Vada pav is a popular Indian snack and street food, originating from Mumbai. It is also known as the Indian burger or potato sliders. Pav means dinner rolls and vada means fritters and here it is a potato fritter. It is also known as aloo bonda or batata vada.
The vada is placed inside the pav to which some spicy chutneys have been applied. Vada pav is a delicious snack with your evening tea and it can cheer you up on a rainy day!
Traditionally the vada is deep fried in oil but this is an air fryer vada pav recipe that is healthier and still tastes like the authentic Mumbai vada pav.
To make vada pav, you need a few basic pantry ingredients easily available in an Indian kitchen. Potato is the main ingredient and red potatoes or Yukon gold work well.
Some curry leaves and garlic cloves are added for flavor. Turmeric, mustard seeds, oil, and salt are the basic spices. Serrano pepper makes the batata vada spicy and you can adjust it to taste.
The potato fritters are coated with gram flour or chickpeas flour batter. It is made with chickpeas flour or besan and basic spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt.
For serving you will need dinner rolls. You can make dinner rolls at home or use store-bought ones. Also, you can make the cilantro chutney at home or use the store-bought one. I have used store-bought garlic chutney for this recipe.
Making vada pav is a 3 step process. The first step is to make air-fried potato fritters or batata vada. You will need cooked or boiled potatoes. I prefer cooking them in the microwave to ensure the potatoes are not soggy.
Mix chopped garlic, serrano pepper, salt, and turmeric powder into the potatoes. In a small tempering pan, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pour it into the bowl and wait for the oil to cool down.
Mash everything into a soft and smooth mixture ensuring there are no large potato chunks. Make about 15 balls of equal size.
The next step is to make the batter. In a medium size bowl, mix the besan, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, and oil. Slowly add warm water and stir it well with a whisk ensuring there are no lumps.
The batter must be of smooth consistency without any lumps and it should be thick but flow easily when dropped using a spoon. If the batter is too thick then the top coating will be a little dry. If there is too much water then the batter will not stay put on the vada.
Finally, it is time to air fryer the aloo bonda. Preheat the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 390°F. Dip and coat the potato ball in the besan batter and place it in the air fryer lined with parchment paper.
Place as many as you can depending on your air fryer capacity leaving about an inch of space between two vadas.
Air fry the potato fritters for about 10-12 minutes at 390°F. After about 6-7 minutes or when the air fryer prompts to turn food, open the air fryer and spray oil using an oil sprayer on the potato vada. You can also use a basting brush to apply the oil.
Continue to air fry for the remaining time until the top coating of the vada is golden brown. Optionally, if needed, you can flip the vada and air fry for an additional minute to ensure the bottom side is well cooked as well.
To make vada pav, slice the dinner rolls leaving one of the edges attached. Apply green chutney on both sides. Apply some dry garlic chutney on one of the sides and place the air-fried batata vada. Press and flatten the vada pav and it is ready for you to take a bite.
Masala chai is a must-have with vada pav for a satisfying evening snack. It is a perfect snack for rainy days.
The potato fritters are vegan and gluten-free. You can make some variations depending on your preference.
- Spicy - you can serve it with some more green chili chutney, or garlic chutney, or add more serrano pepper to the potato mix to make it spicier.
- Kid-friendly - skip the serrano pepper and use the chutney as per taste or skip it entirely. You can apply some sweet dates and tamarind chutney as well.
I have made this air fryer vada recipe in the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer. They can be made in any type of air fryer, be it basket style or tray style, or any size.
Depending on your air fryer and the size of the vada, it may take a few more minutes and you may have to air fry them in multiple batches.
I have cooked the potatoes in the microwave, this helps them not become soggy.
Homemade air-fried batata vada can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. When you are ready to eat them you can reheat them in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes at 350°F.
Allow the chickpea batter to rest for about 30 minutes before you start making the vada. All the ingredients mix up and incorporate well when allowed to rest.
What is the difference between batata vada and vada pav?
Batata vada is a potato fritter that can be deep-fried or air-fried. Vada pav is a dish in which the potato fritter is placed in between the dinner rolls to which spicy chutneys are applied.
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Air Fryer Vada Pav
For making potato balls
- 4 medium Potatoes (boiled and peeled, 1 lb.)
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Serrano pepper (chopped)
- ½ tablespoon Oil
- ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 5 - 6 Curry leaves (chopped)
For the chickpeas batter
- 1 cup Besan (chickpeas flour, 92 grams)
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Oil
- ½ cup Water (lukewarm)
For air frying vada
- ½ tablespoon Oil
For making vada pav
- 15 Dinner rolls https://culinaryshades.com/dinner-rolls-bread-machine/
- ½ cup Cilantro chutney https://culinaryshades.com/cilantro-chutney/
- ¼ cup Garlic chutney
Making the potato filling
- In a mixing bowl, add the boiled potatoes, salt, turmeric powder, garlic, and serrano pepper.4 medium Potatoes, ¾ teaspoon Salt, 2 cloves Garlic, 1 teaspoon Serrano pepper, ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- In a small pan, heat the oil on medium flame.½ tablespoon Oil
- Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle.½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
- Add the curry leaves and turn off the flame.5 - 6 Curry leaves
- Put the tempering into the mixing bowl.
- CAUTION! Wait for 5 minutes and allow the oil to cool as it will be very hot.
- Mix and mash all the ingredients using your hands or a potato masher.
- Make about 15 balls of equal size weighing around 35 grams each or 2 tablespoons.
Making the batter
- In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients from the list "For the chickpeas batter" except water.1 cup Besan, ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon Red chili powder, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Oil
- Slowly add water and continue mixing with a whisk to avoid any lumps.½ cup Water
- Make a smooth thick batter of flowing consistency.
- Optionally allow the batter to rest for about 30 minutes.
Air fry batata vada
- Preheat the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 390 °F.
- Place parchment paper in the air fryer basket.
- Dip each ball in the batter and coat it well with a spoon.
- Place them one by one in the air fryer basket on parchment paper.
- Air fry the fritters for 10-12 minutes at 390 °F.
- After 6-7 minutes, spray oil on the vadas using an oil sprayer or apply using a basting brush.
- Air fry for the remaining time at 390 °F.
- Optionally, if needed, you can flip the vada and air fry for the last minute to ensure the bottom side is well cooked as well.
- Carefully remove them from the air fryer once they are golden brown.
For making vada pav
- Slice the dinner rolls and apply cilantro chutney and garlic chutney as per taste.
- Place a vada inside and enjoy the vada pav.
- You can use Yukon gold or red potatoes
- It is better to cook the potatoes in the microwave so that they do not have too much moisture.
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