Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha

Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha is a lip-smacking breakfast sold on the streets of Lonavala. It is the Indian version of a burger. A soft, spicy potato fried fritter is sandwiched in between a soft pav. Spicy chutney and a fried chilly enhance the flavours.

With the alphabet L in our A to Z series, let me take you to Lonavala. Lonavala is a hill station near Mumbai. It is called the Jewel of Sahyadri and the city of Caves. The city is surrounded by green valleys, stunning waterfalls, serene lakes and lovely caves. In fact, the name Lonavala is derived from the words Leni which mean caves and avail which means Series.

We visited Lonavala very recently. It is just two hours from Mumbai and a favourite joint for many. My cousins living in Mumbai know my love for street food. So in came suggestions! And it was Golden Vada Pav, by all of them.

Vada Pav is a Maharashtrian snack that is made of a deep-fried potato fritter and a bread-like bun.
The snack is very popular globally and is pocket friendly too. Each state and each vendor has their own version. My favourite one is the Mumbai style Vada Pav, but I also love the utterly buttery Gujju Version too. And now it is the Vada Pav with Thecha. This Vada Pav is a total treat, you must try it to know what I am mean. You can always adjust the spice levels to suit your taste.

Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha

What is Golden Vada Pav?

Golden Vada Pav is the name of the shop that sells Vada Pav in Lonavala. The shop is in the heart of the city and started as a Chikki shop. It is now famous for its snacks. It sells Samosa, Kachori, Moong Bhajji, Vada, Jalebi and some more snacks, but the Vada Pav is iconic. Priced at Rs 17, it is a steal deal!

What is unique about Lonavala Vada Pav ?

The Vada is almost similar to Mumbai Vada, this being flat unlike the round Mumbai version.
Lonavala Vada Pav is served with a fresh green chilly Thecha, that gives a very unique flavour. The Thecha is a chilly chutney, a really firey one and it enhances the taste of Vada Pav.

Ingredients required to make Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav

Vada

Potato: I have used boiled potatoes , boil them in a pressure cooker or in a microwave. Peel and mash them.
Oil: Use any cooking oil you have.
Seasoning: Season with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Spices: Everyday spices like turmeric powder, chilly powder , garam masala and dry mango powder go into this vada mixture.
Ginger Garlic: Make a paste of ginger and garlic. Add it to the potato masala. Do not sauté it as roasting it will change the flavor of the vada.

Batter

Besan: Use a good quality besan and sieve it.
Cooking Soda: A small pinch makes the vada soft.
Spices: Simply use salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.

Thecha

Green Chilly: The spice level of Thecha depends on the chilly you use. I have used the moderately spiced chillies, I also like to add a few non spicy ones to give body to the chutney.
Ginger: We do not add ginger to the original version of Maharashtrian Thecha . Here I have used a very small piece.
Garlic: Garlic is very prominent in a Thecha , but it should not overpower the chutney.
Salt and Turmeric Powder as per taste.

Pav

Either homemade or store-bought.

How to make Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha

Thecha

We will first make the Thecha
Lightly roast the green chilly on a griddle. Roasting the chilly gives it a unique flavour.
Throw the chillies into a mortar, and add ginger, garlic and salt.
Now using a pestle pound coarsely.
I like to temper the thecha, so heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan.
Add mustard seeds and as soon as they splutter, add turmeric powder and the pounded thecha.
Switch off the flame and mix it well.

Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha

Let’s make the Vada Stuffing

To make this stuffing firstly boil the potatoes, peel and mash them.
Next heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil, as soon as the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Let splutter.
Now reduce the flame and add coriander seeds, chopped green chilly, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida. Sauté for a few seconds.
Add turmeric powder and the boiled mashed potatoes.
Increase the flame. Now add salt, red chilly powder, dry mango powder,garam masala, ginger garlic paste and finally coriander.
Switch off the flame and mix very well.
Transfer to a plate, and allow the mixture to cool. Take a test check.
Make slightly larger than lemon sized balls and flatten them.

Let’s make the Batter

To make the batter first sieve the besan to remove any lumps.
Now add salt and a pinch of turmeric powder and cooking soda.
Gradually add water and make a lump-free and smooth batter. The batter should neither be too thin nor too thick.

Frying the Vada

Heat oil in a large Kadhai.
Dip each potato piece into the batter, so it is well coated. Gently and carefully slide it into the hot oil.
Similarly, dip all the prepared potato pieces into the batter and fry to a golden. Flip for even frying.

Assembling the Vada Pav

I have used the store-bought Pav, but you can make them at home too.
Slit the pav from the centre, do not cut through.
Apply a layer of Thecha, and place a Vada and a fried green chilly.
Enjoy!

Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha

Variations of Vada Pav

Vada Pav is a traditional snack from Maharashtra but is popular in almost all cities and towns. Each city, rather each vendor has their own version. I have tried a few variations and each one tastes better than the other.

Mumbai style Vada Pav
Vada Pav from Gujrat
Kutch nu Vada Pav
Vada Pav Bites
Vada Pav Bombs

I have a few more versions that I have on my to-do list –

Ulta Vada Pav
Vada Pav with Choora
Baked Vada Pav

Storage Suggestions

I store the vada in the frig for 2-3 days, depending on the weather conditions.
Freeze the vada in a freezer-safe box for up to 2-3 months. Thaw and use an air fryer to refresh the vadas.

This is the Vada Pav that I relished at Golden Vada Pav! It tickles your tastebuds and satisfies your tummy.

Other Popular Street Foods of Lonavala

Chikki
Fudge
Moong Bhajji
Samosa
Misal Pav
Jalebi
Pizza
Strawberry Cream with Icecream

Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha

Let’s check the Breakfasts that I have already posted in this series.

A -Z Breakfast on Indian Streets

January

Amritsar Breakfast | Chola Poori

Bhavnagar Breakfast | Chana Moth

Chandigarh Breakfast | Matar Paneer Paratha

February

Delhi Breakfast | Bedmi Poori

Eklingji Breakfast | Mirchi Vada

Faridabad Breakfast | Katlambe Aloo Chole

March

Ghaziabad Breakfast | Poori Sabzi Halwai Style

Haridwar Breakfast | Chola Aloo Poori Thali

Indore Breakfast | Poha Jalebi

April

Jamnagar Breakfast | Bhareli Poori

Kolkata Breakfast | Pitai Paratha with Ghughni

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5 from 6 votes

Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha

Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha is a lip-smacking breakfast sold on the streets of Lonavala. It is the Indian version of a burger. A soft, spicy potato fried fritter is sandwiched in between a soft pav. Spicy chutney and a fried chilly enhance the flavours.
Course Breakfast, Tea Time
Cuisine Indian Cuisine, Maharashtrian
Keyword Street Food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Vaishali Sabnani

Ingredients

Thecha

  • 8-10 Green Chilly
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic
  • 1' piece Ginger
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • Pinch Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to taste

Vada

  • 1 cup Potato boiled and mashed
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Green Chilly chopped
  • Pinch Asafoetida
  • Curry Leaves few
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chilly Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dry Mango Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • Salt to taste

Batter

  • 3/4 cup Besan
  • Pinch Turmeric Powder
  • Pinch Cooking Soda
  • Salt to taste

Pav

    Instructions

    Thecha

    • Lightly roast the green chilly over a griddle.
    • Throw them in a mortar , add ginger, garlic and salt.
    • Using a pestle pound everything to get a coarse paste.
    • Heat oil in a nonstick pan , add mustard seeds, let them crack. Immediately add turmeric powder and the prepared paste.
    • Switch off the flame and mix well .

    Vada

    • Heat oil in a pan .
    • Add mustard seeds , as soon as they crack add coriander seeds , asafoetida green chilly and curry leaves.
    • Next add turmeric powder and immediately add the mashed potatoes . Give a good stir.
    • Now add salt, red chilly powder, dry mango powder and garam masala.
    • Also add ginger garlic paste and chopped coriander. Mix very well .
    • Transfer to a plate or tray and allow the mix to come to room temperature .
    • Make slightly bigger than lemon sized balls and keep aside.

    Batter

    • Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
    • Make batter using water.

    Frying the Vada

    • Heat oil for frying.
    • Dip each potato ball in the besan batter so that it coats all over.
    • Gently slide into the hot oil.
    • Deep fry to a golden brown.

    Assembling the Vada Pav

    • I have used the store bought Pav , but you can make them at home too.
    • Slit the pav from centre , do not cut through.
    • Apply a layer of Thecha , place a Vada and a fried green chilly .
    • Enjoy !
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    6 thoughts on “Lonavala Breakfast | Vada Pav with Thecha”

    1. 5 stars
      my elder one LOVES Mumbaiyya vada pava and can probably live off this for a week or two. The thecha is a key differentiator here and I love the rustic presentation too !

    2. 5 stars
      Never knew that there are so many variations of Vada Pav ! Lonavala VadaPav with Thecha sounds amazing, I am sure it must have been so delicious with Thecha. I love this Maharashtrian snack and can survive on it for days . Awesome presentation as usual.

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