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
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