Batata Vada (Maharashtra Special)

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There is something special about Mumbai. The city is so full of life that it is difficult to describe it in words. Life goes on in a busy manner along the sea, people going about their daily chores in a way which is routine for them, but which appears unique to an outsider. Often, in the hustle and bustle of the fast Mumbai life, one finds it difficult to sit down and eat a hearty meal. Many, on the other hand, find it difficult to afford a hearty meal each day. But Mumbai is one city that has something to offer to everybody. Be it a welcome warmth, or yummy food. Street food options are available aplenty in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. And most of these food items are available at prices that are affordable to everyone. The good thing about Mumbai street food is that it fills your tummy while, at the same time, satisfying your taste buds. Batata Vada is one such street food. Spiced potato patties dipped in a gram flour batter and deep fried, Batata Vada is eaten hot with Chutney. When tucked in between two halves of a bun (Pav), Batata Vada becomes Vada Pav, a famous street food of Mumbai. I have spent a considerable amount of time in Mumbai, and have a certain weak spot for the delicacies available there. Since I miss Maharashtrian food so much in Delhi, I often make something at home. Last evening, it was Batata Vada, Vada Pav and Misal Pav. I am sharing the recipe of Batata Vada today, to be followed by the rest soon. Here’s how you can make it:

INGREDIENTS:

2 large potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed)
3 cloves garlic
2 green chilies
1/2 inch piece ginger
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
8-10 curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup gram flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
100 ml water
Oil (to fry)

RECIPE:

Take the boiled and mashed potatoes in a bowl and add salt to it. Mix well. In a mortar, pound green chilies, ginger and garlic with a pestle.

Heat one teaspoon oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When it stops spluttering, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Now add the crushed green chilies, ginger and garlic. Stir and remove the pan from heat. You should not cook the ginger-garlic-green chili as authentic Maharashtrian food retains a slight rawness of garlic. Add turmeric powder. Add this to the mashed potatoes and mix well.

In another bowl, mix gram flour, salt, turmeric powder and baking soda. Add water gradually to make a thick batter. Make sure there are no lumps. Set to rest for 5 mins.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Make lemon sized balls of the potato mixture. Dip them one by one in the gram flour batter and drop in hot oil. Reduce the heat to minimum and fry till the balls turn golden. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with Green Coriander Chutneyย and Date Tamarind Chutney.

Eat, drink and be merry! ๐Ÿ™‚

NOTE: You can add onions to the potato filling if you like the flavor. Finely chop onions and add them to the frying pan after mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. When the onion turns translucent, add ginger-garlic-green chili and turmeric powder and remove from heat. Then follow the same procedure as given above.

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