Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vada Pav

Vada Pav is a very popular street food in Mumbai. To me, it is the ultimate picnic food - no picnic is complete without it. So I made these vada pavs for my daughter's end-of-year school picnic. Traditionally the vadas (spiced potato balls covered in chickpea flour batter) are deep fried, but I have used my appe pan to fry these with only 1/2 tsp oil each. I got this idea from some internet sites and I simply loved the result. I think the savings in calories is totally worth the slight difference in texture.

Here's how I made the vadas:

2 big potatoes - boiled, peeled and lightly mashed
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp grated ginger paste
1 tsp red chilli pwd
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
some chopped cilantro

Make the tempering my heating the oil and dropping the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add the cumin seeds, turmeric pwd and ginger paste. Chopped green chilli and curry leaves can also be added to the tempering for a good flavor, but I avoid these when making the vadas for vada pav. Fry a minute. Add the potatoes, red chilli pwd, salt and sugar. Mix well to coat the potatoes with the spices. Take off heat, add the lemon juice and cilantro and give it all a good stir.

When the mix cools, shape into balls. Since I was using my appe pan for the vadas, I made small-size vadas. If deep frying the vadas, you can make them slightly larger.

For the chickpea flour batter - 1/2 cup heaped chickpea flour/gram flour, 2 tbsp rice flour, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt or to taste, pinch of baking soda. Mix to a smooth paste of dropping consistency.

To fry the vadas in the appe pan, coat the pan with little oil and heat on medium heat. Dip the potato balls in the batter one at a time and place gently in the moulds. Fry one side till golden brown (abt 3 mins), then turn and fry the other side similarly.

You can ofcourse deep fry the vadas too.

To assemble the vada pav - I have used burger buns. I smeared some green cilantro chutney (store-bought) on the insides of the buns. Spread some dry garlic chutney. Place the fried vadas between 2 slices. Since mine were small-sized, 4 fit perfectly on each bun. This worked well as I was able to quarter each bun to get mini bite-sized vada pavs.

These vada pavs were for the parent volunteers at the picnic.

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