Mini Vada Pav
THEME: #227 PARTY STARTERS
What are Party Starters?
Have you heard of the saying “First Impression is the Last Impression?” Well, no wonder the first course at any party or as they call them starters or appetizers are usually the best taste wise, presentation wise, appealing to the eyes and taste all at once. Also known as finger food, party starters are usually small, can be eaten without in a couple of bites and some can be eaten with your hand. From simple chips with dips to elaborate and most expensive white truffle and gold mini pizza.
When are party starters, appetizers or finger food served?
Usually served during a sit down meal or at large parties. Sometimes parties like cocktail parties or brunch parties will have such a variety of mini starters. During any party, small or large the starters are more popular than the main meal. Mostly, starters are served in small convenient containers, like small bowls, lettuce cups, small shot glasses, soup spoons, etc.
Types of Starters, Appetizers, Finger Foods
Dips that go with chips (crisps), crackers, tortilla chips, pita or small naan pieces too. Have you tried a Pav Bhaji Dip with Nachos? Roasted Eggplant Dip tastes really good with Crackers. Different kinds of salsa make an excellent starter with some tortilla chips. I love making tomato salsa. Roasted Sweet Pepper Pesto tastes really good with bread sticks or grissini.
Vegetable and Fruit Trays with Dips:
One the best that I like as hardly requires much preparation is a vegetable and fruit tray with dips. Tzatziki pairs well with most vegetables like cucumber, carrot, celery, baby tomatoes, apples, pears, peaches, etc. Other examples of dips that go well with fruits and vegetables are baba ganoush and hummus.
Cold Party Starters, Appetizers or Finger Foods:
Some examples are deviled eggs, chaats like Chinese Bhel served in small glasses, Bruschetta. Make an unusual one like Watermelon Bruschetta. Moong Dal and Spinach Handvo served as finger food is an excellent idea. Dahi Papdi Chaat is my all time favorite, served in a small bowl or glass. Baked Turmeric Tostones proved to b very popular at a recent party I hosted. Pineapple Salsa, Plum Salsa served like a mini salad is an excellent starter for the health conscious guests. However, how do you please a guest who loves Indian flavors but wants something healthy? The answer is Sprouted Moong Salad. In reality the options for cold starters is endless.
Hot Party Starters, Appetizers or Finger Foods:
No doubt the most popular by far and I simply cannot resist are any paneer starters. Sometime back, I helped my son to organize a party at his home and I made Paneer and Naan Bites, and they disappeared in seconds. Mini Samosas like paneer samosa, tikkis and kebabs like Hara Bhara Tikkis, or bhajias like potato stuffed chili bhajia are some of the popular hot snacks where an Indian theme party is organized. Whenever I organize for a party where the main meal is international like Italian I like to serve Gougères or Rustico.
With New Year’s just a day away, Poonam’s suggestion of Party Starters is very useful. You should check out her Aloo Chana Chaat which would be really tasty served in a small container. I probably would not want to share her Mushroom Tikka with anyone and would make a meal out of it. When Poonam suggested the theme, it was time to check my Pinterest for saved recipes. Up popped the idea of Mini Vada Pav.
What is Vada Pav?
Vada Pav is a famous Maharashtrian Street Food whose popularity over time has spread all over India and abroad where there is a large Indian Community. Basically it is a potato stuffed fried fritter that is served with chutneys in a small bun. Call it an Indian sandwich if you may.
Mini Vada Pav
Where Vada Pav is concerned, I’m the only one in the family who loves it. However, hubby totally surprised me by making the Mini Vada Pav into a meal when I made the starter dish.
- The Vada is gluten free but the bread is not. If you get a gluten free bread, use that.
- Its totally Vegan friendly.
- For a Satvik version omit onion and garlic.
- Kids love this served with tomato ketchup as they might find the chutneys a bit too hot.
MINI VADA PAV
Vada/ Potato Filling:
1 cup mashed potato
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp goda masala
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
The coating batter:
½ cup besan (chickpea flour, chana flour)
1 tbsp rice flour
¼ – ⅓ cup water
a generous pinch of salt
a generous pinch of turmeric powder (haldi)
Pav or Bread Layer:
22-24 bread slices (white or brown) cut into about 2 inch diameter circle
Some butter or ghee
Peanut Garlic Chutney:
½ cup peanuts, roasted
3-4 dry red chillis, lightly roasted
4-6 cloves of garlic
½ tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp jaggery powder
½ tsp salt
1-2 tsp red chilli powder
Oil for deep frying
Preparation of Vada/Potato Filling:
- Mix all the ingredients for the vada together.
- Take about a teaspoon of the filling and roll it into a small ball. If it sticks to your hand, rub your hands with little oil.
- Keep the balls on the side till required.
Preparation of the Coating Batter:
- Mix all the ingredients together to form a batter that is not too thick or too thin.
- Keep it on the side till required.
Preparation of the Peanut Chutney:
- Put the ingredients for the peanut chutney into a food processor.
- Process to a coarse powder.
- Transfer the chutney to a small serving bowl.
Preparation of the Pav or Bread:
- I used a small tart mould to cut round shapes from the bread slices. You can use a lid or a cookie cutter.
- Heat a griddle pan or a big pan over medium heat.
- Apply some ghee or butter on one side of the bread slices.
- Toast the bread slices lightly.
- Apply ghee or butter on the slices facing up.
- Flip them over and toast the other side.
- In this manner toast all the slices.
- Keep on the side till required.
Preparation of the Vada:
- Heat oil for deep frying in a deep pan, wok or kadhai.
- Drop a little batter in the oil. If it sizzles and comes up immediately then the oil is ready.
- Drop a few potato balls in the batter, gently roll them in the batter using your fingers or a teaspoon.
- Pick up each coated ball and drop into the hot oil.
- Fry, turning them over frequently till they are golden brown.
- Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and keep the vada on the side.
- Fry all the vadas following steps 3-6.
- Take about a ¼ tsp green chutney and smear it on the bread slice. Follow this step for all the bread slices.
- Place one fried vada on top of each bread slice.
- Sprinkle each Vada Pav generously with the Peanut Chutney.
- Adding pomegranate arils is totally optional.
- Can keep the toasted bread slices and Fried Vadas under the warm mode in the oven.
- Chutneys can be prepared a day or two ahead and store it in the fridge.
- Many people enjoy a fried green chili with their vada pav, keep some on the side when you serve Mini Vada Pav.
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