Next Class
12th September 2023 - Aaron Bulging
Street Food - Taster - India
Aaron shaping a Vada
A taster session for Aaron's Street Food cookery course at Kirklees College - where we made Mumbai's popular street food Vada Pav: a spicy potato fritter sandwich. A tasty 'tater taster indeed 🙂

Vada Pav
The Vada
A spicy potato fritter
The Pav
Your standard burger bun.
Coriander Chutney
The sweet, sweet dressing.
Well, actually it's a little bit sour. But you know what I mean.

Vada Pav Fritter
curry snack veg vegan
Usually the Mumbai street food vada fritters are battered and deep-fried. Without this protective coating the potato balls would probably fall apart in the hot, deep fat. It's hard enough to keep them together in a shallow frying pan, made necessary by not having a chip pan. Or a gallon of oil.
I think the 80ml of water in the ingredients list below is left over from this chickpea batter mix, which also is usually made by adding spices and rice flour to the gram flour for crispness. Here we just throw the gram flour in with the potato.

We made 4 patties from this mixture, but to be honest they were a bit too large for the buns and squidged out everywhere when you tried to eat them.
So maybe try making more smaller ones.

Makes 6-8

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the peeled and diced potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, mash and set aside.

In a pan with a splash of vegetable oil add the diced onion and the chopped chilli, fry to soften, then add the fresh and ground spices, and cook for 3 minutes then set aside.

Combine the potates with the spice mixture and season.
Add the bicarbonate and the gram flour.

Roll the mixture into small balls, flatten, then fry on each side in a generous amount of vegetable oil (150ml) in a shallow frying pan over medium heat until golden brown, turning carefully to brown both sides.

Serve the potato patties in halved pav buns, dressed with coriander chutney.
Very tasty, if a bit squishy.
Feel free to pimp the bun with completely unauthentic salad, red cabbage chiffonade and sliced cucumber. Serve with a deep-fried chilli on the side. If you have one. (You see now it would have helped if you'd deep-fried the vadas!) If you do have one be sure to slit it open before deep-frying to reduce the risk of explosion.

Coriander Chutney
curry sauce veg vegan
As is his wont, Aaron added fresh crushed garlic and ginger to his written handouts, and we skipped the cumin powder. I guess technically they're optional!

If you're using garlic and ginger, mince them up then grind them together with a little sea salt to make a coarse paste. Mince the coriander and chilli and mix everything together with the lemon juice and a little oil.
Really good!

Pav Bun
Follow the instructions from any search result for BBC Basic Bread Rolls. Like this one, only with less salt!

Makes 8 buns

Tip the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and oil into a bowl. Pour over 325ml warm water, then mix (with a spatula or your hand), until it comes together as a shaggy dough. Make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Cover and leave for 10 mins.

Lightly oil your work surface and tip the dough onto it. Knead the dough for at least 10 mins until it becomes tighter and springy - if you have a stand mixer you can do this with a dough hook for 5 mins. Pull the dough into a ball and put in a clean, oiled bowl. Leave for 1 hr, or until doubled in size.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a long sausage shape. Halve the dough, then divide each half into four pieces, so you have eight equal-sized portions. Roll each portion of dough around on the floured surface under your slightly cupped hand, applying pressure to shape it. Make sure the ball is actually rolling, and it should plump up nicely. Put them on a dusted baking tray, leaving some room between each ball for rising. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for 40 mins-1 hr or until almost doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 180°C.
When the dough is ready, dust each ball with a bit more flour. (If you like, you can glaze the rolls with milk or beaten egg, and top with seeds.) Bake for 12-20mins, until slightly browned and hollow sounding when tapped on the base. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
The original recipe bakes for 25-30 minutes at 230°C. Which sounds completely mad!