Blogging Marathon #65 Week 3 Day 1
Theme: Pull Apart breads
Dish: Baked Vada Pav
Ask any Mumbaikar their favorite street food and most of them will say it is Vada Pav. Just like the local trains are the lifeline of the city, so are the roadside stalls that sell Vada Pav. You will see all the stalls full with people trying to get a couple of bites almost all the time! While the dish is not fancy, it is simply a fried potato ball put into pav bread and served with dry red chutney and spicy green chutney. This along with a glass of cutting chai is a perfect snack, especially in the rains. Being away from home, Mumbai rains, trains and the vada pavs are truly missed!
This week the theme for the Blogging Marathon is pull-apart breads. There are different kinds of pull apart breads, both sweet and savoury. The kinds include monkey breads, swirl breads and a simple laadi bread. Laadi in Hindi means bricks and these breads are named that way because they are made in a rectangle tray one touching the other, and the formation looks like a wall of bricks.
The first bread in the category of pull apart breads falls into this laadi pav category. While the plain ones are made to enjoy with fried vadas, this bread recipe is a slight variation. In this recipe, the potato ball is made, the bread dough is prepared and the vada and pav get baked together. This eliminates all the oil it takes to fry the vadas. Also, it is a unique dish where the vada pops out from the pav and most of my guests can never understand how the vada landed inside the pav! I also add the dry chutney into the vada pav, to get a taste that resembles the original vada pav. Read on to find out how this recipe is made!
For The Bread
All purpose Flour/Maida 3 cups
Active Dry Yeast 1 sachet (2 1/4 tsp)
Unsalted Butter 4 tbsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Warm Water 1 cup
For the stuffing
Potatoes 2 medium boiled and mashed
Ginger Garlic paste 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves 2-3
Minced green Chilli 2
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Lime 1 juiced
Oil 3 tbsp
Cilantro 1 handful
Dry red chutney
In a cup add water, sugar and 1 tsp salt. Warm the water to 100-110 F, add yeast, mix and let the mixture stand for ten minutes till the yeast blooms. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and 3 tbsp unsalted butter.
Pour the frothy yeast mixture into this mixture and make a soft dough. Add little water if required and knead well. The mixture may be sticky at first, knead it well till it converts to a soft dough. Apply little oil over the dough and place it in a large bowl, cover it with a moist cloth and let stand for 45 minutes.
While the dough rests, prepare the stuffing. In a pan, heat the oil and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add urad dal, curry leaves and minced green chilli. Next, add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw flavor vanishes. Then add potatoes, turmeric powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and turn off the flame. Add lime juice and cilantro. Let the mixture cool. Once cool, divide the mixture into 20 parts. Make round balls and set aside.
Once the dough is almost double its size in 45 minutes, punch it down and knead it for 5 more minutes. Now line a cookie tray with nonstick spray or oil. Divide the dough into equal sized parts. I made 20 out of my 3 cup dough. Take one part, roll it out to a disc of 4-5 inches diameter.
Take the chutney in a bowl or plate. Place one potato ball and roll it in chutney to coat evenly. Place the ball on the rolled dough and make a smooth ball. Place it in the greased tray. Repeat for all the dough parts. Place all the buns in the tray, leaving some place between them. Brush them with little butter or oil.
Let the pav rest for 20-25 minutes till they rise. Preheat oven to 400 F/ 200 C. Place the tray in the preheated oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes till the tops are a little brown.
Remove and serve warm with some more chutney, green cilantro chutney, cutting chai and fried chillies. The vada pav is perfect as a snack or even to take on a picnic.