Monday, March 30, 2020

Vada Pav

Mumbai's popular street food; Vada Pav. Flavorful potato filling and sweet and spicy chutney in soft and fluffy buns. 


Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Vada Pav, the most popular street food of Mumbai can be found everywhere in the city. From street vendors to restaurants and from movie theatre to fairs and events; Vada Pav is everywhere. 

The word Vada in Vada Pav means deep fried potato patty and of course Pav is nothing but a dinner roll. So both of those put together and served with a spicy and sweet chutney and deep fried chili; we get the complete Vada Pav from Mumbai.


Vada Pav is best enjoyed on the streets of Mumbai; where the vendor makes fresh vadas and serves them with the pav and chutneys. 

The BEST vada pav in my opinion is in Parle, outside Mithibai College. In fact a chain called Jumbo Vada Pav has come up with LOTS of options like cheese vada pav, schezwan vada pav etc! They are super creative and delicious!

When you make Vada Pav at home; you can enjoy them for snacks or as a complete dinner!



What you need to make Vada Pav


The recipe for Vada Pav has two main components; vada and pav. 

For the recipe I have used store bought garlic chutney and made my own cilantro chutney and sweet tamarind chutney.

The pav bread used in the recipe is homemade too. However, the same can be bought from the store too. 

Dinner rolls work well for the recipe but pick the ones that are not very sweet. They will make perfect Vada Pav. If you want to make your own; try this recipe.

Coming to the Vada, the main ingredients are potato, chickpea and spices. Boiled potatoes are tempered with Indian spices and dipped in a seasoned chickpea flour batter and fried. 

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are easy to find in the pantry or the Indian store. However if you cannot find a couple of ingredients, you can still make the recipe without compromising on the taste.  


The most important ingredients in the vada filling are potatoes, chili or similar spice, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Other ingredients like asafetida, curry leaves or urad dal can be left out from the recipe.



How to serve Vada Pav


Once you have all the ingredients in place and have followed the recipe below to make the vadas, it is time to serve them. The components that make the recipe even better are DEFINITELY the chutneys. 

A dry garlic chutney is the star of the recipe. Spicy, tangy and garlicy, this chutney can be made at home or store bought. Here I used the one from the store. 

Adding some sweetness in the recipe is the dates tamarind chutney. Made using basic ingredients like dates, jaggery and tamarind this chutney is a MUST have for chaats and works well with vada pav too.

The perfect way to add moisture and spice to vada pav is the Green Cilantro Chutney. Check out this recipe to make your own. The same can definitely be bought from the store too.

What is Vada Pav without some Chai? A glass of masala chai completes the street food feel of vada pav and tea. One of the BEST combinations for a rainy day or otherwise; this street snack can now be enjoyed right in your home! 



Variations


As I mentioned above, Vada and Pav make the IDEAL combination. However, once you have the vada ready, it can be used in multiple ways. Just dip the vada in spicy cilantro chutney and make that a snack.

Break the vada into pieces and top it with chutneys and sev to make a quick vada chaat.

Another popular variation is to make Chura Vada. When you fry the vadas, small bits of chickpea flour end up in the oil and get fried. These fried chura are served in the pav with chutneys. This chura pav is really popular too.

Looking for a non fried version of Vada pav? Try this BAKED Vada Pav then! It tastes superb and has no deep frying involved!  

Other Mumbai street snack recipes


Mumbai is very popular for its street food. There are SO many amazing dishes to try. If you would like to try some, here are my favorites: Kanda Bhajji: Crispy Onion FrittersMumbai Tawa PulaoVegetable and Cheese Grilled SandwichPanipuriPav BhajiMisal PavBhel PuriMasala ToastKutchi Dabeli.



Ingredients


For the Vada


Potatoes 4 medium 
Ginger 1 inch piece
Garlic 3-4 cloves
Green Chili 2
Curry Leaves 5-6
Asafetida a pinch
Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Lime
Oil 2 tbsp
Cilantro 1 handful

For the Batter

Rice Flour 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt  1/2 tsp
Water 1/2 cup 
Oil to fry

To serve

Dry Garlic Chutney
Green Cilantro Chutney
Sweet Dates Tamarind Chutney
Homemade or store bought Pav Bread

Method

To make the Vada


Wash and boil the potatoes with a pinch of salt. Peel, mash and set aside.

In a mortar pestle or a blender, process garlic, ginger and green chili to a coarse paste.

In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter add asafetida, urad dal, curry leaves. Next, add the processed ginger garlic chili paste and sauté till fragrant.
Add turmeric powder to the oil and immediately add potatoes. Mix well and add remaining salt and sugar. Mix well and turn off the flame. Add lime juice and cilantro.

Let the mixture cool. Once cool, divide it into balls of 1-2 tbsp mixture. Set aside.


To make the batter and fry vadas


Mix together all the ingredients under batter except water and oil. Start adding water and make a smooth batter.

About 1/2 cup water might be required but do not add it all together. Add as required. The batter should not be too thick or thin. It should coat a spoon without slipping all off.
Heat oil in the pan and wait till it is medium hot. Take a potato ball and dip it in the batter. Coat it with the batter on all sides.

Drop it carefully in the hot oil and fry it on medium heat. Flip the vada midway through the frying. Once they are golden brown, remove from heat and place on a paper towels to drain the excess oil.


To assemble Vada Pav

Make your own Pav using this recipe.

Slit a pav bread from the centre. Apply some Green Cilantro Chutney on one half and some sweet chutney on the other. Sprinkle dry garlic chutney and place a vada on it.


Enjoy with some more chutney to dip and a side of Masala Chai!



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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Instant Pot Boba (Bubble) Tea

Ditch the tea shops and make your own Boba (bubble) tea. Use the Instant Pot and FIVE simple ingredients to make this recipe in a jiffy! 


Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 


Boba Tea or Bubble tea is a popular Taiwanese drink made from ingredients like milk or cream, a sweetener, a flavor mix and chewy tapioca pearls. 


This is a SUPER popular drink and it can be made at home using a handful of ingredients and JUST 2 minutes or cooking time. Save a LOT of $$$ and enjoy freshly made tea; without any artificial flavoring powders! 

Video Recipe


What is Boba?

Tapioca starch from cassava root and water combine to make large black/gray pearls known as Boba. They are chewy and taste best in teas and desserts. 


A lot of frozen yogurt stores have popping boba too; pearls that pop and ooze out a fruit juice. Those are different from the traditional honey boba; but boy they are addictive! 



Boba is used in various milk teas, fruit teas and Asian desserts. They make all these recipes super delicious and add a lot of texture to them. 




How to use the Instant Pot to cook Boba?



There are plenty of boba brands and most of them define how long they need to be cooked on the stove top. I have tried that several times and can say that the method is not foolproof. Sometimes the boba are chewy and sometimes they disintegrate.


Cooking them in the Instant Pot or Mealthy Multipot is not only easy, it is foolproof. Buy your own Multipot here. Remember you can get $10 off on any product from Mealthy (above $59.95) using the code HERBIVORECUCINA. Or get yours from Amazon.

For most of the brands that I have tried, 2 minutes makes them perfectly chewy but not uncooked. My favorite boba brand is this one



I have tried a couple of methods of cooking the boba in the instant pot. One is to cook the boba in just water. Once done, drain and add them to a separately made sugar syrup. I am not a fan of this method as the boba do not taste sweet inside. 


I also tried adding sugar to hot boba. As the water is hot, the sugar melts easily but again the boba do not taste sweet when bitten into. 



Finally cooking them in a mix of sugar and water is the BEST way to make them. The boba absorbs sugar water while cooking and they taste way better this way. Plus, storing them in the sugar syrup is easy and works perfectly! 



Making Instant Pot Bubble Tea



Once the boba is cooked in the Instant Pot, the next couple of steps are super easy! Remember that boba does not store very well so make just enough for that day. 


Given that it takes barely any time to make; they can be made fresh every time you crave some tea! 


For the drink you will need some freshly brewed tea. The stronger the tea the better it tastes. Oolong tea or similar works best. 


The Thai tea from the super market has some orange color added to it. I try and skip that and make so with a slightly faint color. However, Thai tea can be used too. 


For the sweetener, if you like the tea at anything above 50% sweetness, add some sugar or honey to your tea. However this is completely optional. I skipped it in this recipe. 


The milk in the tea has a couple of options too. Make the tea with half and half or full fat creamer. Else use regular milk or skip it completely to make some black boba tea. All these options work great. I have used whole milk here. 


Apart from the essential ingredients in the recipe; it is fun to have some large straws that are made for boba tea. I always have a bunch of them in the house, you never know when you would crave a glass of bubble tea, right?



If you like bubble tea and other Asian desserts, do try these: Hasselback ApplesTapioca Pudding and Honey ToastThese deserts are addictive yet simple to make! 



Tips to make the BEST Boba tea

Cooked boba does not store well. Make the boba at the time when you want to make the tea. 

Storing boba in sugar syrup keeps them from drying out. However placing them in the refrigerator changes the texture to super chewy. So avoid refrigerating boba overnight. 

When adding water in the Instant Pot to cook the boba, make sure every boba is covered with water. If you are using a larger Instant Pot like the 8 qt one, add some extra water. 



When opening the Instant pot after cooking, be careful. A few boba pearls might have become super big and might be jumping around. They settle in a few minutes. 

Use tea that is strongly brewed. The ice and milk will water down the tea by a great extent. Oolong tea works the best for this recipe! 

I used 4 tea bags of Oolong tea with 1/2 cup water. Heat water, turn down the flame and add the tea bags. Let steep for 7-8 minutes. Loose leaf tea can be used too.


Steps to make Boba Tea


1- In the base of the Instant Pot add boba.


2- Pour in water.



3- Add the sugar.



4- Set mode to 'Pressure Cook' and time to 2 minutes. The pressure setting should be high. 



5- Close the lid and set vent to sealing. Let the cooking complete and let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and release the remaining pressure and open the lid.



6- Let the boba cool in the pot or in another container. 



7- In a glass add half the ice. Pour half the boba.



8- Add in half the brewed tea. Add sweetener/ sugar if using.


9- Fill up the glass with milk and enjoy! Totally recommend getting these extra wide straws to sip the tea! 


Ingredients

For the Boba

Large Boba 1 cup
Water 1 1/2 cups
Sugar 1/4 cup

For the Tea

Sugar (or sweetener of choice) 2 tbsp (optional)
Milk 1 cup
Ice Cubes 1 cup


Method

For the Boba

In the base of the Instant Pot add boba, water and sugar. 

Set mode to 'Pressure Cook' and time to 2 minutes. The pressure setting should be high. 

Close the lid and set vent to sealing. Let the cooking complete and let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and release the remaining pressure. 

Open the lid and let the boba cool in the pot or in another container. 


For the tea

In a glass add half the ice. Pour half the boba and Brewed Tea. Add sweetener/ sugar if using. Fill up the glass with milk and enjoy!

Totally recommend getting these extra wide straws to sip the tea! 





DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Cilantro Sauce Swirled Bread - Chutney Bread

Buttery bread with a swirl of delicious cilantro sauce (chutney). This loaf made from scratch is PERFECT for sandwiches or just some butter!



This is a sponsored post on behalf of Nutrimill and I have been compensated with a free product. All opinions are 100% my own.


Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Bread baking is therapeutic. I have said this SO many times before. It is still true and might remain that way forever! More so after this super delicious Cilantro sauce swirled sandwich bread loaf.


A good chutney sandwich always has three basic ingredients; a soft bread, butter and an amazing chutney. When you can combine them all into ONE loaf, you know you will have a delicious outcome. 


Video Recipe




Why bake your own bread?


I bake a lot of breads from the regular dinner rolls to sandwich bread and then the more complex ones like ciabatta. Even today, after baking dozens of bread, every time a loaf emerges from the oven, I jump with glee. 

Bread requires only a handful of pantry essentials and is one of the most versatile thing to make in the kitchen. 

The aroma of the bread baking in the oven is SO good. Not to forget the taste and texture of a freshly baked loaf! 


A lot of times it is REALLY simple to walk up to the store and grab a loaf off the aisle. But if you have tasted bread straight from the oven, you know what I am talking about! 

When you bake your own bread you have 100% control on what goes into it. You pick the flours, the fat and any sort of add in you want. This helps so much when you have certain dietary restrictions. 




Why make Cilantro Chutney bread?


An Indian sandwich, especially the one from Mumbai revolves around chutney.  Bread lathered with butter and chutney and then stuffed with vegetables and cheese. 

For those unfamiliar with chutney, it is a cilantro based sauce that is popularly used in Indian cuisine. Whether to marinate paneer or vegetables or in sandwiches or as a dipping sauce for samosa, chutney is everywhere. 


So when I started off to make this bread, I decided to have all the elements in it; butter, bread and chutney. It is the perfect base for any Indian sandwich and if you just lather some salted butter on the slices, it makes amazing chutney sandwiches. 


How to make this Swirled Bread


The basic ingredients in the recipe are pretty similar to other breads. All purpose flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water. The method is elaborated below. 

Make a BIG batch of chutney using this recipe and store it in the refrigerator. Use the chutney depending on how spicy you like the bread to be. 


Once the bread dough and the chutney are ready, making the loaf is super simple. Just spread the chutney on the dough, roll it tight and bake! A super delicious loaf pops out of the oven! 



Using the Nutrimill Artiste to make the dough


When making a bread, there are two skills required. One is tackling the yeast and the other is kneading the dough. 

While getting the yeast to rise is pure science, I have something that helps me with the dough; this Nutrimill Artiste stand mixer.

A pretty compact stand mixer that is SUPER fast and makes the dough with so much ease. Ever since I started using the Artiste, I have been enjoying bread making even more! 


If you are looking for a brand new mixer or something to help around in the kitchen, I would totally recommend this one. It is super versatile with all the attachments and is a great addition to the kitchen for sure! 

Get yours NOW!! Here is the link: Nutrimill Artiste stand mixer.




Using the Instant Pot to proof the dough


Once the yeast is dealt with and the dough is ready, the next step is getting the dough to rise. While it is absolutely fine to get the dough to rise in a warm place, using the Instant Pot is my favorite way! 


All you need to do to get the dough to rise is set the mode to yogurt and place the dough in it. With the time set to 60 minutes and a preset temperature, the dough rises PERFECTLY in that time. It makes the bread making process so simple and reliable! 



How to use the Chutney bread?


Now that we have seen all the steps that are required in making the dough; it is time to enjoy the bread! 

This bread is great for tea time sandwiches, as a base for vegetable sandwiches or just as slices topped with butter and cheese. 


The best way to enjoy the bread is to spread some salted butter on the bread and have it with some Masala Chai! A match that is GREAT for tea time! I hope you try this recipe and have fun with it. 





Step to make the Cilantro Sauce Bread



1- Warm the water to about 105-110 F and add 1 tsp Salt and Sugar to it. Mix well. 

2- Add Active Dry Yeast, mix and cover with a lid or plate. The yeast will bloom in about 10 minutes.





3- In the Nutrimill Artiste stand mixer add All purpose Flour, Unsalted Butter, remaining Salt and bloomed yeast. 


4- Run the mixer on speed 2 till the dough combines into a soft ball. Smoothen out the dough ball and coat with oil or butter. 



5- In the base of the Instant Pot place a parchment paper and spray some non stick spray. Place the dough ball and spray some non stick spray on it. 


6- Set the mode to 'yogurt' and normal. Set time to one hour. Place a lid on and let the dough rise for an hour.





7- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray non stick spray on it.

8- Remove the dough from the Instant Pot. It would have doubled in size. Place on a baking mat and punch it down. Roll into a rectangle sheet.

9- Spread the chutney in a thin layer on the dough using a brush.

10- Roll the dough into a tight roll making sure the chutney does not leak out. Seal the edges. 




10- Place the loaf in the parchment lined baking pan. Cover and let it rest for an hour.

11- When the hour is almost up, preheat oven to 400 F/ 210 C. Place the pan in the oven.


12-Bake for 15-18 minutes, till the top is nice and golden. Remove and cool. Cut into slices and use them to make sandwiches or just slather butter on them and enjoy!


Ingredients

Water 1 cup
Unsalted Butter 3 tbsp (Room Temperature)
Active Dry Yeast 1 sachet (2 1/4 tsp)
Salt 2 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Cilantro Chutney 3/4 cup (recipe here)




Method

To make the dough

Warm the water to about 105-110 F and add 1 tsp Salt and Sugar to it. Mix well. 

Add Active Dry Yeast, mix and cover with a lid or plate. The yeast will bloom in about 10 minutes.


In the Nutrimill Artiste stand mixer add All purpose Flour, Unsalted Butter, remaining Salt and bloomed yeast. Run the mixer on speed 2 till the dough combines into a soft ball. It took me 5 minutes to make the dough.


Smoothen out the dough ball and coat with oil or butter. 



To ferment the dough


In the base of the instant pot place a parchment paper and spray some non stick spray. Place the dough ball and spray some non stick spray on it. 


Set the mode to 'yogurt' and normal. Set time to one hour. Place a lid on and let the dough rise for an hour.



To make the loaf


Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray non stick spray on it.

Remove the dough from the instant pot. It would have doubled in size. Place on a baking mat and punch it down. Roll into a rectangle sheet.

Spread the chutney in a thin layer on the dough using a brush.

Roll the dough into a tight roll making sure the chutney does not leak out. Seal the edges. 


Place the loaf in the parchment lined baking pan. Cover and let it rest for an hour.



Baking the loaf


When the hour is almost up, preheat oven to 400 F/ 210 C. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, till the top is nice and golden. Remove and cool. Cut into slices and use them to make sandwiches or just slather butter on them and enjoy! 





DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.