Vada Pav

This is the ultimate Indian veggie burger. A popular street food all across the northern part of India, this is basically a potato vada, a deep fried potato ball, smothered with a tangy green chutney, and topped with a spicy garlic powder, between soft pav, or buns.

A friend has been making these for years and hers are the most delicious ones I’ve ever had. She was sweet enough to part with her recipe, and I’d like to share it with you. Enjoy.

I made my own pav buns, they’re super easy to make. But feel free to substitute store bought ones.

Vada Pav

For the Vada:

2 cups boiled and mashed potatoes

2 tbsp garlic ginger green chili paste (mash together 4-5 cloves garlic, a 1″ piece of ginger and a couple of green chillies)

A pinch of asafetida

A generous pinch of turmeric powder

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 onion, chopped (optional)

2-3 sprigs cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)

Vegetable Oil, for sautéing and deep frying

For the Gram Flour Batter

1 cup gram flour

A generous pinch of salt

A generous pinch of red chili powder

A generous pinch of cumin powder

A small pinch of baking soda (optional)

For the spicy garlic powder:

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

10-12 cloves of garlic, either sautéed or fresh

2 tbsp red chili powder

For the Pav/ buns:

Here’s the recipe (pav buns) from my blog to make the buns, But feel free to use store bought.

For the sweet tamarind chutney:

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 cup tamarind paste

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp black salt, or rock salt

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

For the green (cilantro and mint) chutney:

3 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 green chilli

3/4 cup plain yogurt

3 tbsp water

Salt, to taste

To make the vada:

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the asafetida and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the garlic paste and onions (if using) and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the mashed potatoes and turmeric powder. Mix well until combined. Remove from heat, shape into balls. Add the cilantro leaves, if using. Keep aside.

Mix all the ingredients of the gram flour batter together.

Heat a deep bottomed pan with vegetable oil for frying the balls.

Dip the potato balls in the gram flour batter and fry in batches until golden brown. Keep aside.

To make the spicy garlic powder: Blitz all the spicy garlic powder ingredients together to make a fine powder.

To make the sweet tamarind chutney: Heat a saucepan over medium high. Add the cumin and toast for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until a thick sauce consistency, about 15 minutes.

To make the green chutney: Blend together the cilantro, mint, lemon juice, chilli, water and salt until smooth. Stir in the yogurt. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. (This stuff tastes great just slathered on toast too, btw).

Finally, to assemble:

Split the buns in half. Spread the green chutney on one half. Top the other half with the Vada (potato patty), slather the Vada with tamarind chutney, and top with the spicy garlic powder. Sandwich with the top part of the bun. Serve. Enjoy.


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