot oil. Take out on a paper towel.
9-10 strands coriander leaves
Few mint leaves (optional, I didn’t use it)
3 green chilies
1″ piece ginger (optional)
Grind all to a smooth paste. Do not make too watery.
1 cup dried coconut (or dessicated coconut)
2 tbl spns chili powder
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract or 1-2 pieces of tamarind (optional, added for tanginess)
Dry roast coconut and tamarind till it turns slightly brownish. Grind together with all other ingredients. This is dry powder, so do not add water. It can be stored in air tight containers for about a month.
Sweet chutney :
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract or about 4-5 pieces of tamarind
1/2 tea spn jaggery(optional, added only if sweetness of dates is not enough)
Soak dates in warm water for about 30mins. Take out seeds (better yet, use seedless dates). Grind with all other ingredients.
Making vada pav:
Take a pav (I used Savory butter rolls from King’s Hawaiian, which are slightly smaller than the actual pav). Cut open the rolls horizontally, taking care one end is still connected.
Apply three chutneys to pav as desired.
Slightly press the vada to flatten it.
Keep it on one half of the pav and cover with other half. Slightly press down.
Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 40mins
PS: I have mentioned the amount of chilies according to my taste. Make changes to suit your taste. Even though in actual vada pav, one end of pav is kept intact, I have cut it into two for taking pictures because the pav was too small.