Street food and me have a good thing going. We enjoy each others company, we have lots to talk about and both of us know the other is inherently good — even if skewers of meat sometimes spit from the grill and a certain ill-tempered cook occasionally takes out her frustrations on an onion or two.
If you share my love for street food, just pick up the closest copy of Saveur Magazine, or if you don’t have one lying around, search for your favourite dish in their online catalogue of recipes. Their repertoire is extensive, their photos drool making and all of the articles and recipes are available for free online.
Saveur recipes are thorough — ingredients, equipment, skill level & time — they ask for it all. It helps if you start with a well-stocked pantry, an extensive collection of obscure spices, good knife skills, a spirit of adventure and a love for slavishly making homemade condiments. And I know that’s not too much to ask — don’t deny it — I know you’re all out there…
My favourite thing about Saveur recipes is that, with 1 exception, I’ve always found them to be worth the effort. And that says alot, ’cause as a final warning, I’m telling you that some of these babies will take you the better part of a Sunday afternoon to enjoy.
Take these very tasty Potato Fritter Sandwiches — Vada Pav — from the streets of Mumbai, India. I found them in Saveur’s April Sandwich Issue, and knew they would make the perfect lazy weekend afternoon food project. Two condiments from scratch, a fritter made from mashed potato and a comprehensive list of aromatics, herbs & spices, then dipped in a rich yogurt & chickpea batter and deep-fried until golden.
I also made the Parker House Rolls because of my
insane New Year’s resolution to bake all my own bread. That added to the work load, and if you have a good source for rolls, I really suggest you buy them. If I hadn’t made the rolls, these little potato burgers with their tamarind & coriander chutneys, would have come together in a little under an hour, not including the hour to rest the fritter dough.
The recipe left me with lots of leftover tamarind chutney, which means that next weekend, I’ll have 1 less thing to make before our 2nd weekend Mumbai street feast in a row! And maybe next time I’ll cheat and buy the buns. Live dangerously, that’s what I say.
Find the Vada Pav recipe here.