Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chuck Diet and enjoy Pune Vada Pav

Vada Pav the India or more specifically Maharashtrian variation of burger is the ubiquitous snack found almost every where in Pune. I discovered today that local auto driver’s (Pawar’s) wife makes the most amazing vadas of all I had in Pune and Mumbai. When I stopped by her tiny stall opposite building Kumar Prerna in Aundh she offered me vada. It was hard to resist, especially since she took it out piping hot from oil.

The vada is a potato mash patty coated with chick pea flour, then deep-fried. There is more to a vada as told to be by my Maharashtrian domestic help and she vehemently disagrees to the vada taught on the net. She tells me ginger, garlic and green chilies are to be made into a paste. No water should be added. Heat oil in a wok and temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, asafoetida and ginger garlic chilli paste. Fry on low flame for a minute or two. To this add mashed potato and salt to taste. Keep turning till the spices are evenly mixed to this mixture and cook for a few more minutes. Add one whole lemon juice to give the mixture its ultimate zing.  
To make the batter use chick pea flour (besan), seasoned with salt and turmeric. Add a pinch of baking soda but remember just a pinch to make the batter fluffier. To make the vadas, shape little balls of the potato mixture using your palm, flatten it out and coat with batter and deep-fry in hot vegetable oil.  

Deep fried green chillies are the most essential accompaniments of vada pav. The green chillies are deep fried and doused with generous helping of salt and sometimes a dash of lemon juice.  
Chuck your dieting, split open a pav, tuck in the vada, bite into a green chilly and experience unadulterated delight.

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