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Recipes: Vada Pav (Potato Fritter Sandwich)
Source: Saveur

Credit: Todd Coleman




2 cups chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. roasted peanuts
2 tbsp. desiccated coconut
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 jalapeños, stemmed

8 oz. tamarind paste
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. fennel seeds
½ tsp. black mustard seeds
1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
⅓ cup pitted dates, finely chopped
¼ cup raisins
1 tsp. hot paprika

½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
1½ lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 tbsp. canola oil
¾ tsp. black mustard seeds
⅛ tsp. asafetida
1 ½"-piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ tsp. ground turmeric
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped mint
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup chickpea flour
¼ cup rice flour
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. baking soda
Canola oil, for frying
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 store-bought Parker House rolls, split but left hinged


1. Make the coriander chutney: Place cilantro, lemon juice, peanuts, coconut, salt, jalapeños, and ½ cup water in a blender, and purée until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

2. Make the tamarind chutney: Heat the tamarind paste and 2 cups water in a 1-qt. sauce pan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until tamarind dissolves. Pour through a medium strainer into a small bowl, pressing on solids to extract all pulp; discard solids and set aside pulp. Heat oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add fennel, mustard seeds, and chile; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 2–4 minutes. Add reserved tamarind pulp, brown sugar, dates, raisins, paprika, and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until reduced and thick, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

3. Make the vada: Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil, and add potatoes; cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. Drain in a colander, then pass through a potato ricer into a large bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and asafe­tida and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 3–4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 20–30 seconds. Add ½ tsp. turmeric, onion, and chile, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with potatoes, along with cilantro, mint, and juice; season with salt and stir until well combined. Shape mixture into 2" balls and transfer to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet; refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, whisk together ½ tsp. salt, remaining turmeric, chickpea and rice flours, yogurt, coriander, cumin, baking soda, and ¾ cup water until smooth; set aside.

4. Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2", and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 360°. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to dip potato balls into chickpea batter, shaking off excess, and transfer to oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until browned and puffed, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.

5. To assemble, heat butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add rolls, cut sides down, and cook until toasted, about 3 minutes. Spread 1 tbsp. coriander chutney inside top of each roll and 1 tbsp. tamarind chutney inside bottom of each roll. Place a potato ball in each and close, then gently smash.




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