Street food with a twist!

Vada pav, sometimes spelt Wada Pav or  Wada Pao is a vegetarian fast food dish native to the Indian state of Maharashtra. The dish is a simple creation involving a deep fried potato patty with some coriander and spices, served in a bread roll with condiments. Usually, people eat it with chutney and onions. It originated as cheap street food in Mumbai but is now offered in stalls and restaurants throughout India.

It’s not very clear on who first started the vada pav, but the most common theory is that it was born somewhere in the mill heartland of Central Mumbai catering to the mill workers of what was earlier known as Girangaon. The combination of the potato or batata vada in a pav was a hit and this became a popular snack across Mumbai and around.

Despite the ethnocentrism in Maharashtra in particular, vada pav is claimed to be a part of the culture of Marathis despite this sandwich (bread and potato) being western in style.



The vada pav is now a very popular snack across Mumbai and is now found at street stalls, cafes and restaurants throughout India.

Preparation Time: 60 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 1 hr. 20 Minutes
Serves for 4


Mashed Potatoes

  • 1-2 Potato (medium)
  • ¼ cup milk (almond, soy, etc.)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • Pinch of salt


  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 50 g baby spinach/cabbage(lightly packed), finely chopped
  • 40 g broccoli/ cauliflower florets, finely chopped(optional)
  • 40 g tri-color bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp vegetable oil
  • pinch salt


  • 125 g cup flour
  • 150 ml milk
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 5 cups whole wheat or white panko bread crumbs (or homemade bread crumbs will do)



Boil potatoes for approx. 18 minutes, until they feel tender when poked with a fork. Drain potatoes and mash with ¼ cup milk, 2 tsp butter, and salt. Set aside.


Heat 2-3 tsp butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add garlic, onion, carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and green onion. Sauté until tender. Season with a pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp).

Mash vegetables into potato mixture. Refrigerate mixture until cool enough to handle.

Forming and Breading Patties:

Measure out approx. 2 tbsp of potato mixture, roll it into a ball and flatten into a ¾” patty. Arrange patties on parchment paper. Makes 14-18 patties. Chill or freeze so that patties are firm before breading.

vada pav1

In 3 bowls or shallow dishes, fill the first with ½ cup flour, the second with a well-blended mixture of milk, cornstarch and salt, and the third with bread crumbs.

Dip each patty briefly into flour, then into the cornstarch thickened milk and then the bread crumbs.

Firmly press the bread crumbs into the patties.

Frying or Baking the Vadas:

Frying: Heat ½” of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is evenly hot, fry patties in batches of 1-5 (depending on the size of oil vat), flipping after about 1-1½ minutes. Each patty should be golden-brown and fully heated within 2½-3 minutes.

Notes: Overheating will cause the potato filling to spill out. Make sure oil is hot enough to sufficiently brown the patties in 3 minutes or less or the filling may spill out.

Baking: Preheat oven to 230 C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Baked breaded croquettes for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve with bread rolls/pavs, coriander and tamarind chutney.



To reduce your bread intake with the dish, you can also cut the unopened rolls into 4 equal parts(vertically). Flatten/ball them and place inside the potato mixture and cover it. And follow the rest of the cooking procedures as is.

This, in turn, becomes an inside- out Vada Pav. This can be a party trick to amaze your friends at dinner parties.

Serve with chutney.



Deliciously calorie conscious

Coriander rolls (Kothimbir Vadi)

Maharashtrian cuisine includes mild and spicy dishes. This is a healthy and flavorful dish.
It goes well with your evening tea/coffee. Its original version is Alu Vadi.
Alu Vadi is a vegetarian dish in Malvani cuisine, Maharashtrian cuisine, and Gujarati cuisine. It is made from colocasia leaves (taro, kesuve or arbi) stuffed with rice flour and flavorings such as spices, tamarind, and jaggery (raw sugar).
In Konkan part, it is a made as a steamed dumpling wrapped in a leaf.


Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Serves for 2

 1 cup- Coriander/ cilantro leaves( finely chopped)
 1/2 cup- Besan / gram flour / chickpea flour
 1/2 Tsp -Ginger-garlic paste
 1/4 Tsp- Kashmiri red chili powder / lal mirch powder
 1/4 Tsp- Turmeric / Haldi
 1-2 green- Chilli ( finely chopped)(as per your preference)
 1/4tsp- Coriander powder
 1/4 Tsp- Cumin powder
 1/2 Tsp- Sesame seeds / til
 a pinch – Asafetida
 a pinch – Garam masala (optional)
 1 tsp -Lemon juice
 Salt to taste
 Scraped coconut
 Water as required
 Oil to shallow/ pan fry

Instructions (1 cup =255 ml)
1. In a large mixing bowl take 2 cups of chopped coriander leaves.
2. Add 1 cup of besan.
3. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chili, red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, asafetida, sesame seeds, salt and 1 Tsp lemon juice.
4. Combine well making sure all the spices are mixed well, also squeeze and mix making sure the coriander leaves are squeezed well.
5. Further, add water as required and begin to knead.

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6. Knead to the soft dough.
7. Shape the dough into cylindrical shape greasing hand with oil.
8. Steam the dough for 15-20 minutes.


9. Cool the dough completely and cut them into thick slices.
10. Deep fry or shallow fry in hot oil.
11. Stir occasionally till the Vadi turns crisp and golden brown.
12. Finally, serve kothimbir Vadi garnished with coriander leaves and coconut along with tea.


Instead of coriander, you can also use spinach/palak leaves and follow the rest of the recipe
To add a touch of sourness, you can use tamarind juice/tomato juice similar to the quantity of the lemon juice.
If you are planning to use this as a party dish, you can also cut them into 1 inch thick sticks and wrap them in spring roll wraps and either deep fry them or bake them with a little oil at 180 degrees C for 5-10 mins (in a pre –heated oven). Serve with a mint chutney or tamarind chutney.
You can also make kothambir Vadi waffles at home to intrigue your kids into eating something they don’t usually eat. (oil the waffle iron first)