Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vada - Pav

I became Vada-Pav fan in my college days. College cafeteria served a delicious Vada-pav just for five bucks. They also had a royal version of it called Cheese Vada – Pav. Then a friend of mine introduced me to a few famous Vada-Pav joints in Ahemdabad. Later when I started working in Mumbai, it became a part of everyday food. Office cafeteria would serve it almost every Friday. I did not feel like having it in breakfast. But I did not have much of a choice and hence I would have only Vada. But they used to be so spicy that you cannot avoid bread!! Though Mumbai is an origin for Vada-Pav, I always love them better prepared in Gujarati way. In Maharashtra, they serve with plain pav and dry coconut garlic chutney. Hence it becomes very dry and I literally need juice/water to swallow it. While in Gujarat, they toast the pav with butter and serve with green chutney and garlic chutney.

So far I had always thought to use same vada as in Gujarati Alu vada. But it tasted very different than how vada-pav should be. Then I searched for an online recipe and here is my version and adapted to my taste.

Makes 20 Vada-Pavs
Preparation Time: 30 Minute
Cooking Time: 20 Minute

2 medium-large potatoes
20 pc pav **
1 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of asafetida
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp clove-cinnamon powder
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp green chili paste
¼ tsp ginger paste

For batter,
¼ cup besan
¼ tsp ajwain

Oil for frying
Butter/oil to toast the pav/bun

** Here we do not get fresh pav easily. So I use dinner rolls or hamburger buns. Even simple bread slice works just fine.

1. Boil and mash potato, keep it aside
2. Heat oil in skillet. Add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves, chili paste and turmeric powder. Stir it for a minute and pour this mixture to mashed potato
3. Add remaining spices to potatoes and mix well
4. Divide this mixture into small balls and keep them aside
5. Now in a separate bowl, mix besan, salt and ajwain. Add water and make a thick batter without any lumps
6. Heat oil in a frying pan. Dip each ball in besan batter and deep fry them on low-medium flame until light brown

How to serve,
1. Heat butter on griddle, when melted add garlic chutney (Add grated coconut to this chutey).
2. Toast bun in this mixture
3. Apply green chutney, put vada and cover the bun

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