Vada Pav

Mumbai’s popular street food, Vada Pav – spicy potato filling sandwiched between buns and layers of spicy garlic and green chutney!

vada pav on a black coaster with chutney bowls on the back and side

Vada Pav is one of Mumbai’s most famous food. It’s almost synonyms with the city, in fact I remember when I was in Mumbai few years back, it was one of my goals to eat vada pav! This popular street food is loved by one and all.

So what exactly is a Vada Pav? Vada = deep fried potato patties and pav = burger buns. You can say it’s kind of a potato sandwich or burger but what makes it so special is all the chutneys that go with it!

My very first memories of eating vada pav goes back to 2004. We went to Mumbai that year to celebrate new year. And we literally gorged on all of Mumbai’s famous street food like pav bhaji, tawa pulao, bombay sandwich. Oh everything was so good!

overhead shot of vada pav placed on a black coaster

I really feel that you have to go to Mumbai to get that authentic taste of all these delicacies. I grew up around Delhi and the pav bhaji or vada pav could never match up to the one in Mumbai. I realized this after I ate the real deal!

Anyway coming back to Vada Pav. This recipe has 4 main ingredients – the vada, the dry garlic coconut chutney, the green chutney and the sweet tamarind chutney. You can skip the green and sweet chutney if you have no time for it but I highly recommend not skipping the garlic chutney. It’s what makes the vada pav in my opinion.

This is a long recipe and does take some amount of prep work. But trust me, one bite into these deliciousness and it will all seem worth it!

batata vada served in a wooden bowl lined with parchment paper with chutney bowls and glass of chai in the background

 

How to make Vada Pav – Step by Step

You can make homemade vada pav in 8 main steps-

1. Make the garlic coconut chutney

2. Make the green chutney

3. Make the tamarind chutney

4. Make the potato balls aka the vada

5. Make the batter to dip the vadas

6. Fry the vada in hot oil

7. Heat up the pav (buns)

8. And finally assemble it all together!

As you can see there are multiple steps and if you don’t have time to do all of these on one day, I suggest making the chutneys in advance. This way, you only have to make the vada when you want to eat it. Saves so much time! The chutneys all stay quite good in the refrigerator for week.

Now let’s talk about each of these in detail!

Mumbai Vada Pav placed on a black coaster with glass of chai and bowls of chutney in the background

How to make Garlic Coconut Chutney

This is a dry chutney made with garlic, coconut and red chili powder. It’s supposed to be quite spicy and one of the main chutneys for the vada pav. If you guys have been following me for a while, you would know that I can’t eat very spicy food.

So the spice levels of this chutney have been adjusted to me taste. You can add more chili powder depending on how spicy you want your chutney to be.

How to make Green Chutney

The very famous green chutney is an integral part of so many Indian dishes. It’s one chutney which I always have in my refrigerator. This one for the vada pav is made with cilantro, chilies, garlic, cumin and lime juice.

You may add ginger or mint to the chutney too. I also added a little sugar to the chutney which is completely optional.

batata vada served in a wooden bowl lined with parchment paper with chutney bowls on the back

How to make Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind chutney is traditionally made by soaking the tamarind in water and then cooking the pulp with spices and water.

For this recipe, I made an easy tamarind chutney with ready to use tamarind paste. Just mix the paste with water and spices and let it boil until it thickens.

How to make Vada

Vada is made by deep frying spiced potato balls/rounds. So you start by boiling the potatoes. Once the potatoes are boiled, you mash them and then temper the mashed potatoes with simple spices like mustard seeds, hing (asafetida) and curry leaves. Then make balls out of the potato mixture and then fry them in hot oil after coating them in a chickpea batter.

How to assemble the Vada Pav

Once you have all the components of the vada pav ready to to, you start by heating up the pav with little butter. Then apply all the 3 prepared chutneys on both sides of the pav. Place the vada in between the two buns and serve with some more chutney.

Now that you know all the steps, let see how we make the very famous Vada Pav!

vada pav on a black coaster with chutney bowls on the back and side

 

Method

Make the garlic chutney

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan on medium heat.

Then add garlic cloves and fry for 1-2 minutes until garlic turns slightly brown in color. Set aside on a tissue.

To the same pan, add freshly grated coconut. Cook for 2 minutes until light golden brown.

Transfer coconut to a blender.

Add toasted garlic, salt and red chili powder.

Grind to a coarse chutney. Set aside.

Make the green chutney

To a blender add cilantro. Discard the hard stems, the softer ones are okay to use.

Add green chili, garlic, cumin powder, salt, sugar (if using) and lime juice. Add 1 tbsp water or as needed.

Blend to a fine paste and set it aside.

Make the tamarind chutney

To a pan add water, tamarind paste, jaggery, sugar, salt, red chili powder, cumin powder and ginger powder. Bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and let it boil for 3-4 minutes until the chutney turns thick and coats the back of a spoon.

Set it aside to cool. It will thicken more as it cools down.

Make the vada

Boil the potatoes until soft, peel them and set them aside. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger, garlic and green chili. Set it aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop.

Then add the curry leaves and hing and mix.

Add the crushed ginger-garlic-green chili. Cook for one minute until the ginger and garlic starts changing color.

Now add the boiled potatoes and remove pan from heat. Add turmeric, salt and mash the potatoes using a potato masher.

Add chopped cilantro and mix well.

Now make lemon sized balls out of the potato mixture. I was able to get 10 of these. Set these aside.

Make the batter

To make the batter, take besan in a large bowl. Add turmeric, salt and pinch of baking soda to it.

Start adding water, little by little to the bowl.

Whisk to form a smooth batter. You may need couple of extra tablespoons of water to reach a desired consistency. The batter should neither be thick nor thin.

Fry the vada

Heat oil in a kadai/wok on medium-high heat. Dip each potato round into the batter, coat it from all sides.

Then drop it carefully into the hot oil.

Fry the vada in hot oil until golden brown in color. Fry all vadas in a similar way. Drain on a paper towel.

Assemble the vada pav

To assemble the vada pav, toast the pav with some butter on a pan.

Then slice each pav but not entirely. It should still be attached at one end. Apply green chutney on one side and tamarind chutney on the other side of the pav. Then apply garlic chutney on top of these chutneys.

Place the fried vada in the center.

Serve the vada pav immediately with more chutney on the side!

Mumbai Vada Pav placed on a black coaster with glass of chai and bowls of chutney in the background

Vada Pav

Vada Pav is Mumbai's most popular street food! Spicy potato filling is sandwiched between burger buns and layered with a spicy garlic chutney!

vada pav on a black coaster with chutney bowls on the back and side
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 297 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 3 votes
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Ingredients

Dry Garlic Chutney

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/4 cup garlic, around 15 cloves
  • 1 cup grated coconut, use fresh
  • 3 teaspoons kashmiri red chili powder, or add more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Green Chutney

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1-2 green chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon water, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional

Tamarind Chutney

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste
  • 50 grams jaggery
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

For the Vada

  • 1 inch ginger
  • 5-6 large garlic
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing, also known as asafetida
  • 12-15 curry leaves
  • 4 medium potatoes, around 600 grams
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

For the batter

  • 1 cup besan, also known as chickpea flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water, + 1-2 tablespoons extra, as needed

Other ingredients

  • 10 ladi pav
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • butter, for toasting the pavs

Instructions

Make the garlic chutney

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Then add garlic cloves and fry for 1-2 minutes until garlic turns slightly brown in color. Set aside on a tissue.

  2. To the same pan, add freshly grated coconut. Cook for 2 minutes until light golden brown.

  3. Transfer coconut to a blender. Add toasted garlic, salt and red chili powder and grind to a coarse chutney. Set it aside.

Make the green chutney

  1. To a blender add cilantro. Discard the hard stems, the softer ones are okay to use.

  2. Add green chili, garlic, cumin powder, salt, sugar (if using) and lime juice. Add 1 tbsp water or as needed. Blend to a fine paste and set it aside.

Make the tamarind chutney

  1. To a pan add water, tamarind paste, jaggery, sugar, salt, red chili powder, cumin powder and ginger powder. Bring mixture to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to medium and let it boil for 3-4 minutes until the chutney turns thick and coats the back of a spoon. Set it aside to cool. It will thicken more as it cools down.

Make the vada

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft, peel them and set them aside. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger, garlic and green chili. Set it aside.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add the curry leaves and hing and mix.

  3. Add the crushed ginger-garlic-green chili. Cook for one minute until the ginger and garlic starts changing color.

  4. Now add the boiled potatoes and remove pan from heat. Add turmeric, salt and mash the potatoes using a potato masher. Add chopped cilantro and mix well.

  5. Now make lemon sized balls out of the potato mixture. I was able to get 10 of these. Set these aside.

Make the batter to fry the vada

  1. To make the batter, take besan in a large bowl. Add turmeric, salt and pinch of baking soda to it. Start adding water, little by little to the bowl.

  2. Whisk to form a smooth batter. You may need couple of extra tablespoons of water to reach a desired consistency. The batter should neither be thick nor thin.

Fry the vada

  1. Heat oil in a kadai/wok on medium-high heat. Dip each potato round into the batter, coat it from all sides. Then drop it carefully into the hot oil.

  2. Fry the vada in hot oil until golden brown in color. Fry all vadas in a similar way. Drain on a paper towel.

Assemble the Vada Pav

  1. To assemble the vada pav, toast the pav with some butter on a pan. Then slice each pav but not entirely. It should still be attached at one end.

  2. Apply green chutney on one side and tamarind chutney on the other side of the pav. Then apply garlic chutney on top of these chutneys.

  3. Place the fried vada in the center. Serve the vada pav immediately with more chutney on the side!

     

Recipe Notes

  1. Adjust spice levels to taste. My vada pav isn't as spicy as it should be because I can't handle lot of heat. Add more green chilies/red chili powder to spice it up.
Nutrition Facts
Vada Pav
Amount Per Serving
Calories 297 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Sodium 868mg 36%
Potassium 250mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 43g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 15g
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 6.2%
Vitamin C 34%
Calcium 10%
Iron 15.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vada Pav is Mumbai's most popular street food! Spicy potato filling is sandwiched between burger buns and layered with a spicy garlic chutney! #indian #vegetarian

4 thoughts on “Vada Pav

  1. Thanks for the recipe Manali!
    My family loves Vada Pav. Our neighborhood Indian grocer has fresh Vada pavs on weekends. But I would love to make them. I believe he only uses mashed potatoes inside the buns and not fried parties. Interestingly I had Vada pavs for the first time in the US.

    1. Welcome Anu! I love Vada Pav too, if you ever go to Mumbai make sure to try it out!! Its so good! hope you give these a try, they are easy to make but yeah take some amount of prep work. making the chutneys in advanced is a good idea, hope you enjoy them 🙂

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