Saturday, September 15, 2007
vada paav is mumbai's most popular choice of fast food.and the city's fitting answer to the burger.the story goes that one ashok vaidya got an idea.he split a pav and pushed a batata vada into it.presto,it became an instant success.he had his outlet near dadar railway station.he must have become a rich man.
many me-toos have cropped up.for a city where more than half the population lives on the streets,if you have got your mix right,you cannot go wrong.the vada is a potato-based patty.potatoes are mashed and mixed with green chillies.some ginger and mustard seeds are also added and fried in a batter.it is served hot squeezed into a spilt paav and redchilli powder and mint or garlic chutney act as accompaniments.i often buy vadapaav when i am returning home from work from the mtnl vadapaavwala at flora fountain.he produces vadapaavs like a machine.he has a phenomenal reputation.two of these can keep you going for three to four hours.
at home when gb asked me the other day the menu for breakfast,i exclaimed "why not bonda paav". bonda is the south indian version of batata vada.popularly known as mysore bonda. and gb who hails from konkan is adept at it. so in a jiffy,she whipped out hot mysore bondas sandwiched between two pieces of paav.it was hot-temperature wise and contents wise.and there was curryleaves chutney as accoutrement. i was embarking on a long journey to orissa and there couldn't be a better way of insuring myself against any hunger pangs en route.if you haven't tried this before.i urge you to give it a shot.you will be thrilled.
cook the potatoes.peel the skin and mash well. add salt,turmeric powder and mix.cook the peas.chop finely the onion and green chillies and grate the ginger.separately heat oil in a kaddai.splutter mustard seeds.add green chilli,ginger and stir.add the chopped onion,saute well.add the mashed potato and cooked peas. mix well and cook to heat it through. add the garam masala and chopped coriander leaves.mix well.remove from stove.this is the basic vegetable mix to make bonda.it is the same for cutlets and patties too.the recipe has been taken from "andu paatti's cookbook" by andal rangaswamy.a heaven-sent guide for novices like me.
and now make small lemonsize balls of the veggie mix.mix half a cup of chana dal flour,half a cup of rice flour,half a teaspoon salt,half teaspoon chilli powder and add enough water to make a thick batter.heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. dip a potato ball in the batter,coat it well all around and slide it into the hot oil.add 5-6 bondas in the oil and let them fry. when done a little turn them around and fry until they are evenly golden brown all around.when done scoop out the oil.fry the rest the same way.serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato sauce.
if you haven't made mysore bonda before,go ahead.now.you wouldn't get an easier way of preparing it.and after the hot bondas have been scooped out,wedge them inbetween two unsuspecting paavs.and then you have a giant of a bonda-paav in front of you. maker's pride,neighbour's envy.