Vada Pao the quintessential Bombay street food like all true street foods is essentially a very simple dish which uses flavors which 99% people would love. What’s not to love about fried potatoes and warm bread, anyway?
Since our anando mela sees a fair amount of non Bengali navratra celebrating guests I made it a point to have two chutneys to go with my vada pao. The first a green coriander, mint chutney with no onion or garlic and the other the ‘must’ dry chutney that goes with vada pao made with red chillies and garlic.
To my surprise I ran out of Vada paos even before I finished my Sali boti and that says something. Here is the recipe for all of it.
Warning: the recipes may not be totally authentic for I do let my tongue and mind overrule most cook books.
1 kg potato – boiled peeled and mashed
Pao – I got store bought ones
Asafoetida – a tsp, I like the flavor so usually use more, you can use a pinch if not too happy with it
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Green chilli & ginger paste 1 tbsp – I omitted the use of garlic since I had navratras in mind
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves a bunch chopped fine
For the batter:
Coarse gram flour (besan) 1.5 cup
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder ½ tsp
Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
Baking soda – ¼ tsp
Mix all the ingredients for the batter together with adequate amount of water to make a smooth paste, shouldn’t be too thin. Set it aside.
Then in a kadhai heat one tablespoon oil add asafetida, turmeric powder, green chilli and ginger paste and give it a good mix. Add the the mashed potatoes and salt and mix well. Set aside to cool. Add the coriander and mash it all up again well.
Divide the potato mix into small balls of equal proportions. Heat enough oil in a kadhai for deep frying, dip the potato balls in the prepared batter and carefully drop in the hot oil. Lower flame and let fry to a golden brown exterior. Take out with a slotted spoon onto a colander or tissue lined plate.
Ideally these should be immediately put inside a split pav and had with a sprinkling of dry garlic chutney…however since I was taking them to the anando mela I chose to keep them while and did the final assembling at the venue.
Now for the chutneys:
Green chutney sans garlic:
Grind together coriander, mint, green chillies and ginger to a fine paste add salt and lemon juice to taste and you are done.
Coconut & garlic chutney:
Scrapped coconut 1 cup, dried red chillies 3-4, garlic cloves 8-10, roasted peanuts 2 tablespoon, tamarind paste 2 tbsp, salt to taste
Dry roast the coconut in a non stick pan, transfer to a plate and cool to room temperature. Dry roast the red chillies and cool. Grind together all ingredients to a coarse powder.
And you are ready to serve your vada pao both the sattvik and non sattvik way. Enjoy!
The Vada Pav picture is from google and only for representation purpose.