Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Vada Paav : Amchi Mumbai Street Food

Bollywood Fever : "Bollywood runs in your veins" That's how i am known as!!!:) Just as life is always shown as a fairy-tale in the movies, i take life as the same ! Its fun, when u sing and dance to a situation, rather than just think and crib about it ! Life is bollywood, you have all the emotions - humour, happiness, joy, thrill, fear- the list goes on !! After all, movies are inspired from real life and situations, right?

I always love to associate a situation with a song. Like just when i think of vada paav, what comes to my mind is the funniest song and dance Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dikshit danced to, in the film Hifazat. "Bata-ta Va-da"... Thats the song!!! I am sure not many know of the song, but its hilarious watching both the actors ( now superstars) dancing some real funny steps in some real funny costumes, and i wonder how they associated Batata Vada with romancing. As the lyrics go, " Dil nahi dena tha, Dena pada....Pyaar nahi karna tha, karna pada "... A must watch !!! Here is the link....

Batata Vada is a popular snack in Maharashtra. In south of India, it is is also called Potato Bonda. Batata means Potato in Maharashtrian language spoken across Maharashtra. The stuffing varies from place to place, and the vada tastes different even in different parts of Maharashtra. 

 Is it "The Indian Burger" :  Vada paav is commonly known as "The Indian Burger",but i don't like to associate Vada Paav with the burger. I feel, both taste very different. And being a true mumbaiite, i am biased towards "Vada Paav". It has such a distinct flavour, taste, and colour. It nowhere matches the burger! A few differences to state :
First and foremost, the paav and the burger buns taste so different. I think, that's what makes it unique. The stuffing is different too. Vadas have a distinct flavour of potatoes and ginger/garlic, while burgers taste more like a "patty" or a cutlet. 
The outer covering is different too. Potatoes dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried gives them a thick covering, while in burgers, the patty is shallow fried or sometimes even baked/grilled and doesn't have any extra coating.
I truly vote for not calling it "The Indian Burger". How about you?

Missing Mumbai : Every state/ region/ city have their own share of famous food and especially the street food. From the time i have shifted to New Delhi, i enjoy having the "Bunta" and the "Aloo tikki chaat", "Moong daal vada plate served with green chutney and onions ", The "MOMOS served with spicy red chutney". Each of it sounds yummyliscious...But i still miss our mumbai street food of "Paav Bhaaji", "Vada Paav" and "Daabeli". Getting vada paav in Delhi is quite rare. To add to that, the paav taste like sweet buns! Paav taste just the way they are, only in western India. So, during my visit to mumbai twice in a year, the first thing i did when i landed was to have a vada paav :)
And then, I had a chance to have it in Delhi !!! Recently, i became a member of a Food Forum and a friend from there travelling back home to Delhi from Mumbai, got me some "paav". So i decided to make "Batata vadas" right away and enjoy our Mumbai street food right here at our Delhi home :)
So, here's a special thanks to my friend Rajiv Iyer and also to hubby dearest who went and picked "The Laadi Paav" from Rajiv :)))

Ingredients :

Potatoes - 2 medium ( Boiled )
Ginger  - 1 /2 inch chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves
Green chillies - 2 (chopped finely)
Oil - 1 tsp + for frying
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp (optional)
Urad daal - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp ( Batter)
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Besan ( Gram flour) - 3/4 cup

Recipe :

Skin the boiled potatoes and mash them.
Pound the chopped green chilli, ginger and garlic using a mortar and pestle.

Add 1 tsp oil to a pan, add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the urad daal and saute for a minute till it becomes brown.
Then add chilli-ginger-garlic paste and saute for another minute.
Add the mashed potatoes, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt.
Mix it all well, and cook till the mixture becomes a thick ball.
Let it cool. Apply little oil on your palms and make 4 round balls of the mixture.

Meanwhile, combine the Besan , 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt (to taste) and add water to make it a smooth thick mixture. Make sure the mixture doesn't get too thin, so add water little by little. The mixture should be thick enough to form a nice coating to the potato balls.

Heat oil in a kadhai for deep frying the vadas. Dip the potato balls into the batter and fry them in the kadhai till light brown.

Slice a paav into half and you can add any chutney of your liking to the paav. ( Green corriander mint chutney, dry garlic chutney, coconut chutney, tomato sauce...) Place the vada in between like a sandwich.

Enjoy the vada paav along with fried green chillies for a super spicy combination.

Happy Cooking :)


Appreciate your comments, Thank you so much for for dropping by :)!!!