Putting some of the tremendously delicious vadis from Maharashtra under the microscope.
Maharashtrian food is one of the more well loved cuisines across India, renowned for their sweet and spicy fare. Snacks like vada pav, missal, kande pohe, thalipeeth are classics, and then comes the big leagues with festive offerings like puran poli, modak, and sheera to name a few.
However, a criminally underrated food seems to be the delicious vadis. vadi typically means a slice or piece which is fried or baked like fritters. As far as vadis go, Maharashtrians can make a vadi almost out of anything and everything. For now, let us dig into some of the most famous and delicious vadis of the lot.
Kothimbir vadi is the most famous snack for breakfast or tea time in Maharashtra. Fresh coriander leaves, gram flour, peanuts, sesame seeds, and spices are whipped into a batter of thick consistency. The batter can be deep-fried, pan-fried, or baked. This spicy, herby, and crunchy snack is best served with a cup of tea, but it can also be served as a side dish in a meal.
Alu vadi is made from Colocasia (taro) leaves and a batter of gram flour, tamarind, jaggery, and spices. This spicy and tangy batter is applied to the leaves, and then the leaves are rolled to set for a while. The rolls are then cut into slices which can be deep-fried or pan-fried. This vadi is crispy and crunchy around the edges and soft towards the centre. What sets these vadis apart is the revelation of a completely different texture in every bite.
Kobi vadi is pretty similar to the kothimbir vadi. Kobi vadi is made from a batter of grated cabbage, gram flour, rice flour, green chilli paste, ginger-garlic paste, and spices. The batter is spread on a greased plate and steamed for 10-15 minutes. Once this batter cools down it is cut into cubes and then deep-fried or pan-fried till golden brown. This crunchy and flavoursome snack is perfect for someone who does not like cabbage. Kobi vadi tastes best with mint chutney, coconut chutney, or tomato ketchup.
Patvadi is a special delicacy from Nagpur which is traditionally served with Patvadi rassa(curry). The vadis are prepared from a dough of gram flour, chilli-ginger paste, turmeric, cumin seeds, and lemon juice. The batter is cooked and kneaded into a soft dough, which is then spread out onto a greased plate and cut into traditional diamond shapes. The patvadi rassa is made of chopped onions, ginger and garlic pieces, grated dry coconuts and spices. The patvadi is served and enjoyed completely dipped in the spicy curry.
An extremely popular vadi from the Marathwada region, Masvadi is like patvadi with a twist. It is made from a dough of gram flour and chilli-ginger-garlic paste and the stuffing of grated coconut, sesame seeds, and lentils. The dough is rolled up with the filling inside in triangular shapes and cut into pieces. Masvadi is served with a spicy curry of chopped onions and tomatoes, garlic, coriander, and red chilli powder. Devour masvadis dipped in the spicy curry and enjoy the flavours.
More commonly recognized as khandvi among Gujaratis, it’s known as Survalichi vadi in Maharashtrian cuisine. The batter is simple and akin to the previous one, made from gram flour, yoghurt, green chilli-ginger paste, and turmeric. Once cooked to a paste, it’s seasoned with mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, and red chilli powder. Once done, they’re served with mint chutney or tamarind chutney.
Pudachi vadi, also known as Sambharvadi, is a popular snack from the Vidarbha region. The dough is made of gram and all-purpose flour, with a stuffing of grated coconut, peanut powder, chopped coriander, and spices. Like with the other vadis, the dough is rolled and stuffed to be shaped into pockets. These pockets are then deep fried till golden brown. Pudachi vadi can be devoured with either mint, coconut, or tamarind chutneys, and kadi.
Ratalyachi (sweet potato) vadi is made from cooked and grated sweet potato, freshly grated coconut, milk, ghee, sugar, and chopped nuts. All the ingredients are cooked on high flame till they mix well and turn into a batter of thick consistency. This batter is transferred into a greased container and kept in the freezer to set. After the batter sets, it is cut into cubes and topped with cashew or almond. A common fasting food, these sweet vadis are a crowd favourite.
Dudhi bhoplyachi vadi
This vadi is an important weapon in every mother’s arsenal when it comes to feeding the family bottle gourd and pumpkin. Dudhi bhoplyachi vadi is made from a batter of gram flour, suji, cooked grated bottle gourd, and pumpkin and spices. In terms of preparation, there are slight variations here, the most notable ones being that they are pan-fried post cooking and garnished with sesame seeds plus freshly chopped coriander. Talk about the tastiest ways to fall in love with veggies.
Amba, or mango vadi is a sweet and savoury dessert type vadi that will satiate all your mango cravings. Prepared with mango pulp, sugar, a bit of saffron, ghee, and cardamom, these vadis are traditionally cut either as squares or diamonds. These vadis are best enjoyed with bite-sized mangoes.
Enjoyed predominantly as bhog during the 11-day Ganesh festival, these vadis are the perfect sweet treat for all occasions. Made of desiccated coconut, milk, milk powder, cardamom powder, ghee, and sugar, these vadis are perfect for some good old sweet savoury indulgence.
Tilgul vadi is a mandatory snack during the festival of Makar Sankranti. This sweet and nutritious vadi is made from sesame seeds, jaggery, dark jaggery, grated coconut, roasted peanut powder, nutmeg, and cardamom powder. Mainly a winter vadi, these go a long way in providing warmth and energy to the body.