Baked Vada Pav, a Scrumptious Indian Street Food of Soft Buns baked with a Spicy Potato Filling, will transport you to the streets of Mumbai!
What is it about carbs that makes them so delicious to tuck into on a cold winter day? Bread and potatoes, humble ingredients, yet on the right kind of day, they can be all that you need to warm your heart.
Back home in Mumbai, it never got really cold. Yet carbs are an important part of the diet in the Indian subcontinent. Wheat-based in the northern part of the country and rice in the south. There was plenty of protein too, in the form of lentils, beans and meat, but the largest part of the meal was carbs.
One of my favorite carby foods ever is the humble Vada Pav. An iconic Mumbai Street Food, also known as the Indian Burger, it is a humble snack of a deep-fried potato fritter, the Batata Vada, stuffed into a bun, the Pav.
So simple, yet so delicious! It is the poor man’s lunch and dinner. It is the college student’s meal on the go, grabbed between lectures and cramming sessions.
It is one of my biggest guilty pleasures and usually one of the first things I eat, as soon as I step off the plane in Mumbai.
This time last year, I was in Mumbai, and as reminded by Facebook, enjoying a Vada Pav. When that image popped up on my phone screen, I grew a bit desperate and had to re-create the Vada Pav magic at home.
Instead of making separate Batata Vada and Pavs, I remembered trying a Baked Vada Pav in Cafe Coffee Day in Mumbai last year and that is what I went for here. No deep-frying needed and it also saves a bit of time.
Forgive these pictures though, if you can. They were taken when the sun had already set and they do not do justice to the deliciousness that is Baked Vada Pav!
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- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 12 grams Fresh Yeast or 1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- Salt to taste
- 3 large Potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
- 2 teaspoons Oil
- ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 sprig Curry Leaves
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
- 1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped Ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped Garlic
- 1 small Onion, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- A small bunch Cilantro, finely chopped
- 4 teaspoons Red Chilli, Peanut and Garlic Chutney (recipe link below)
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- 2 teaspoons Milk
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds (optional)
- A few Cilantro leaves (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl take ½ cup warm water and sugar. Add the yeast, mix well and allow to activate. This should take about 4-5 minutes,
- Sift in the flour into the bowl. Add salt and knead by hand for about 7-10 minutes until a very soft dough is formed.
- Add butter and knead for a further couple of minutes.
- Tuck the dough well till it is smooth.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave the dough to rest in a warm place for 2 hours.
- In the meantime, prepare the potato stuffing.
- In a saute pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Mix well.
- Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilli and saute for a minute.
- Add the turmeric powder and salt. Mix again.
- Add the boiled, mashed potatoes. Mix well till combined.
- Finally, add the chopped cilantro and give it a final mix. Set aside to cool.
- Grease a baking dish with butter and keep aside.
- After 2 hours of resting, the Pav dough would have doubled in size. Punch the dough well to get all the air out.
- Knead the dough well and divide it into 8 balls.
- Divide the potato stuffing into 8 parts too.
- Take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands.
- Add half a teaspoon of the Red Chilli Peanut and Garlic Chutney on the flattened dough.
- Place a portion of the potato stuffing onto the dough too.
- Gather the ends of the dough and form the whole thing into a ball again. See pictures in the post for more details.
- Place the ball into the greased baking dish.
- Repeat until all the dough has been formed into balls with stuffing.
- Cover the baking dish with cling wrap and leave to rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
- Brush the balls with milk and top them with sesame seeds and cilantro if using.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the bread is golden.
- Serve warm, with more chutney on the side.
The recipe for the Red Chilli, Peanut and Garlic Chutney can be found here.
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