Maharashtra’s favourite all-day meal, comfort food, famous pretty much across the world - VADA PAV!
The vada (or batata vada) is made of boiled roughly mashed potatoes tempered with spices and aromatics which is dipped in a thick besan (gramflour) slurry and deep fried.
Makes: 8 – 10 batata vada / aloo bonda
Time taken: 25 – 30 minutes
Ingredients to make Batata Vada / Aloo Bonda for Vada Pav
For the potato mix
3 medium size potatoes, boiled and roughly chopped
2 tsp cooking oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
8 – 10 curry leaves, roughly torn by hand
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
3 green chillies, finely chopped (batata vada is meant to be spicy!)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Cooking oil for frying
For the besan mix
2 cups besan / gram flour
1 cup water, or as required to make a ribbon consistency batter
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Method of making Batata Vada / Aloo Bonda for Vada Pav
Part 1: for the potato mix
Roughly mash the boiled potatoes. Add salt and coriander leaves and mix well.
Heat cooking oil in a pan on medium heat, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, grated ginger and green chillies. Once these splutter and release flavour, add turmeric powder. Mix this tadka in to the boiled potatoes, keep aside to cool.
The tadka is what adds all the flavour to batata vada, so use it well else your vadas will taste bland when served with pav.
While working on the next steps, start heating cooking oil on medium high heat in a thick bottom kadhai.
Mix all the ingredients for the besan mix. The batter should be thick enough to coat the potato balls perfectly without dripping, while forming a not-so-thick coating.
Make 1 inch balls of the potato mix, flatten slightly, dip in the besan mix and fry till golden brown.
Serve batata vada or aloo bonda hot with pav, fried green chillies, red chilli & garlic chutney or thecha and masala chai !
On a whim, I tried making a "healthier" low-oil version of batata vada by frying it in an appe (paniyaram) pan. The results were awesome, even if I say so myself! The outer covering of besan was a lot crispier than the regular deep fried batata vadas.
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