Many people ask us how we started catering for Bollywood celebrities. Again, the answer is: honestly, I don’t know. Being a Juhu girl, I had friends who grew up to be movie stars or had something or the other to do with Bollywood. It’s a surprisingly small clique, and everyone is always trading info about caterers, stylists, trainers, plastic surgeons and the like. Word of mouth is the best advertisement in the food business.
- 1 cup maida
- ½ cup water
- 4 tbsp milk (to use as a milk wash)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp active dry yeast (1 tbsp if you’re using fresh yeast)
- ½ tsp salt
- 4-5 green chillies
- 2 lemons
- 1 small bunch coriander
- 1 bunch mint (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup boondi
- 1 tbsp fried garlic
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5-6 karipatta
- 2 big potatoes
- 4 tbsp green chutney
- ½ tsp haldi
- ½ tsp coriander seeds, roasted and crushed
- ½ tsp jeera powder
- ½ tsp mirchi powder
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- Pinch of heeng
- 1 cup besan
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp hot oil (from kadhai)
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Pinch of haldi
- Mini pav: Bloom active dry yeast in warm water (no blooming required for fresh yeast).
- Sieve the flour, and mix it with the salt and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the water with the bloomed yeast. Knead for 10 minutes until it is smooth.
- Add the butter and incorporate it into the dough using your fingers till all of it is mixed through.
- First and second proving: Allow the dough to rest under a damp cloth or cling wrap for 45 minutes (10 minutes if using fresh yeast) or until it doubles in size.
- Punch the dough to remove all the air from it. Divide into 1 tbspsized dough balls of 15g each and place on an oiled baking tray, slightly pressing them to form a square. Place all the pavs close to each other so that it takes the desired laadi pav shape.
- Keep aside for final proving for 20 minutes.
- Baking the pav: Brush or spray the pav with milk wash before putting them into the oven. Bake at 200 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes until they turn golden. Brush with oil after baking.
- Green chutney: Blend the coriander, mint (optional), green chillies, salt, juice of 2 lemons and sugar. Keep 4 tbsp aside and add the water to the rest.
- Garlic chutney: Blend together the boondi, fried garlic, salt and red chilli powder till it’s a coarse, dry chutney (do not over-mix or it will stick together. You could alternatively use a mortar pestle for this.
- Batata vada: Boil the potatoes and cut them.
- Make tadka of coriander seeds, haldi, heeng and karipatta. Once cooled, add the 4 tbsp of green chutney kept aside earlier to this mixture. Combine it with the potatoes and salt. Roughly mash the potatoes while mixing.
- Make 20 small balls of the potato mixture.
- Besan batter: Mix together the besan, salt, haldi, chilli powder and hot oil. Add the water last, using a whisk to mix it. Make sure the batter is of a smooth consistency. It should be thick enough to fully coat the vada, and not be runny. The hot oil adds a certain flakiness to the batter, which we call ʻmohanʼ in Marathi.
- Frying the vada: Heat oil in a kadhai. Do a tester of just the batter to make sure the oil is hot enough. The batter should rise quickly to the surface and be a dark golden brown.
- Dip the potato balls in the batter and deep fry for approximately 4–5 minutes, until they turn golden brown. Remove on to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Assembly: Slice into the mini pav horizontally across the middle, keeping them attached at one end. Put both chutneys on the pav, pop the vada in the centre and eat while hot.
Excerpted with permission from Party Like A Star, by Shilarna Vaze, Penguin Random House.