It’s a monsoon time and what could be the better way to enjoy the cool breeze of air with warm Batata vada with spicy coriander chutney? This street food of Mumbai is almost guaranteed to be found at every chat vendor’s stall in entire Maharashtra and key ingredient in Pav-Vada – a staple food for hard working Maharashtrians.
3 medium Potatoes, boiled
1/4 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida
2 Green Chillies, chopped (or more to taste)
1/2 inch piece of Ginger, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped, optional
3-4 Curry Leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped Coriander Leaves
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice or 1/2 teaspoon Dry Mango Powder, optional
1/2 cup Gram Flour (besan/ chickpea flour/ chana flour)
1/3 cup Water (or more)
A pinch of Baking Soda (soda bi carbonate)
2 teaspoons Oil + for deep frying
Salt to taste
Have all the ingredients ready before starting to make vada. Make a paste of green chilli, ginger and garlic using mortar and pestle or in the small chutney jar of a mixer grinder.
Peel boiled potatoes and mash them with backside of a large spoon.
Heat 2-teaspoons oil in a small pan over medium flame. Add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add asafoetida, curry leaves and a paste of green chilli-ginger-garlic.
Stir and cook for a minute. Add turmeric powder and mix well.
Turn off the flame and transfer the prepared tempering over mashed potatoes. Add chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice and salt.
Mix well and taste for the lemon juice and salt. If required, add more lemon juice or salt.
Divide it into 9-10 equal portions. If mixture turns sticky, grease your hands with oil and make round shaped balls from it.
Prepare batter for vada – take gram flour, baking soda and salt in a wide mouthed bowl.
Add water (approx. 1/3 cup) little by little and stir continuously and make a lump free smooth batter. Consistency of the batter should be slightly thinner than dosa batter. If batter is too watery then add 1-2 teaspoons gram flour and if it is too thick then add little water and mix well.
Heat oil in a pan over medium flame for deep-frying. When oil is medium hot, dip each potato ball into batter and coat it evenly with hand or spoon and gently drop it into the hot oil. Drop 3-4 balls in a single batch and deep-fry them until light golden brown.
Drain excess oil using perforated spoon and transfer them over paper napkin on a plate. Deep-fry remaining balls. Batata Vada is now ready for serving. Serve hot with tea and green chutney / tomato ketch up.
Tips and Variations:
– Mashed potato mixture will turn sticky if boiled potato has excessive moisture. If mashed potato has excess moisture, cook it in a non-stick pan until excess moisture evaporates. Transfer it to a bowl, let it cool for few minutes and then add tempering and mix properly.
– Add 1/2-teaspoon cumin seeds and 1/4-teaspoon urad dal with mustard seeds for variation.
-If you want to make them in large quantity, prepare the vadas in advance and deep fry them again at the time of serving for crispy outer layer.
Taste: Crispy from outside and soft and spicy from inside
Serving Ideas: Serve Batata Vada as a snack or side dish with green chilli and coriander chutney. It can also be served alone with tomato ketchup.