Vada Pav is a vegetarian sandwich and a popular street food from Mumbai. I have been familiar since childhood with Batata Vada or the potato patties that goes inside vada pav, as my mother used to make them very frequently in monsoon season with an assortment of chutneys.

It’s one of my most fond memories…rain pattering outside, the smell of wet soil mixing with intoxicating aroma of Batata Vadas coming hot from the wok. Then eating them dipped in herbilicious mint chutney or in spicy garlic chutney or sweet and sour tamarind chutney with a cup of masala chai.

The same potato patties when served inside a bun with all those chutneys makes a delicious, quick and easy meal. It’s astounding how many layers of flavours this simple looking sandwich has; there are toasted spices, herbs, lemon, chillies, the gooey comfort of mashed potatoes and the crispy fried gram flour crust…all encased in one little sandwich !

If you are not fond of deep frying, you can make a flat patties instead of a round ball, and shallow fry it in very little oil. Usually it’s a little bomb of heat and spiciness but you can reduce the quantity of chillies to suit your taste. This is my new movie night/ game day favourite finger food.

For Vada Pav :

For Potato Patties :
8 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch carom seeds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder ( or you can use fresh ginger-garlic paste)
1 green chilli pepper, pounded
1 teaspoon red chilli powder ( or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup coriander, chopped

For batter:

1+1/2 cup gram flour/besan/chickpea flour
A pinch salt
A pinch tumeric
A pinch red chilli powder

Oil for deep frying
1 tablespoon butter
6 green chilli peppers ( optional)
6 burger buns

This Is What You Do :

Mash potatoes, mix all the ingredients of potato patties. Divide the mixture into 6 small balls or flattened patties shape.

Mix gram flour, salt, turmeric, chillies in a bowl. Add water gradually to make a pancake like batter, neither too thick nor too thin.

Heat oil in a deep pan. Dip the potato balls in the batter, well-coated on all sides, and fry them in oil till golden and crispy on outside. Don’t over crowd the pan, fry in batches. Keep them warm.

Heat butter on a skillet. Toast the buns on both sides lightly. On the same skillet roast the green chilli peppers for 2-3 minutes.

To assemble the sandwich/vada pav, cut the bun in the middle but keep them joined at one end. Spread dry garlic chutney and coriander chutney , place an Aloo vada over it, top with a grilled chilli pepper.

For Dry Garlic Chutney :

Toast on skillet,2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons red chilli flakes or 4-5 dry red chillies. Add them to 8-9 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Process in a blender till everything is combined.
The consistency will be like wet sand not a paste.

For Green Chutney :

1 big bunch coriander ( roughly chopped), 1/2 cup mint leaves, 4 green chilli peppers, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Blend with a little water in a food processor.

Makes 6 sandwiches

8 Replies to “Vada Pav, Vegetarian Sandwich, Vada Pav Recipe”

  1. I know that many people outside Mumbai and Gujarat are curious about it but vada pav is the most third-class dish one could ever eat (sorry if I offended anyone). The vada usually tastes like chalk powder and the red chillie powder is supposed to make up for the lack of genuine flavour.

    This dish brings back nightmares for me. Not even worth a snack.

    1. Really?! Wow! I’m sure you have reasons for your opinion. Sometimes certain street foods click (or not) only because of the environment or the company you had at that moment. I make these as a vegetarian sandwich when I get bored with meaty burgers, mostly using the commonly available burger buns. And I make them super spicy – something that my entire family enjoys. Maybe some foods taste better when they are recreated at home, with all the necessary little tweaks that suit your particular taste. What do you say?! 😊

      1. The Vada Pavs made in high end restaurants and at family homes like yours (which is basically a novelty for you) are way better than vada pavs in the place of their origin – Mumbai. It’s a cheap filling snack and because of busy lifestyle, people even make a meal out of it. That’s like a horror!

        When I say, I hate vada pav, people look at me and say, “You’re a snob!” It’s not that. I just hate its taste and cheap ingredients.

        1. Ingredients make all the difference to a dish. My husband and I used to enjoy street food a lot but with deteriorating hygienic conditions now I prefer to cook all those things at home. Maybe we are more aware now as well.

          1. Sigh!

            I really haven’t had home-made food in years because I haven’t been home in years! Except for a TOTAL of 5/6 lunch/dinner invitations by considerate friends. My world mostly consists of backpackers, drunks, Westerner hippies, hustlers and even petty thieves occasionally!

            Still very much a foodie though. A lot of vagabonds/free agents like me simply give up and survive on 7-11 convenience foods or tasteless McDonald’s/KFC. Not me. I try everything out in the places I visit from amazing street food in to local beers and even haute cuisine, for example, rooftop venues with champagne served. I have tried all varieties of cuisines that exist. I’ve been to so many Michelin star restaurants. Never found out though what is the big deal about them.

            Only recently, my palate seems to have shifted gears back to crave more of Indian (and Pakistani) flavours. I am habituated going days and even weeks without Indian food. Maybe the reason I am addicted to your blog is because my taste buds are revolting, “Enough is enough.” Nowadays I’m ordering more Indian (and Pakistani) food. I had tried Nalli Nihari @a Pakistani place this Sunday. It was mind-blowing.

            Today it might be Kimchi or Vietnamese broth or Arab doner. I eat a lot of Doner because it’s the closest thing I get to the Subcontinent, cheap yet high quality food. A lot of Indian cuisine abroad is so damn expensive. The Pakistanis, in my experience, are less greedy than Indians, and keep prices more reasonable. And the portion size, far bigger. Bless them.

            Nice blog. Keep it up. Looking forward to your new additions.

          2. Hahaha! Your world sounds dangerously interesting, Subodh! 😂 You know, once a foodie, always a foodie. No matter where you go!
            I’m honoured to know that my blog tickles your tastebuds and keeps the memories of home alive for you. 😊
            Thank you once again!
            Pleasure meeting you!

          3. Oh my Gawd!

            Lagta hai tumarii duao ka asr hai. Today I finally found something decent and affordable to eat here in Jakarta through an Indian tiffin service that delivers to your address. They have no website or real address but manage to deliver everything from Gobi ka Paratha to keema pulao, masala omelette, potato curries, Dal Palak and so forth. Apparently there are a few more such decent tiffin services here. Who would have thought!

            Your brain can think way better when you get proper food which your taste-buds enjoy.

            Unfortunately I’ll be here for only 7 days more before shifting to Vietnam. It will be harder to have similar options there.

            Nice to meet you as well.

          4. I’m genuinely happy for you! What’s life without good food, after all!
            Lets hope you find something interesting in Vietnam as well. 😊

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