A batata vada is nothing but flavoured mashed potato, dipped in batter and fried. It is either eaten plain, with chutneys or with bread and chutneys. I personally like its original taste, so i prefer it just with pav, or bread. Batata vada is considered a common man’s food, because even the most expensive vada-pav will not cost you more that Rs 10. Its filling, it’s tasty and its quick. I hate when people call it an “indian burger”, because honestly, it has an identity of its own.
There’s also different types of batata vadas. An alteration in what you put in it, can completely change its taste. I for example, don’t like putting too much coconut in my mashed potato. The batter that its dipped in is made of besan, along with a few other ingredients. So anyway, here we were, waiting eagerly for our vada-pavs to arrive.
While we waited, I looked around the place for what else they served. The fare was quite similar to any vada-pav joint you’ll on the highway. They had bhajias (vegetables dipped in batter and fried) made of potato, onions and chillis.
I’m sure most of you love the idea of eating hot bhajias in rainy weather, along with a hot cup of tea. I suggest the next time you do make them, go a little out of the realms of potatos, onions and chillis and try palak, capsicum and mushroom. They taste awesome!
They also had Misal, a very Maharashtrian dish. Again, considered a common-man’s food – cheap, high energy, tasty, quick. The misal is made of 3 things – gaathia and sev, gravy (usually very thin and oily) and pav. The Pav is again, optional.
What really really shocked me, however, was the humongous jar of tamarind chutney that was on our table. Each table had at least two, so you can imagine how popular it must be in those parts. I, for one, can’t imagine having it with my vada-pav. That’ll just make it impure.
There’s my RayBan wearing, sari-clad grand ma in the background. She’s so cool!
After my tour of the place, I settled down into my vada-pav. It was good. Not the best I’ve had, but let’s say 6 on 10. What was 8 on 10, however, was their garlic chutney. This is the one thats usually dry and red in colour.
Did you know that its made using the extra drips of batter that went into the oil? They resemble tiny little tadpoles and are crunchy as hell.
They also had a watery white chutney (hate!) and fried chillis, too spicy for my tummy.
So, here are two of my Mom’s batata vada recipes. I’ve tried and tested them, and they’re awesome-
Aam Junta Batata Vada (Every Man’s Batata Vada)
What you need-
For the potato mash – 6 medium sized potatoes, 7garlic pods,1.5 inch ginger, 4 green chillies, 1 tspn haldi (turmeric), salt , little hing(asafoetida), 2-3 kadi patta(curry leaves), 1 tspn rai (mustard seeds), 1 tspn jeera (cumin seeds).
Optional- 1 tsp dhana poweder (corriander seeds powdered), 1 tsp jeera powder (cumin seeds powdered)
For the batter- 2 cups besan(gram flour), salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp hot oil, 1 tsp ajwain(carom seeds)
Optional- 1 onion (finely chopped), 1 tsp lemon juice
Famous Khopoli Batata Vada-(Khopoli is a place known for its tasty batata vadas)