Perfect for rainy weather, this recipe for the Maharashtrian classic comes from Chef Gaurav Kumar Chauhan
“Serve these homemade vada pav as a teatime snack along with date and tamarind chutney, green chutney and adrak chai,” says Chef Gaurav Kumar Chauhan, Indian Specialty Chef with the Sheraton Grand Palace Indore.
Maharashtrian Vada Pav
8 pav buns
Salted butter for toasting the buns
For the dry garlic chutney powder:
1 tsp oil
2 tsp til seeds (sesame)
5 dry red chillies
¼ cup garlic cloves
½ cup desiccated coconut
Salt, to taste
For the vada batter:
2 cups besan (gram flour)
¼ tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
Salt, to taste
Water, as required
For the aloo vada:
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
4 potatoes, boiled and mashed
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
2 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
Cheese cubes, chopped in small squares
- To make the dry garlic chutney, heat a pan. Add the oil, sesame seeds and dry red chillies. Once the sesame seeds crackle, add the garlic cloves and roast until the raw smell of the garlic goes away. Then add the desiccated coconut and salt to taste. Roast until lightly golden in colour and turn off the heat. Allow the garlic mixture to cool completely, then blend it to a coarse powder. Set aside.
- To make the aloo vada, heat a pan. Add the oil and, once heated, add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds have crackled, add the onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and asafoetida, and sauté until the onions soften and turn golden brown in colour. Add the boiled and mashed potatoes, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well to combine and sauté for three to four minutes. Finally, add the chopped coriander leaves, stir to combine, and turn off the flame. Set aside to cool.
- Make the vada batter while the potato mixture is cooling. To a mixing bowl, add the besan, turmeric powder, ajwain, salt to taste and a little water at a time to make a thick, lump-free batter that coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.
- Grease your palms with oil. Take a large lemon-sized portion of the cooled potato mixture. Flatten it and place a few chopped cheese cubes in the centre. Bring the edges of the potato mixture together and seal. Make a small disc and set aside. Shape and make similar cheese-filled potato discs with the rest of the potato mixture. Set aside.
- Heat the oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame. Dip and coat each of the vadas in the gram flour batter and gradually let it into the oil. Deep fry until golden brown in colour. Take care not to turn the flame too high as this will not evenly cook the batter and you might end up with overbrowned and uncooked portions. Drain the fried vadas on oil-absorbent paper and continue the frying process for the remaining vadas.
- To toast the pav buns, smear butter on them and place them on a preheated pan. Toast until slightly golden and crisp.
- To serve, smear the garlic chutney over one slice of the toasted pav bun. Place the vada between the pav to make a sandwich and serve hot.
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