Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bombay Special - Vada Pav

Bombay Special - Vada Pav

It will always be Bombay for me. Mumbai doesn't connect with me as much as Bombay does. Well, I am true Bombayite!! If you have obviously been to Bombay or lived there, you would not have missed tasting this extremely famous street food called Vada pav. It looks like an easy dish to make, I mean, after all, its just a batata vada in a water roll (pav). Actually, its quite a process to make this dish a success. First, if you are out of Bombay, missing your home, missing this delicacy, you have to emotionally prepare yourself to make this yourself and also to the fact that you are not going to be able to order it from a local food stall near your house. The next stage is when you begin to feel nostalgic about your days back then, when your dad used to get these hot vada pavs on his way home from work for the entire family, no evening walks with friends were complete without gorging onto atleast two vada pavs if not three or just enjoying it as part of your main course dinner! The last step is actually making it. You know, we had a local vendor near our house, who made the most awesome vada pav. We knew him by his first name and since we were his regulars, we had an account with him and he even gave us free home delivery! So today this post is dedicated to him.. :)
My husband loves it too, in fact that is the first thing we have when we land in Bombay. Well, I can go on and on about my love for vada pav to an extent that this may sound like an essay on it. So let me shut up and straight away go to method of making it. That is why you are here after all!

Just one more thing - since I had never needed to make them in Bombay, I never really learnt to make it back then. Now that we are away from our hometown and miss these famous delicacy, I decided to give it a try..

For Meetha chutney

You need:
1 cup of seedless dates
4 tbsp tamrind
2 tbsp jaggery/4tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp chilly powder
1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds/cumin powder

Pressure cook dates and tamrind with one and a half cup water. Let it whistle 7-8 times. Let it cool down. Grind it to a smooth paste along with cumin seeds. Strain it. Now add the chilly powder and mix well. Store in an air tight container and use it as required.

For Spicy chutney

You need:
1 bunch of cilantro
Half bunch of parsley (optional)
Half bunch of mint leaves
Half inch ginger
4 cloves of garlic
4 green chillies
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp roasted chana dal/daliya
Salt as per taste

Grind all the ingredients together to form a fine paste. Store in airtight container and use as required.

For the Vada Pav

You need:
5 potatoes boiled and mashed
5 green chillies, 5 cloves of garlic, half an inch of ginger and half cup cilantro ground to a coarse paste
Mustard seeds for tempering
Seasonings like turmeric powder, hing and salt
Half bunch of chopped cilantro

In a pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, add mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Add hing. Now add the chilly paste and saute it for 2 minutes. Now add the turmeric powder and the potatoes. Mix well, adjust salt as required. Now add the cilantro and mix it well. Let this mixture cool down completely. Then make lemon sized balls and keep it aside.

For the coating

You need:
2 cups besan
2 tbsp corn flour
3 tsp chilly powder
Salt as per taste
Pinch of hing
Soda bi carb

In a mixing bowl, add all the above ingredients except the soda bi carb. Now add water gradually. It should be a nice smooth pouring consistency. Just before frying, add the soda bi carb in the besan mixture and 1 tsp hot oil. Mix both well into the batter. Now coat the potato balls in besan with the help of a fork and deep fry till golden brown.

Take a water roll/pav, slit halfway in the middle, spread some meetha and spicy chutney. You can add dry garlic chutney as well if you have. Now place a vada in between and close the bread. Now enjoy these hot vada pavs anytime of the day! Serve them with fried green chillies as a sider.