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Vada Pav Recipe

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Vada pav

You are going to love India’s burger, the vada pav!



Making vada pavs brings back great memories of the street food in Mumbai!

Vada pavs are a delicious way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. The mashed potato is first fried with a few complimentary spices and herbs and then formed into large balls that are then dipped into a seasoned gram flour batter.

Everything, right up to making the sandwich can be done ahead of time.

At busy restaurants, potato vada pav burgers are formed and fried earlier in the day and then heated through again in hot oil before serving.

If you really want to treat yourself, spread lots of butter on the buns before grilling!

In India, street food is more often than not, vegetarian. Vegetarian cuisine is of course very popular in India but that isn’t the only reason the delicious vada pav is one of their favourite snacks.

Vegetable dishes are safer at street food stalls. Meat can become dangerous in the hot heat. 

I like to spread these delicious sandwiches with coriander and chilli chutney. At Mumbai street food stalls, roasted green chillies are also often on offer to top your freshly fried vada pav. 

Making vada pavs

Temper the spices and curry leaves in the oil.

Making vada pavs

Add the mashed potato and stir it all up into the spiced oil.

Making vada pavs

Allow to cool slightly and form into balls about the size of pool balls.

Making vada pavs

Mix the batter ingredients with just enough water to make a thick batter that clings to the potato balls.

Making vada pavs

Coat the potato balls with batter and fry in hot oil until nice and brown. I should have used more oil BTW. This is deep frying.

If you like the look of the famous street food vada pav, you might like to try some of these too.


Yield: 8

Vada Pav

Vada Pav
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 4 brown potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 10 curry leaves – roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 green chillies plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
  • 120g (1 cup) sifted gram flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • water
  • oil for deep frying
  • 4 soft hamburger buns (pav)
  • Ghee or butter for browning the buns
  • Mint and coriander chutney
  • Tamarind sauce
  • Roasted green chillies


  1. Boil your potatoes in water for about 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain and mash. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, stir in the turmeric, green chillies, ginger and chilli powder. Move this all around in the pan to flavour the oil and then add the potatoes and mix well.
  2. Season with salt to taste and add the chopped coriander. Allow to cool slightly so that it is easier to form the potato vada. Form into lemon sized balls (vada).
  3. Whisk the batter ingredients together adding water slowly until you have a thick and smooth batter. The batter should cling to and coats the vada. If you find it is too thin, sift in a little more sifted gram flour.
  4. Heat the oil for deep frying in a large pan. The oil should be deep enough to cover the vada. You are ready to start deep frying when a piece of potato sizzles immediately when dropped into the hot oil.
  5. Carefully lower the vada into the oil and fry until crispy brown. About 3 – 5 minutes should do.
  6. While your vada are frying, brown your buns in another pan in some ghee or butter. When toasted to your liking, spread the mint and coriander chutney over the bun halves.
  7. Place a vada on top of the bottom bun and top the vada with one or more roasted chillies if you like it spicy.

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