Well you say the word Mumbai the next word that automatically that comes to the mind is Vada Pav. A pillowy pav, stuffed with a golden crispy deep-fried fiery balls of chickpea-battered mashed potatoes, covered with a lick of tamarind and coriander chutneys and a sprinkling of garlicky masala. Vada pav are so delectable that they compel the perpetually in-a-hurry Mumbaikars to pause and grab one.
The soft cloud of pav and the crispy vada, with chutney and spicy garlic masala. It was a perfect contrast of tastes and textures: the chewy blandness of the pav acting as a foil to the piquant crunchiness of the vada. It has a fiery hit with the tang of both chutneys spread across my tongue. The vada pav is a delectable carb overload – an instant energy boost.
It was started way back in 1971 with Ashok Vaidya’s vada pav thela, stationed just outside Dadar station. He was the first one to envelope a crisp, hot vada with a chutney-slathered pav and serve it to a customer who was in a tearing hury. If we go even further back though, the vada pav becomes inflected with global roots – the pav’s origins can be traced back to the Portuguese, the potato vada’s to the Dutch enterprise in India.
But of course, the fortuitous marriage between pav, vada and chutney is pure Mumbai tradition and has since been adopted as the snack of the Maharashtrian masses. In fact, the snack is now so popular that there is even a Vada Pav Day every 23rd of August.
Ironically, both of vada pav’s main components – the potato and the bun – are European imports, brought into India by the Portuguese around the 17th Century. The only key ingredient originally belonging to the region – or even India – in the dish, is the besan (chickpea flour) in which the potato mix is coated before being deep-fried. Still, Mumbaikars consider the vada pav a thoroughly ‘Bombay’ (as Mumbai is still called by many of its residents) dish.
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Vada pav is known as indian burger it very similar to the burger as it also have deep fried patty filled inside the bun with some indian sauces. But burgers could not beat beloved vada pav. As it does not match the spice levels of the home-grown vada pav. The flavour of vada pav depends entirely upon the whims of the cook, with every vendor claiming to have a secret recipe or a special ingredient that makes his vada pav unique: a pinch of ground masala, or a topping of choora (the crispy crumbs left at the bottom of the frying pan) along with the vada.
I am sharing my modified vada pav recipe where I made the bite size vada pav. Here is the recipe of vada pav bites.
For the potato mixture
- Boiled and mashed potato 1 cup
- Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
- Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
- Coriander seeds 1/2 tsp
- Ginger galic chilli paste 1 tsp
- Turmeric 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves 6-7
- Lime juice 1 tbsp
- Oil 1 tbsp
- Salt as taste
- Coriander leaves 1 tbsp
- Chickpea flour 1/2 cup
- Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
- Salt as taste
- Water 1/4 cup
- Oil for deep frying
- Garlic chutney:
- Kashmiri dry red chilli 1/2 cup
- Garlic 5-6
- Black salt as taste
- Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
- Bread slices 5-6
- Butter 2 tbsp
- Mint and coriander chutney 2 tbsp
- Take kashmiri red chili take out the seeds of the chili.
- Soak the chili in warm water for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes add the chili to the blender.
- Add galic, black salt, cumin powder and blend it in smooth puree. If needed you can use 2-3 tbsp of water for smooth grinding.
- Now in a skillet heat a tablespoon of oil.
- Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, curry leaves and let it crackle.
- Now add ginger,garlic, chilli paste, turmeric and stir fry it well.
- Add boiled and mashed potato to it and mix well.
- Sprinkle salt to it and squeeze lemon juice and mix well.
- Garnish it with coriander leaves and keep it aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl add chickpea flour, red chili powder, salt and water.
- Make a smooth batter.
- From the potato mixture make the small balls.
- Dip the balls in batter.
- Deep fry the balls in hot oil.
- Cook till it becomes golden brown.
- Drain it in the kitchen towel.
- Now take the bread slice and with help of bottle cap cut the bread slice in small circles.
- Grease the pan with butter and place the bread pieces.
- Toss the bread from both the sides.
- Place the bread pieces.
- Now spread garlic chutney and mint coriander chutney on the bread.
- Place potato fritters on it.
- Serve it with deep fried green chili.