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Vada Pav with cutting chai

Vada pav, popularly known as Mumbai’s very own burger. I am sure every Mumbaikar’s favorite on-the-go snack is the vada pav!  Sathya and I, both have lived in Mumbai. The big city with diverse lifestyle, bustling streets, punctual and crowded trains and variety of local food like Pav bhaji, Sabudana Vada, Bhel puri, Bombay Sandwich, Frankie, Ragda Pattis and Vada pav with cutting chai. It’s a wonderful place to live, anyone will love to stay there! Appa always refers Mumbai as New York of India :)

Back to Vada pav, vada is made of a potato filling with green chili and garlic, deep fried in a gram flour batter and served along with a spicy garlic chutney between sliced pav (bread) and relished with hot and strong chai made with ginger and cardamom, commonly known as cutting chai in Mumbai. At our place it is a crime to have vada pav without cutting chai. It is a must!


Vada Pav, a favorite street food in Mumbai is a great evening snack. It’s a comfort food on a rainy day when the weather is gloomy and we are in no mood to do any work. A bite of vada pav, sip of hot tea with old hindi songs in background just makes us too happy and I am writing this on one such day! (I have written this for past two hours.. taking frequent breaks, often sinking into childhood memories remembering our stay in Mumbai, fun time with Swapnil and adi, my childhood neighbors with whom I used to hang out.. hit by nostalgia) Now back to work..

Serves 6

Ingredients you will need:

6 Pavs (I used store-bought pavs, can substitute potato rolls that’s easily available)

6 Vadas

Red chilli garlic chutney

For the Vada:

4  boiled and mashed (I used medium-sized red potatoes)
6-8 strings of coriander leaves
3 green chillies
3 cloves of garlic
Salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida/hing
8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

For the outer covering of vada:
1/3 cup Bengal gram flour/besan/khadala mavu
2 tbsp Corn flour
a pinch of baking soda/cooking soda
1/4 tsp chili powder
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying.

Vada Preparation:

In a mixer, make a coarse paste of coriander leaves, green chilies and garlic with a tsp of water.

Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat and add mustard seeds. As they start to crackle add asafoetida/hing, curry leaves, turmeric powder and ground coriander-chili-garlic paste. Saute for 30 seconds and add boiled-mashed potatoes and salt. Cook for a minute to make sure mixture is well mixed.

Remove from fire and set aside to cool. Divide into 6 equal parts. Shape them to rounds.

Next steps are to dip these in gram flour batter and fry.

Heat Oil for deep-frying. Meanwhile in a bowl mix Bengal gram flour, corn flour, baking soda, chili powder and salt. Add water and mix to form a thick batter, For example idli/pancake batter consistency.

Dip a round of the vada filling into the batter. Coat the mixture well and deep fry in oil till golden brown in color. Do the same for the rest.


Red chilli-Garlic chutney Ingredients and preparation:

4 Garlic
2 tbsp dried coconut/kopra or coconut powder (I use powder when I don’t have kopra)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 whole dried chillies
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and blend to a coarse chutney. Usually this chutney is in semi powder consistency but I prefer making it like any other chutney with a tablespoon of water. This helps in applying it evenly on the pav.

Arranging and serving:

Slice a pav into half and spread some garlic chutney. Place a vada and serve immediately. Spreading Imli chutney and mint chutney along with garlic chutney is optional. Try these with some hot masala chai.


Happy Cooking

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November 2017
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