Baking Hermann
Recipes

Vada Pav

Fill a table with these and I shall commit gluttony. This popular food from Mumbai is one of my favourite examples of how the simplicity of street food delivers a complex culinary experience through layers of flavours and textures. The three different chutneys balance sweet, sour and spicy flavour notes that beautifully accompany the savoury potato patty, while the chura adds a satisfying crunch amidst the soft bun. It’s a symphony that begs to be repeated again and again.

Fill a table with these and I shall commit gluttony. This popular food from Mumbai is one of my favourite examples of how the simplicity of street food delivers a complex culinary experience through layers of flavours and textures. The three different chutneys balance sweet, sour and spicy flavour notes that beautifully accompany the savoury potato patty, while the chura…

Although the recipe seems rather long, you can quite easily get all of the chutneys done while the potatoes are cooking. The tamarind chutney and the dry garlic chutney will also keep well in an airtight container in the fridge, so feel free to make a double batch and use them in other dishes, or as an excuse to make Vada Pav again soon…

A note of warning that deep-frying the whole green chillis will cause them to spit in the hot oil. You can pierce them with a knife before to avoid them from bursting, but unless you’re very keen or well-trained with frying, I’d recommend leaving them out. If you do fry them, take a few steps back after dropping them into the oil.

serves 4

Ingredients

For the vada

For the tamarind chutney

For the dry garlic chutney

For the coriander chutney

  • 100g coriander

  • 1 green chilli

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)

For the batter

To serve

  • 8 green finger chillis (optional)

  • 8 soft bread buns

Method

For the vada, add the potatoes to a pan, cover with cold water and season generously with salt. Then bring it to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until knife tender. Drain the potatoes, leave them to cool a little, then peel and mash them. In the meantime make your chutneys as below.

For the tamarind chutney, break the tamarind into smaller pieces into a heat-proof bowl and cover with 200 ml boiling water. Leave to soak for 15 minutes, then use your hands to loosen the flesh from the fibrous strings. Place a sieve over a saucepan and strain the tamarind pulp, using a spoon to press through as much as possible and making sure to scrape the bottom of the sieve. Return the pulp to the mixing bowl and wash it with another 100 ml water. Then strain into the saucepan again. Discard the pulp, then add the jaggery, cumin, ground ginger, chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt to the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the chutney has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.

For the garlic chutney, add the peeled garlic cloves and peanuts to a small frying pan and toast until they have golden spots all over. Stir in the desiccated coconut and continue toasting until it is golden throughout. Then add everything to a food processor along with the chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt and pulse until fine and evenly red. Set aside.

For the coriander chutney, trim the lower stems of the coriander and roughly chop the rest. Trim the chilli and deseed if you’d like it less spicy, then roughly chop along with the garlic. Add the coriander, chilli and garlic to the jug of a blender along with the cumin, lemon juice, 3 tbsp cold water and 3/4 tsp salt. Then blend it into a thick chutney. You might need to give the jug a shake every now until it comes together. The acidity of the lemon juice will discolour the vibrant green chutney after a while, so refrigerate it in covered container to slow down the process.

While the potatoes are cooling off, continue with the vada. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli to a pestle and mortar and mash them into a paste. Pick the curry leaves and roughly chop the coriander. When the potatoes are ready, heat some vegetable oil in a small frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and, as soon as they begin to pop, add the curry leaves and asafoetida followed by the ginger, garlic and the chilli paste. Sauté everything for around a minute until the garlic smells aromatic, then stir in the turmeric and turn off the heat. Add the mashed potatoes as well as the lemon juice, coriander and 1/2 tsp salt. Tip it into a mixing bowl and, once cold enough to handle, use your hands to mix it evenly. Divide and shape the mixture into 8 balls, then flatten each ball into a thick potato patty.

Heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan to around 170°C. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the batter along with 1/3 tsp salt and 100 ml water. Coat 4 of the patties in the batter, adding them to the hot oil right away. Make sure that they don’t overlap or they might stick to each other. Fry the patties until golden and crisp on both sides (around 4 min), turning them every now and then, then remove with a slotted spoon onto a rack lined with kitchen paper and continue with the rest. When you’ve finished the potatoes, drizzle around 4 tbsp of the batter into the hot oil. They will puff up into light crispy bites called chura, which we’ll use as a garnish later.

Only fry the remaining chillis if you’ve done this before and are confident with deep-frying, as they will spit in the hot oil. Let the oil temperature decrease to around 160°C. Use a small knife to pierce into the side of the remaining green chillis to avoid them from bursting in the pan. Then add 1 chilli at a time and fry it until it begins to spit. Once it calms down, you can add the next chilli and so on until all the chillis are fried. Please keep a safe distance from the hot oil after adding each chilli.

Slice the buns in half, spread the coriander chutney over one side of the bun and the tamarind chutney over the other. Then sprinkle the dry garlic chutney over both. Place the vada on top followed by the chura and a fried chilli. Close the bun and serve straightaway with some more of the chutneys on the side.

As an Amazon Associate I receive a small commission from affiliate links on this page.

Vada Pav

Fill a table with these and I shall commit gluttony. This popular food from Mumbai is one of my favourite examples of how the simplicity of street food delivers a complex culinary experience through layers of flavours and textures. The three different chutneys balance sweet, sour and spicy flavour notes that beautifully accompany the savoury potato patty, while the chura adds a satisfying crunch amidst the soft bun. It’s a symphony that begs to be repeated again and again.
Active Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Mains
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the vada

For the tamarind chutney

For the dry garlic chutney

For the coriander chutney

  • 100 g coriander
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)

For the batter

To serve

  • 8 green finger chillis (optional)
  • 8 soft bread buns

Instructions
 

  • For the vada, add the potatoes to a pan, cover with cold water and season generously with salt. Then bring it to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until knife tender. Drain the potatoes, leave them to cool a little, then peel and mash them. In the meantime make your chutneys as below.
  • For the tamarind chutney, break the tamarind into smaller pieces into a heat-proof bowl and cover with 200 ml boiling water. Leave to soak for 15 minutes, then use your hands to loosen the flesh from the fibrous strings. Place a sieve over a sauce pan and strain the tamarind pulp, using a spoon to press through as much as possible and making sure to scrape the bottom of the sieve. Return the pulp to the mixing bowl and wash it with another 100 ml water. Then strain into the sauce pan again. Discard the pulp, then add the jaggery, cumin, ground ginger, chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt to the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the chutney has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.
  • For the garlic chutney, add the peeled garlic cloves and peanuts to a small frying pan and toast until they have golden spots all over. Stir in the desiccated coconut and continue toasting until it is golden throughout. Then add everything to a food processor along with the chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt and pulse until fine and evenly red. Set aside.
  • For the coriander chutney, trim the lower stems of the coriander and roughly chop the rest. Trim the chilli and deseed if you’d like it less spicy, then roughly chop along with the garlic. Add the coriander, chilli and garlic to the jug of a blender along with the cumin, lemon juice, 3 tbsp cold water and 3/4 tsp salt. Then blend it into a thick chutney. You might need to give the jug a shake every now until it comes together. The acidity of the lemon juice will discolour the vibrant green chutney after a while, so refrigerate it in covered container to slow down the process.
  • While the potatoes are cooling off, continue with the vada. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli to a pestle and mortar and mash them into a paste. Pick the curry leaves and roughly chop the coriander. When the potatoes are ready, heat some vegetable oil in a small frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and, as soon as they begin to pop, add the curry leaves and asafoetida followed by the ginger, garlic and the chilli paste. Sauté everything for around a minute until the garlic smells aromatic, then stir in the turmeric and turn off the heat. Add the mashed potatoes as well as the lemon juice, coriander and 1/2 tsp salt. Tip it into a mixing bowl and, once cold enough to handle, use your hands to mix it evenly. Divide and shape the mixture into 8 balls, then flatten each ball into a thick potato patty.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan to around 170°C. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the batter along with 1/3 tsp salt and 100 ml water. Coat 4 of the patties in the batter, adding them to the hot oil right away. Make sure that they don’t overlap or they might stick to each other. Fry the patties until golden and crisp on both sides (around 4 min), turning them every now and then, then remove with a slotted spoon onto a rack lined with kitchen paper and continue with the rest. When you’ve finished the potatoes, drizzle around 4 tbsp of the batter into the hot oil. They will puff up into light crispy bites called chura, which we’ll use as a garnish later.
  • Only fry the remaining chillis if you've done this before and are confident with deep-frying, as they will spit in the hot oil. Let the oil temperature decrease to around 160°C. Use a small knife to pierce into the side of the remaining green chillis to avoid them from bursting in the pan. Then add 1 chilli at a time and fry it until it begins to spit. Once it calms down, you can add the next chilli and so on until all the chillis are fried. Please keep a safe distance from the hot oil after adding each chilli.
  • Slice the buns in half, spread the coriander chutney over one side of the bun and the tamarind chutney over the other. Then sprinkle the dry garlic chutney over both. Place the vada on top followed by the chura and a fried chilli. Close the bun and serve straightaway with some more of the chutneys on the side.

Video

Print Recipe

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Recent Recipes

Peanut Spread

Peanut Spread

Previously, I've made tofu out of chickpeas, green peas, red lentils, black beans and, the traditional one, soybeans. Which is another way of saying that you can make tofu out of pretty much any legume. If you'd like to know more about this, check out my Any Legume...

Çiğ Köfte (Turkish Bulgur Balls)

Çiğ Köfte (Turkish Bulgur Balls)

Who would have thought that the Turkish Health Ministry would play a part in creating one of the country's most iconic plant-based street food dishes? Çiğ Köfte has long been a staple food in the southeastern parts of Türkiye. However, it is traditionally made with a...

Curry Leaves Ice Cubes

Curry Leaves Ice Cubes

Curry leaves grow in abundance in India and are easily available in most shops for a few rupees. But if you live elsewhere you might find it difficult to source them. The trouble is that curry leaves are an incredibly aromatic and delicious addition to Indian food....

Kenyan Chapati

Kenyan Chapati

These flakey flatbreads are the perfect companion to Ndengu, a rich Kenyan mung bean curry. Although called chapati, it is similar to Indian Laccha Paratha, one of the many cross-cultural influences from the Indian subcontinent that workers brought to Kenya in the...

Ndengu (Kenyan Mung Bean Curry)

Ndengu (Kenyan Mung Bean Curry)

In the 19th century, thousands of Indian workers were employed in Kenya to build a vast local railway network. They brought with them their own food culture and used ingredients and cooking methods to create dishes that felt close to home. Today, many Kenyan dishes...

Hazelnut Tofu (Hazelnut Dofu)

Hazelnut Tofu (Hazelnut Dofu)

Imagine the flavour of roasted nuts captured into a creamy pudding. That's what Hazelnut Dofu is all about. It's inspired by Goma Dofu, a traditional Japanese appetiser that is made with sesame seeds and kuzu starch. But you can follow the same method and turn any nut...

Potaje de Garbanzos (Spanish Chickpea, Potato & Spinach Stew)

Potaje de Garbanzos (Spanish Chickpea, Potato & Spinach Stew)

During my search for traditional plant-based dishes from around the world two themes reappear time and again. Religion and poverty. Both of these have long shaped food cultures towards naturally vegan options. Potaje de Garbanzos is a great example. The comforting...

Coconut Milk (1 Ingredient)

Coconut Milk (1 Ingredient)

Making your own coconut milk from scratch might seem futile. After all, it's easily available in cans in most stores. However, many brands use added thickeners and stabilisers to give the coconut milk a creamy texture that doesn't separate, and even organic coconut...

Ugali (Tanzanian Maize Meal)

Ugali (Tanzanian Maize Meal)

Across the African Great Lakes region, you'll find versions of Ugali. Most parts of Tanzania and Kenya share the same name for it, while it's known as Sadza in Zimbabwe. The Malawian version is called Nsima and was even added to the UNESCO Representative List of the...

Pani Walalu (Sri Lankan New Year Sweet)

Pani Walalu (Sri Lankan New Year Sweet)

Sinking your teeth into Pani Walalu is a textural delight as much as it is a flavourful sensation. Crispy and sweet on the outside, soft and slightly savoury on the inside, these fermented urad dal sweets are an unusual but extremely satisfying treat. They are...

Tahdig-Inspired Crispy Saffron Rice

Tahdig-Inspired Crispy Saffron Rice

Tahdig is a culinary highlight of Persian cooking. Perfectly steamed rice made better by giving it an incredibly crispy bottom layer. Traditionally, it's made with butter and/or yoghurt, but I've always been craving a naturally plant-based version of this crispy rice....

How to Bloom Saffron

How to Bloom Saffron

Measured by weight, saffron is valued more than gold. It takes 75,000 blossoms to produce 1 pound of saffron, and each individual stigma needs to be picked by hand at the prime of its season. Add to the the intense aroma and flavour of saffron and it's no surprise...