If you have lived in Maharashtra or visited Mumbai/Pune you will know that the city thrives on Vada Pav which is more like a desi version of burger without the cheese of course. There are vendors across every corner selling these potato fritters paired up with bread.
Vada Pav is made of two different very common items coming together to form an uncommon combination. Vada is the spicy doughnut/fritter made out of potato and Pav is bread. Its like a rustic version of a Burger without the cheese and sauce ofcourse. It is simple, hearty and yes the life line of several of the working class in the huge city of Bombay/Mumbai.
You can find the recipe of this heart warming dish below:
Boil the potatoes either with or without the skin with pinch of salt and a cover. If boiling with skin, remember to wash the potatoes after they are boiled under cold water so that gets easy to remove the skin.
Mash the potatoes well once they are boiled. It should take 10 minutes for the potatoes to be boiled well.
In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil to temper mustard seeds, green chillies, garlic and ginger. Add turmeric powder to this along with asafoetida. Do this process only on a low heat else it will burn the ingredients.
Add the mashed potatoes to the pan and turn off the heat. Coat the masala very well and allow the mixture to cool down. Season this with salt as required.
Divide the mixture into three equal parts and roll them with your hands into a flattened round shape
In a bowl, make a thick batter with gram flour/besan, water and salt. The batter should be very thick as the coating on the potato mixture needs to be thick
Add carrom seeds to the batter and season it with salt. Carrom seeds helps with digestion. It is optional of course.
In a heavy bottomed pan, add 2 cups of oil and check if the oil is hot enough. To know if the oil is hot, check with a drop of the batter in the oil, if the batter starts frying and comes on the top then the oil is hot enough, if it stays at the bottom then give the oil some more time.
Coat the potato mixture/tikki with the gram flour and add it to the hot boiling oil. Please take good care while adding the vadas to the oil as it will be very hot and we should not be causing any casualties.
Each side should take 2 mins and take it out on paper napkins to soak the extra oil.
Pair this with bread/pav with either Garlic Chutney or Mint/Coriander Chutney.
And definitely serve with hot with a cup of hot ginger / cardamom chai.
Adjust the heat in the potato mixture based on your preference. If you are making it in a huge batch and few prefer the heat of chilli, toss some whole green chillies coated in salt in oil for less than a minute and serve that along with the vada pav.