Indian food is one of the cuisines that always surprises me. From the different cooking techniques to the wide array of ingredients they use, I'm always amazed when I'm reminded that most of their dishes are vegetarian and are still packed with tons of flavor. There are so many different components in just one dish or in my case, one sandwich, that always creates a crazy delicious flavor profile using some of the most simple ingredients.
For this episode of the sandwich series I am doing the highly requested vada pav! It is a street food staple in India that is carb heavy (who doesn't love carbs?) so it can fuel you throughout the day. It's packed with tons of different flavors coming from the three different chutneys all stuffed into a super soft butter roll. Each component is actually pretty easy to make despite how complex the flavors become due to just a few special ingredients like chickpea flour, tamarind, and dried coconut. The first layer of flavor is a green chutney that adds a nice bright and spicy flavor, topped with a dried garlic powder that adds a nutty flavor along with a nice crunchy textural element, and finished off with a slightly smokey and sweet tamarind chutney. Check out how all these crazy flavors came together to create one hell of a sandwich!
1 cups of milk between 120-130 degrees fahrenheit (warm)
2 teaspoons of rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoon of sugar
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
½ cup of water (use only if needed)
2 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of milk
1 tablespoon of melted butter
In a large bowl combine the 1 cup of warm milk, 2 teaspoons of yeast, and 2 teaspoons of sugar and give it a good stir to combine everything.
Sift in 3 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Knead until a dough forms and if it’s too dry add in an extra ½ cup of water about 1 - 2 tablespoon at a time until your dough feels right.
Next, knead in 2 tablespoons of butter until the butter has been absorbed and then let the dough rest for 1 - 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough and form into 9 even sized dough balls.
Place them into a greased 8x8 inch pan and let them proof for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until they have doubled in size again.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and give the buns a quick milk wash.
Bake them for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Once they come out of the oven brush them with a little bit of butter!
Potato Tumeric Mixture:
6 - 7 medium sized yellow potatoes
2 tablespoons of mustard oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
6 - 7 curry leaves
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Start by peeling your potatoes and boiling them in a large pot of salted water until fork tender. Once they are drained and cool to the touch, give them one good squeeze each to break them into smaller pieces.
In a large skillet on medium high heat add in the mustard oil and let it come up in temperature before adding the mustard seeds in.
Once the mustard seeds are in, cook them until they begin to pop around in the pan.
Next add in the 6 -7 curry leaves and toast them for another couple minutes until they begin to soften up and become very fragrant.
Take 2 tablespoon of the ginger & garlic paste and cook for about 5 minutes. Be sure to continuously move everything around so nothing sticks and burns.
Next, add in 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and toast for one minute.
Finally, add in your smashed boiled potatoes and mash everything together to incorporate all the flavor. Just be sure to not make creamy mashed potatoes.You want to keep some whole chunks of potatoes for some texture.
Continue cooking the the potato mixture for a couple more minutes so that they are moisture free. You really want to cook out the excess water so that when they go into the deep fryer later it doesnt pop too much.
Once the potatoes are done, take them off the heat, and let the potato mixture cool for about 30 minutes - 1 hour in the fridge.
Once the potato mix has cooled form them into gold ball sized balls.
1 ½ cups of chickpea flour
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of cornstarch (plus 1 tablespoon of water to mix it in)
In a bowl whisk together the chickpea flour, turmeric powder, salt, and water until there are no lumps and has a consistency similar to pancake batter.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and add it to the chickpea batter.
Note: If it's too thick add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and if it is too wet add 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour at a time.
Dry Garlic Chutney:
6 -7 large cloves of garlic, smashed & peeled
¼ of raw peanuts, skins on
¼ cup of dried grated coconut
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of coriander
2 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
2 tablespoon of silk chili
Pinch of salt
In a skillet on medium low heat, add in 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil and 6 -7 large cloves of garlic.
Once they begin to brown add in ¼ cup of raw peanuts and ¼ cup of dried grated coconut. Let everything toast for about 5 minutes, being sure to give everything a good toss every couple of minutes to keep from burning.
Then add in the 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of coriander, and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Continue to toast everything for about 3 - 4 more minutes or until everything is golden brown and very fragrant.
Take everything off the heat and add to a food processor. Add in the 2 tablespoons of silk chili and a pinch of salt. Blitz until you get a crumbly mixture.
Pour the dried garlic powder into a jar and set aside.
¼ cup mint
½ cup parsley
1 knob of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
2 deseeded green chilis
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup of water
Pinch of salt
½ of a butter roll or ¼ cup of fried dal (for thickening)
2 heaping tablespoons of yogurt
Add the ¼ cup of mint,½ cup of parsley, 1 knob of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 deseeded green chilis, juice of 1 lemon, ½ cup of water, and a pinch of salt into a blender/food processor and blend until everything is broken down into a nice & bright green sauce.
Next add in ½ a butter roll and 2 heaping tablespoons of yogurt and blend until the bread has been broken down and the yogurt is mixed in.
Pour into a glass jar and store until ready for use.
Sweet Tamarind Chutney:
1 cup of tamarind
3 cups of water
½ cup of coconut sugar
1 star anise seed
½ teaspoon of cumin seed
Pinch of chili
¼ teaspoon of grated ginger
Pinch of salt
Start by deseeding the tamarind from its shell and place it into a bowl along with 3 cups of hot water over it.
Next add 1/2 cup of jaggery or coconut sugar and place on the stove top.
In a spice grinder, grind up the star anise seed, ½ teaspoon of cumin seed, and pinch of chili.
Add this mix into the tamarind along with ¼ teaspoon of grated ginger and black salt (or regular salt)
Set the stove top on medium heat and cook for 20 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon.