Tas'tea Pairings Part III


When it comes to tea time treats, there is little that doesn't go with chai. From decadent dessert to spicy sev, tas'tea pairing is the perfect way to enhance the taste of a dish as well as the drink itself.

Today we are taking inspiration from my days growing up in Mumbai. 

High tea at the Sea Lounge in The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is one of the best ways to spend a summer afternoon. 

Gateway of India

It is a lounge with art deco accents & British - Indian fare, a breathtaking view of the Arabian ocean, and the best afternoon tea and snacks you can get in the city. An indulgent spread, inspired by British tea traditions fused with Indian Chai culture. A colorful combination of fusion food like Gulab Jamun cake, chutney tea sandwiches, and more. 

Sea Lounge

Now, thousands of miles from Mumbai, I find myself craving tea'licious tea time treats like batata vada-pav. So Madura and I create our own high tea experience with a special recipe from her mom for batata vada. 

We find that Black teas with their robust flavors pair well with spicy Indian snacks. 


chai and cookies

Batata vada is a Maharashtrian delicacy "Batata" means potato, and "Vada" means fritter. "Pav" is a derivative of the Portuguese word pão, which means bread. Thus, batata vada literally means potato fritter. A mashed, spiced potato patty coated in chickpea batter, deep-fried and served on a bed of spicy garlic chutney in a burger bun x savory Hawaiian roll ish bread called pav with a side of fried green chilies. 

Vada pav

The dish was first introduced in the Industrial capital of India, the city that never sleeps - My city- Mumbai (also known as Bombay) 

First sold at the train station of Dadar (an important, busy, and extremely crowded train station connecting various train lines in Mumbai). This carbohydrate-rich snack was a quick, no-mess meal for factory and cotton mill workers traveling in the local trains. 

When the textile mills began closing down in the 1970's, mill workers began selling vada pav at pop-up food stalls to earn some cash. 

Over the years, the dish has evolved to have several variations. The taste is an influence of the way the potato stuffing is flavored

Even within the state of Maharashtra, batata vada tastes on varied flavors in different regions like Pune, Nashik, etc. 

Wintery weather here on the eastern coast of the United States is the perfect time to snack on scrumptious spicy snacks and sip on steaming hot masala chai. Sanyukta Bharatam

/Sung.yūk.ta Bha.ra.tum/ noun; Sanskrit meaning 'United India' 

Classic Masala Chai

Our classic masala chai is an aromatic blend of spices and tea leaves hand-picked in Assam - the land of tea garden. This chai is inspired by the 'unity in diversity' in India, a blend of several regional cultures and traditions of Bharat (the original name for India).

No matter where you go in India, masala chai tastes about the same. It incorporates spices from different corners of the country, amalgamating into one united chai you can enjoy year-round.

Aroma: Highly aromatic spiced tea, with the complex scent of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. 

Taste: Head Notes: Spices; 

Body Notes: Warm spicy undertones with a malty flavor in a body of fresh black tea; 

Tail Notes: Gingery heat with bottom notes of rich and creamy milk. 

Color: Burnt toffee.

We hope you get a taste of warm Indian hospitality with this chai.  

The Chai Impact

Did you know our tea leaves are hand-picked from Assam, the land of tea gardens?

Tea can create better lives – for tea workers, smallholder tea farmers, and tea drinkers. 

We put immense effort into finding the perfect suppliers; our tea comes from a sustainable farm. The farm provides eco-homes to vulnerable families. They also offer educational scholarships to families who work in tea estates, so their children can learn and earn better. 

We emphasize valuing tea workers and smallholder farmers' human rights and working to improve their health and financial security while protecting and nurturing the land they work on. 

The Chai Bar Green Tea is so much more than the taste, aroma, & flavor. It goes beyond with The Chai Impact.

Gluten-Free; Fat-Free; All Natural; Women-owned; Hand-blended


Black Tea Blend, Ginger, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cloves, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Fennel, Nutmeg, Star Anise, White Pepper

All set to try Masala Chai & Vada-Pav? Great! Let's get cooking.  


For the potato stuffing:

  1. 2 large potatoes
  2. 2 tbsp Sunflower or any other neutral flavor oil
  3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  4. green chilies or as per taste
  5. 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
  6. Pinch of asafoetida
  7. ½ tsp turmeric
  8. 2- 3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  9. Salt to taste

For the batter:

  1. ¾ cup chickpea flour
  2. ½ tsp turmeric
  3. 1/3 -1/2 cup water
  4. ½ tsp salt or as per taste
  5. A pinch of baking soda
  6. 1 tbsp hot oil

For assembling the vada pav:

  1. Canola/Sunflower oil for deep frying
  2. 6 pav or Dinner rolls or Hawaiian rolls
  3. Garlic chutney 
  4. Tamarind Chutney 
  5. Mint coriander chutney 
  6. Fried and steamed green chili peppers 


Potato Stuffing:

1. Boil the potatoes until cooked through, cool and peel, then mash. 

2. Using mortar and pestle, make a coarse paste of green chili and garlic

3. Heat 2 tbsp neutral oil, add mustard seeds and let em crackle, add the chili garlic paste and saute until the raw smell of garlic is gone (do not let this turn brown). Turn off the heat, add turmeric and salt. Mix well.

4. Add the hot mixture and fresh chopped cilantro (if you don't have fresh cilantro, don't use the dried kind, just skip it) to the mashed potatoes. Blend the mix well. 

5. Make small to medium balls of this mixture.


1. In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Add hot oil (frying temp) to the mixture. Mix well with a spoon.

2. Slowly add water and make the batter. Aim for pancake batter consistency.


1. Heat oil in a kadhai or deep-frying pot.

2. Dip 2 potato balls at a time in the batter, coating evenly.

3. Using a long handled spoon and splatter guard, carefully and gently add the balls to the hot oil 

TEA'P: Add the vada balls from the side of the pot to minimize splatter.

4. Fry these on both sides by flipping once the one side is golden brown.

5. Drain the oil and place them on paper towels to further drain any excess oil.

6. In the same oil, fry 2 to 3 green chilies. Do slit each green chili before frying.


Cut the pav/ dinner roll/ Hawaiian roll in half sideways, add chutneys if any, stick the fried potato patty in the roll. Serve with green chillis and chai.

 For the Spicy Green Chutney: 

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint 
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander 
  • 3 green chilies 
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala 
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp salt  

Mix the ingredients in a grinder until smooth, add water as needed. 

For the Spicy Dry Garlic Chutney: 

  • 1 teaspoon oil - can use peanut oil or sunflower oil
  •  8 grams garlic or 22 to 24 small garlic cloves or 1 tablespoon small garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  •  1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder or add as required
  • ½ teaspoon salt or add as per taste

Sautéing Dry Garlic Chutney Ingredients

  • In a heavy bottom pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil on a low flame. 
  • Add the garlic cloves, sauté for about 30 to 40 seconds.
  • Add 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds. Sauté for about 15 to 20 seconds or till the sesame seeds change color.
  • Switch off the heat. Add ½ cup desiccated coconut. Mix very well.
  • Add 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder. You can reduce the amount of Kashmiri red chili powder if you want, as 1 tablespoon gives a spicy taste.
  • Then add ½ teaspoon salt or add as per taste.
  • Mix again and let this mixture cool down.

Making Dry Garlic Chutney

  • When the mixture has cooled down completely, add in a small dry grinder jar.
  • Grind in intervals of 4 to 5 seconds and stop. Do not grind at a stretch; this can cause the coconut and sesame seeds to release oil and turn your chutney into butter.  
  • You can even use the pulse option of the mixer-grinder.
  • Grind to a coarse or semi-fine mixture. Spoon the dry garlic chutney in a small glass jar or bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
  • Serve dry garlic chutney as required with any snacks like vada pav or onion pakora.

Impress your guests at your next tea party by pairing our tea'licius chai and batata vada pav. Let us know what your favorite spices are to add to batata vada in the comments below. 

Stay tuned for more tas'tea pairings. 

Chai Bye, 

Sargam and Madura 

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