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Chai Time: Vada Pav

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Fun fact! Vada Pav is pronounced like Wada Pow! @MeherwanIrani whips up his version of this spicy street-food snack—a staple at his restaurants Chai Pani & Botiwalla. Made w/ potato dumplings spiked with curry leaves and chilies, fried in a curried chickpea batter. Creating a crispy, crunchy bite on the outside and a soft, delicate texture inside. Served on pav buns, topped with green, red, & tamarind chutneys for a balanced tangy/spicy bite.

Watch the full video here.

Chai Time: Vada Pav

Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 4-6 servings


1 cup chickpea flour
½ tsp Spicewalla Roasted Cumin Powder
¾ tsp Spicewalla Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1 tsp Spicewalla Diaspora Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Spicewalla Ajwain Powder (optional)
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 tsp green chilli pepper, deseeded and diced
1 Tbs Fresh cilantro

5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3 Tbs avocado or vegetable oil
1 tsp Spicewalla Brown Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp hing/asafoetida
4-5 fresh or dry curry leaves
1 tsp green chilli pepper, deseeded and diced
1 Tbs ginger garlic paste
Salt, as needed
1 1/2 tsp Spicewalla Diaspora Turmeric
¼ tsp Spicewalla Chaat Masala
1 tsp lime juice (optional)
Fresh cilantro (optional)

3 Tbs fried garlic
4 fried red chillies
3 Tbs roasted peanuts
Pinch of Kosher salt

Frying oil such as grapeseed, avocado or vegetable
4-6 pav or Hawiian sweet roll
Green chutney for serving
Tamarind chutney
 for serving
**Ginger-Garlic Paste: Blend equal amounts of peeled garlic and peeled fresh ginger (1/4 cup of each) into a coarse paste in a food processor - a few drops of oil will help it blend smoothly. Will keep refrigerated in a glass jar for at least a month. (If you don’t have a food processor, finely grate or mince a tablespoon each of ginger and garlic and mix together).


  1. Make the batter: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the chickpea flour, spices, cilantro and green chilli. Add about ½ cup of warm water and whisk into the dry ingredients, add more warm water a couple tablespoons at a time until the mixture resembles thick pancake batter. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Set aside.
  2. Make the vada mixture: Place the potatoes in a large sauce pot and add enough water to cover. Boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Remove them from the water and cool slightly then remove the peels. Loosely mash the potatoes in a mixing bowl into about quarter-sized pieces. 
  3. Heat the oil in a small saute pan over high heat. Add a few mustard seeds to the oil, when they start to sizzle and pop the oil is ready to season. Add the rest of the mustard seeds. They will start to splatter while they are toasting so you may want to place a lid over them for about 10 seconds until they stop popping. Add the hing, green chillies and curry leaves to the oil. The curry leaves will splatter when they hit the oil so be careful!
  4. Turn the heat down to medium and add the ginger garlic paste, stir constantly until the paste starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the turmeric and a couple pinches of salt. Pour the oil mixture, or tadka, into the bowl with the potatoes and stir to combine. Stir in Chaat Masala, lime juice and cilantro.
  5. Make the garlic red peanut chutney: place the fried garlic, fried red chillies, roasted peanuts, and salt in a spice grinder or food processor. Blend until uniform, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
  6. In a deep, narrow sauce pot heat the frying oil to 350*F
  7. Check the consistency of the chickpea batter and add more warm water if needed as it will thicken up over time. 
  8. Form the potato mixture into a patty that is about 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Gently place the potato patty into the bowl with the batter to completely cover and then very carefully drop into the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture. 
  9. Spread butter onto the cut sides of the rolls, toast over medium-high heat in a pan until golden, about 3 minutes.
  10. To assemble: spread the green chutney on each side of the pav or hawiian rolls, place the fried vada on top, spread the tamarind chutney on top of the vada and sprinkle generously with garlic red peanut chutney, cover with the top of the pav or Hawiian roll. Enjoy!

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