Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Batata Vada

No matter how many super-highways are built, I still maintain that the best way to travel Bombay-Pune is by Deccan Queen. Whenever I have traveled by the Deccan Queen, I made sure I got the window seat. I am always impressed by the beauty of the Sayadhri Ghats as the trains passes through the mountains, especially in the monsoons. And of course the monkeys. Who doesn't love monkeys. When you're traveling back to Pune from Bombay, the trains stop at Karjat station for 15 min where a second engine is added to the train. This is to help the heavy train climb the ghats. As soon as the train pulls into Karjat Station, one is greeted by some Men in Blue. No, not the ones (the Indian Cricket team) that have been disappointing us year after year with their dismal performances. I am speaking of Divadhkar Vadawala and his men in blue uniforms that bring the hot dumplings of deliciousness into the trains. This is probably the most delicious part of the Bombay-Pune train journey and are extremely famous. There was an incident a few years ago when an American NRI from returning to his native Pune wanted to get really fresh vadas. He got out of the train and went straight to the stall. Unfortunately the train started to move and there was an accident. He never made it home. It gives new meaning to the term "food to die for". A really tragic story, but what a way to go.


For stuffing
4 Potatoes boiled and peeled
1 Onion finely chopped (optional)
6 Chillis finely chopped
6 Garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp Ginger grated or paste
1 Lemon juiced
1/2 cup Cilantro / Coriander finely chopped
1 tsp salt

For batter
2 cups Besan (Chickpea flour)
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt

In a pan mash potatoes, onion, chilis, garlic, ginger, lemon, coriander and salt into a solid mixture making sure that the potatoes don't have any large lumps.
Make small balls the size of a golf ball
Place aside

Mix besan, chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, baking soda and salt in a bowl
Add water and mix till it turns into a thick batter

Heat oil in a wok
Dip the potato balls in the batter and deep fry till golden
Serve with mint or tamrind-date chutney


Padma said...

Oh Man, I so much miss those Divadkar's Batata wada with that special chutney and green c hillies, you made my memories jump back...I used to travel by Indrayani from Kalyan-Pune...

Sanjiv said...

I lived right behind Joshi WadeWale about 20 years ago. We had wada pav everyday. Reading this brings back yummy memories. I know what's for dinner tonight - wada pav!

harshada said...

It is a sweeeeet memory moment of life ,i use ti travel by DEccan Express from Kalyan to Pune and was waiting like hungry person for divadkars wada

Pallavi said...


Absolutely great article. Made me feel really proud about my in-laws, who have created such a legacy and how people loved eating our wadas.... :)

btw, 1 small mistake... its Divadkar n not Divadhkar.... :)

Keep writing...

Best regards

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