Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Vada Pav Sandwiches.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It's one of the most famous Indian street foods and today, we're making it at home!
vada pav sandwich had been on my to-make list for ages and I finally got round to it before Ramadan.
And guys, when I tasted it, I immediately wondered why I hadn't made it sooner. The flavours in this sandwich are incredible and explain why this is one of the most popular Indian street foods.
Even though it's just a sandwich, there is a little bit of work involved. Let's just say this isn't your usual lunchtime cheese and tomato. This is a vada pav and to make it from scratch may seem a little daunting but I promise to break the recipe down for you. The sandwich has 4 parts - the bread roll, the fried potato ball, the green coriander chutney, and the dry garlic chutney.

For the pav, I use white bread rolls, slice them through the middle, butter, and toast until golden. The vada potato balls start with mashed potato which is spiced up before being cooled, shaped, dipped in a gram flour batter, and deep fried until crisp. While the oil is still hot, I also use it to blister a few green chillies to serve as a spicy side.
Finally, what makes this sandwich really pop are the chutneys. The first is a dry garlic chutney that is packed with toasted garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, and coconut among other things. It's more of a crumble than a chutney but is an essential part of the vada pav experience. And, to give the sandwich much needed freshness, I blend up a fresh raw coriander chutney. It is one of my favourites to have in the fridge and I love serving any of its leftovers as a dip with kebabs. A vada pav isn't an everyday sandwich but it is a real treat if you want a little taste of Indian street food in the comfort of your own home. Ooh plus it's vegetarian and vegan. Great for a meatless dinner. Enjoy!
A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Potato Filling:

1. Potatoes
2. Green Chillies
3. Curry Leaves
4. Fresh Coriander
5. Garlic Paste
6. Dried Mango Powder (Amchoor)
7. Ground Turmeric
8. Ginger Paste
9. Mustard Seeds
10. Ground Coriander
11. Red Chilli Powder
12. Salt
13. Vegetable Oil

For the Dry Garlic Chutney:

1. Tamarind Concentrate
2. Desiccated Coconut
3. Sesame Seeds
4. Ground Coriander
5. Garlic
6. Dry Roasted Peanuts
7. Dried Red Chilli
8. Vegetable Oil
9. Salt

For the Coriander Chutney:

1. Lemon Juice
2. Garlic
3. Green Chillies
4. Tomatoes
5. Cumin Seeds
6. Onion
7. Fresh Coriander
8. Fresh Mint
9. Salt

For the Batter:
1. Gram Flour (Besan)
2. Salt
3. Ground Turmeric
4. Vegetable Oil
5. Water
6. Lemon Juice

For the Sandwiches:
1. Bread Rolls
2. Tomato Ketchup
3. Green Chillies

Bismillah, let's begin!

Ok guys, do not be daunted by the long list of ingredients. I'm going to break this recipe down for you to make it easily at home. Our first job is to prepare the potato filling for our fried potato balls. Start by peeling and roughly chopping 500g Potatoes. Then, boil them in plenty of water until tender.

Once potatoes are soft, drain them well.

And, mash them up!

Next, we're going to spice up our potatoes. In a large frying pan over medium heat, place 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil. Once it's hot, add:
1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
3 Curry Leaves
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste
2 Green Chillies, thinly sliced

Stir fry for 1 minute until everything is sizzling and fragrant.

Then, add:
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Dried Mango Powder (amchoor)

Stir fry the spices for another minute until they're fragrant.

Then, add in the mashed potato.

And, stir well until all the spices are well distributed through the potato.

Finally, stir in a small handful of Fresh Coriander, finely chopped.

Remove the mixture from the heat and take out the curry leaves. We've got the flavour from them and personally, I don't like eating them whole.

Let this potato mixture cool completely before using.

Meanwhile, we can make a dry garlic chutney. It starts by heating up 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add in 8 Garlic Cloves, peeled.

Fry until the garlic until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean and place back on the medium heat. Add in 25g (1/4 cup) Desiccated Coconut and stir until it's toasted and golden. Remove from the pan.

Then, add 1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds to the pan and toast them over a medium heat until they start to pop and turn golden. 

Let all three of them cool a little before we continue with the chutney.

Then, put the coconut, sesame seeds, and garlic into a grinder along with:
1 tablespoon Dry Roasted Peanuts
1 Dried Red Chilli
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Tamarind Concentrate
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Grind until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture.

Like this! Our dry garlic chutney is done. It'll be sprinkled into the vada pav sandwiches and gives them so much flavour. If you have leftovers after the sandwiches, heat it up in a pan with some oil or butter, and use as a chutney with roti.

Next, let's blend up a coriander chutney. Guys, this is one of my favourite raw chutneys. In this sandwich, I use it as a spread but it's also great with roti or as a side to any rice dish. Plus it's also a great dip with kebabs or roast chicken.

I made mine in my jug blender and started by putting in:
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1-3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
2 Green Chillies
2 small Tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1/2 small Onion, peeled

Blend until smooth before adding in:
50g Fresh Coriander
25g Mint Leaves

Blend until smooth again and add Salt, to taste.

Our zingy coriander chutney is done!

By now, the potato filling should be cool so we can make the batter. Start by putting 150g Gram Flour (besan) in a bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon Salt.

1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric

And, 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil.

Whisk everything together!

Pour in enough Water to make ....

... a loose but still slightly thick batter.

Finally, squeeze in 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice.

Whisk it in and the batter is ready!

Then, roll the cooled potato filling into balls. I made 14 small balls but you can make them bigger or flatten them into patties.

Heat Vegetable Oil to deep fry in a deep pot over medium heat. When it's hot, dip each ball in the batter until it is coated all over and carefully drop into the hot oil.

Carefully fry the potato balls until they're golden brown and crispy. Move onto paper towels and continue cooking the rest.

An optional side dish with the sandwiches are fried green chillies. Pierce a handful of Green Chillies with a knife to stop them exploding. Turn the heat off on the oil pan and add in the chillies. The heat of the hot oil will be enough for them.

They should only take 1 minute. If they hiss and pop too much, partly cover the pot with a lid.

Once they're blistered all over, they're done!

Now that the potato balls and green chillies are ready, we can make our sandwiches.

Slice open 6 Bread Rolls and butter them. Toast them on a tava or dry frying pan until ...

... golden brown and crisp. This is optional - you just use the bread as it is but I like toasting mine.

Now, let's assemble our sandwiches. Take the toasted buns.

Spread over plenty of the coriander chutney.

Add the all-important fried potato ball.

You can add two, if yours are extra small.

I like to break mine open.

Before squeezing on some Tomato Ketchup. You may also use a tamarind sauce here too.

Sprinkle on plenty of the dry garlic chutney.

And now, we can pop on the bread lids.

Serve the sandwiches immediately with your favourite cold drink. Guys, this is one epic sandwich. It has plenty of spice and flavour. I think you're going to love it!

Vada Pav Sandwiches.

the iconic vegetarian Mumbai street food sandwich.

Prep Time: About 45 minutes.
Cook Time: About 30 minutes.
Serves: Makes 6 sandwiches.


For the Potato Filling
500g Potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
3 Curry Leaves
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste
2 Green Chillies, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Dried Mango Powder
Small handful Fresh Coriander, finely chopped

For the Dry Garlic Chutney
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
8 Garlic Cloves, peeled
25g (1/4 cup) Desiccated Coconut
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon Dry Roasted Peanuts
1 Dried Red Chilli OR 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Tamarind Concentrate
1/4 teaspoon Salt

For the Coriander Chutney
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1-3 Garlic Cloves, peeled (add to taste)
2 Green Chillies
2 small Tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1/2 small Onion, peeled
50g Fresh Coriander
25g Mint Leaves
Salt, to taste

For the Batter
150g Gram Flour (Besan)
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Water, as needed
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
Vegetable Oil, to deep fry

For the Sandwiches
6 Bread Rolls, sliced
Butter, as needed
Tomato Ketchup, to taste
Handful Green Chillies, to serve

Prepare the potato filling:
  • Boil the potatoes until cooked. Drain and mash.
  • In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once it's hot, add in mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger paste, garlic paste, and green chillies. Stir fry for 1 minute then add in salt, ground turmeric, red chilli powder, ground coriander, and dried mango powder. 
  • Stir fry for 1 minute then add in the mashed potato. Stir until well mixed then add in the fresh coriander. Give it a final stir then remove from the heat. 
  • Take out the curry leaves and set the mixture aside to cool completely.
Make the dry garlic chutney:
  • Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and fry until golden brown. Remove from the pan. 
  • Wipe the pan clean then place back onto the heat. Add the desiccated coconut and toast until golden brown. Remove from the pan. 
  • Finally, add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast until golden and starting to pop. Remove from the pan. Let everything cool a bit. 
  • Then, to a grinder, add the garlic, coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, dried red chilli, ground coriander, tamarind concentrate, and salt. Grind until you have a coarse mixture. 
Make the coriander chutney:
  • In a large grinder or blender, blend together the lemon juice, garlic, green chillies, tomatoes, cumin seeds, and onion until smooth. Add the mint and coriander before blending until smooth. Stir in the salt. 
Make the batter:
  • In a bowl, whisk together the gram flour, salt, ground turmeric, and vegetable oil. Pour in the water and whisk until you have a loose but still thick batter. Stir in the lemon juice.
Fry the potato balls:
  • Shape the cooled potato mixture into balls. I made 14 small balls.
  • Heat enough vegetable oil to deep fry in a deep pot over medium heat. Once it's hot, dip each potato ball in the batter and carefully add to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crispy before moving onto paper towels to drain. Continue with the rest of the potato balls.
Make the vada pav sandwiches:
  • To serve on the side, deep fry a few green chillies. Once you've fried the potato balls, turn off the heat. Pierce each chilli all over with a knife then add to the hot oil in the pot. Cover with a lid if it's spitting too much before removing them with a slotted spoon after 30 seconds. When they're blistered all over, they're done.
  • Butter the bread rolls and toast each slice in a hot frying pan until golden and crispy on both sides.
  • To make a sandwich, spread some coriander chutney over a bun. Add a potato ball or two and squash down a little. Squeeze over tomato ketchup and add a generous sprinkle of the dry garlic chutney. Place the second bun slice on top and serve.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your vada pav sandwiches!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast


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