Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Vada Pav

There is nothing like vada pav! It's like a spicy mashed potato that's been deep fried. Then it's sandwiched between a mini bun. Okay, it's a North Indian dish (Mumbai), but who really cares about that, right? Here's a recipe...

Serving size - 46-8 medium sized boiled potatoes,2 cups gram flour (besan),oil for frying,salt,pav ( A kind of bun, In India it is known as Pav) - If pavs are not available, you can use any other bun. Choose the ones which do not taste sweet.

1 small piece ginger,
4-5 flakes garlic,
4-5 (or more) green chilies,
1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped),
For tempering 1 teaspoon turmeric powder,
curry leaves,
1 teaspoon mustard seeds,
2 teaspoon oil

Method :
1. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilies together into a paste.
2. Peel and smash potatoes with a potato masher (or simply use hands). Do not smash completely. Let some small chunks remain.
3. Add ginger, garlic and green chili paste, coriander leaves, and salt to the potatoes.
4. Then take 2 teaspoons oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add turmeric powder and curry leaves.Pour this tempering on the mashed potatoes and mix gently.
5. Make small balls of mashed potato mixture. (You can flatten the balls if you like)
6. Add some salt, turmeric powder and chili powder to the gram flour. Add water gradually and keep mixing with a sppon or wire whisk. Remove lumps if any. The batter should not be too watery or too thick. If lifted by a spatula, it should flow in a ribbon like consistency.
7. Heat some oil in a pan. To check if oil is properly heated, drop some batter in the oil. If the batter immediately turns soild and float on the surface of the oil, the oil is ready. Also make sure that the oil is not too hot. Otherwise, the vadas become dark from the outside before they are actually done from the inside.
8. Now dip each ball in the batter, letting the excess batter drip off and slowly add to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, else the temperature of the oil reduces which in turn slows down the frying process. Like this, deep fry all the vadas until golden. Remove on a paper towel and drain. Batata Vadas are ready.
9. For Vada Pav, split Pav keeping the base intact & spread garlic chutney or green chutney on the inner surfaces of it. Place the vada in it. Serve hot.

Tip: Instead of adding whole curry leaves, you can grind them along with the ginger- garlic paste to bring out their flavor.

Variation: Substitute 1 tsp udad dal (split black gram) for mustard seeds in the tempering.


I've also heard there is a non-veg form of this. Does anyone know what it's called and have a recipe they could share?


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