The weather is so beautiful today it is raining 🙂 The atmosphere is amazing, the tree tops are drenched in rain and there is a earthy smell in the air making me nostalgic and wanting me to run back to Mumbai and dance in the rains. Somehow it feels that dancing in the rain in Mumbai will not make me look like a fool .
The rains also bring the Foodie out in me in full force making me crave for roadside food. Dabeli, Pani Puri, Vada Pav —- Man I miss home.
As the rain intensifies so does my craving for some roadside food. I am now desperate to eat Vada Pav. It is one of the most common street food found in every corner of the busy Mumbai streets.
I love it so much that the day I was moving to Perth I had 3 Vada pavs from a dodgy street vendor near my house and promptly got sick with food poisoning. But this has still not stopped me from wanting to eat it.
Vada pav is also known as the poor man’s food as you can find a cheap stall selling hot piping Vadas on every corner in Mumbai and each one is better than the other. Infact this was the staple lunch in college when I couldn’t carry tiffin from home.
So since I am a foodie and a very determined one at that. I decide to give it a try. And it turned out to be so good that I almost cried with the first bite.
Here is the recipe : (Cooking time 60 minutes, makes 12 medium sized Vadas)
For the Vadas (Potato Dumpling)
4 – 5 Big Potatoes
5-6 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
3 -4 Green Chillies (Depends on how hot you want the vadas to be)
Freshly chopped Green Coriander
1 tsp fresh Ginger paste (try using fresh Ginger if possible)
1 tsp Turmeric powder & Salt to taste
Boil the Potatoes in little water without any salt.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove the skins and mash them. Make sure that you mash the Potatoes when they are hot as they are easy to mash.
Add the salt and Turmeric powder to the mashed Potatoes and set aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds and Curry leaves.
Once the seeds start to splutter add the Ginger paste & Green Chillies. Add the Potato mixture and saute it. Then add the freshly chopped Coriander.
Keep this mixture aside and let it cool. You can make this mixture overnight and use it the next day. But do not keep it for longer as the Potato is starchy and will get all watery and mushy if kept for long.
For the Batter
2 1/2 Cups Gram-flour/Chickpea flour
1 tsp Turmeric power
1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Ajwain (Bishops Weed)
Salt to Taste
1/2 cup water or more to make a thick batter to coat the Vadas.
1 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil to fry the Vadas.
When you are ready to make the Vadas. Add the chickpea flour in a bowl, add the salt, Turmeric & Chili powders and Ajwain.
Add water to this mixture to make a smooth paste. Ensure that it doesn’t form lumps. The paste should be thick but of a pouring consistency as it has to coat and stick to the Potato mixture evenly.
Make same balls out of the Potatoes and dip them into them the Chickpea paste and let them sit for a minute or two.
Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan and make sure the Oil is hot but not burning. Put the coated potatoes in the hot oil depending on how big your pan is, ensuring you have enough space to turn them around and let them cook evenly on both sides, lowering the flame to a medium.
Once Golden Brown on both sides remove them from the Oil and place them on a kitchen towel so any excess Oil is drained off.
Serve between Buns/Pav (Indian soft bread) with some mint Chutney or just Tomato Sauce. They can be eaten on their own too.