Cook's Hideout: Maharashtra -- Vada Pav (famous Street food from Mumbai)

April 16, 2014

Maharashtra -- Vada Pav (famous Street food from Mumbai)

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 16
State: Maharashtra
Dish: Vada Pav
We are going to Maharashtra, in the western coast of India. It is the second most populous state and the third largest state by area in India. Maharashtra occupies the western and central part of the country and has a long coastline nearly 720kms along the Arabian sea.
Maharashtra is divided into 5 geographic regions: Konkan is the western coastal region. Kandesh is the northwestern region. Desh is the center of the state. Marathwada is located in the southeastern part of the state. Vidarbha is the easternmost region of the state.
Maharashtra is the most industrialized state and has maintained its leading position in the industrial sector in India. The state is pioneer in small scale industries.
Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is the capital of the State and is the financial capital of India. I have never visited Mumbai, but from what I've heard and seen in movies, it sounds like it is almost like New York -- crowded and always bustling with activity. India's main stock exchange, capital market and commodity exchange are all located in Mumbai. It is also the home of India movie industry, Bollywood.

Cuisine: Maharashtrian cuisine covers a range from being mild to very spicy dishes.
Staple Food: Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, lentils, vegetables and fruit.
Specialties: Puran Poli, Ukdiche Modak, Batata wada, Thalipeeth, Misal Pav, Bhadang, Ukad, Amti etc.

Today's Dish: Street food is one of the characteristic of Mumbai. Mumbai is known for its distinctive street foods and people from all economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds enjoy their street food in Mumbai. So I decided to make one of the most popular street food from Mumbai, Vada Pav. Other favorites include Pani puri, Bhel puri, Sandwiches, Ragda pattice, Pav bhaji etc.,
Vada Pav

I never tasted vada pav and it wasn't until recently that I came to know that it is nothing but our own aloo bonda served as a burger between buns. My mom used to make aloo bonda quite frequently and I still remember forming the aloo rounds/ balls while my mom dipped them in besan and fried them up. Those bondas sandwiched between buns slathered with spicy, sweet chutneys transform them into very addictive snack.
Vada Pav
I actually made another dish for Maharashtra a while back, but changed my mind and made this last week. Since my husband was travelling and I was making them only me and the kids, I used tha paniyaram pan to cook the bondas instead of deep frying them. Honestly I couldn't tell the difference once they were placed in the bread. All in all, this is a very filling and addictive snack.
Vada Pav

Vada Pav
For the Vada/ Aloo Bonda:
Potatoes - 2 medium, boiled and chopped
Ginger - 1" piece, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely minced
Green chili - 1~2, finely chopped
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Turmeric - ½tsp
Red chili powder - ½tsp (or more to taste)
Salt - to taste

For the Cover:
Besan/ Chickpea flour - ½cup
Rice flour - 2tbsp
Red chili powder - ½tsp (or more to taste)
Ground Cumin - ¼tsp
Baking Soda - a pinch
Salt - to taste

Other Ingredients:
Pav/ Buns - 6~8 (homemade or store bought)
Green Chutney - as needed
Date-Tamarind Chutney - as needed
Peanut~Garlic Chutney - as needed (recipe follows)

  • Make the Potato Curry: Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan; add the mustard seeds and once the seeds start to splutter, add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Next add the chopped potatoes, mix well and cook for 4~5 minutes. Mash the potatoes while mixing.
  • Add the dry masalas and salt. Mix well and cook for another 2~3 minutes. 
  • Let the curry cool completely. Then divide the curry into small lemon size balls.
  • Prepare the batter for Covering: Combine all the ingredients for the cover and mix well. Add enough water to make a amooth, thick batter.
  • Make Vada/ Bonda: Heat appam pan on medium heat. Add 1tsp oil in each of the indentations of the pan. Dip the curry balls in the batter and gently place them in the appam pan. Cook until golden on all sides. Remove onto paper towel lined plate.
  • To make Vada-Pav: Heat 2tsp butter on a tawa, add 2tsp peanut-garlic chutney and cook for 1~2 minutes. Place the slit bun on the chutney and cook for 1 minute. Remove onto a plate; add green chutney and tamarind chutney on both sides of the bun. Put a vada/ bonda on the bun, flatten it slightly and close the bun. then ENJOY!!
Vada Pav
Shingdaana Lehsun Chutney/ Peanut-Garlic Chutney for Chaats: Recipe adapted from Valli's recipe here.
Peanuts - ¼cup
Dry grated Coconut - ½cup
Garlic - 5~6
Sesame Seeds - 3tbsp
Dry red chili - 1
Salt - to taste

  • Dry roast peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds separately until nicely toasted. Set aside to cool.
  • Blend coconut, sesame seeds, garlic, salt and red chili. Finally add the peanuts and grind into a coarse paste. I had to add water because my blender refused to move without it. 
Shingdaana Lehsun Chutney/ Peanut-Garlic Chutney

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.



  1. I can die for a vada pav, this is one of my favourite since i had them in Mumbai before few years, you are making me hungry here.

  2. The next time you make these vadas, add potatoes after tempering and the add the ginger garlic paste...and see the difference in will love it..I love the way you have presented it and I know that this version must have tasted awesome hard feelings..just that I want you to try that version:)

  3. This is such a classic street food from Maharashtra! Now I know where all the chutnies go :) Looks super inviting!

  4. I remember the days I worked in Mumbai. There was a vendor close to where we lived. It is addictive. Yours have come out great. I like the idea of not deep frying them.

  5. Very tempting street food Pavani. Love those cute tooth picks.

  6. You are tempting me with your snaps Pavani. They look so so so delicious...

  7. am eating with your delicious clicks!!! so drool worthy!!

  8. Making the bondas in appay pan is so good, I make the meddu vads for both sambar and thayir vadas in that difference in the final dish....your pictures are so tempting pavani..

  9. for frying in the paniyaram pan, these bondas look great - nice and golden. love those little "burger-picks" or whatever they're called. great snack.. addictive no doubt

  10. Oh ! this is my favorite, i just want to reach out and eat this….yummy

  11. peanut garlic chutney sounds amazing

  12. One of my favorite,you made it so perfectly..Making the bondas in Paniyaram pan sounds inviting and a heallthy version too..Love those cute picks you used...

  13. That tooth pick is cute.. :) Using an appam pan for frying the vada is such a nice idea. Vada pava came out so good and oeanut garlic chutney sounds like a condiment to serve the vada pav with.

  14. Wow love it. In fact your pics are so beautiful I want to grab them all. The tootpick cute too. I love your idea of making the vadas in the paniyaram. I hate the aftereffects of frying. Will try this version.

  15. A classic and well loved chaat, I think. As usual you caught the essence of the dish thru your lens. :)

  16. Vada pav looks very tempting and love the way you have presented them dear :) Its my all time fav , you have made them in a healthy way by using paniyaram pan :) An irresistible street food from Mumbai :)

  17. Same pinch...vada pav looks wonderful !


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