Mumbai is a city which never lets anyone go hungry, a city that introduced the ‘iconic’ Vada Pav as its humble, satisfying street food. Maharastrian cuisine is zesty, spicy and masaledaar and the Vada Pav fits this concoction. Train travellers and Vasaiwallahs popularly ate it as ‘ breakfast on the go.’ Today, with a hundred over kiosks and street stalls in Mumbai, the Batata vada and pav are immensely popular among college students, office workers and at Shiv Sena political party meetings. Truly, this street food has captured the hearts of every Mumbaikar!
Served in a burger style with the vada (potato ball) sandwiched between sliced fluffy, white buns that are laced with dry garlic chutney. A fried green chilli tucked in adds the fiery element of Maharashtrian cuisine.
Some of the most famous Vada pav kiosks are found near Sivaji Park, Dadar, CST Railway Terminal, Dadar’s Ruia college, MithiBai college, at Chowpatty and Juhu beach. Let’s try an easy preparation in our kitchen.
4-6 medium size potatoes
2-4 green chillies , finely chopped
fresh coriander and curry leaves (optional)
salt to taste
3-6 pods of garlic (optional)
1 inch ginger
green chillies with stem ( for frying)
2 onions chopped into quarters (optional)
4 white bread buns sliced in middle
Salted butter as needed
Oil for frying as needed
1 1/2 cup gram /Besan flour
2-3 tbsps. rice flour (optional)
salt and chilli powder as per taste
water ( about 1 cup, as required)
Prepare a green chutney of your choice.
Boil and peel potatoes. Mash them lightly add salt to taste. Crush ginger, garlic, chillies in a mortar and add this paste to the potatoes. Throw in chopped coriander and curry leaves. Add a dash of turmeric (optional). Mix lightly and make balls. Set aside.
Fry the green chillies in hot oil, taking care they may splutter and pop out on you! Set aside.
Mix the batter with dry ingredients and add water slowly, to make a thick pouring consistency batter. Heat the oil, drop a tiny amount of batter to check if it rises /fluffs. Now dip /roll the potato balls in batter , coating well and drop them gently into the hot oil. 3-4 balls can be fried at a time. Don’t worry about tail ends, let them fry, and munch them later. Set aside balls on tissue to soak on extra oil ( if particular).
Lightly butter a thick Tava or flat pan. Roll the sliced pav and heat them on both sides till light brown.
Assemble the prepared items on a paper plate ( for a street food effect)-
1-2 fried chillies, chopped onions at one side, apply chutney to the inside of the sliced bun bread. Tuck in a vada. Tap the top half of bread into place and press lightly, so keep in place. Serve and enjoy with friends.
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