Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Batata Vada

I am re-posting this post as my entry to DK "Potato Fe(a)st".

You will be able to see the "vada-pav" carts everywhere in Mumbai. Well, deep fried and full of carbohydrates, it's not exactly the healthiest food. but I just love those batatavadas. Today, I have tried to re-create the same magic in my kitchen. Just like every recipe takes a different turn in every kitchen, there are numerous recipes of batatvadas. Some add onions, some do not add turmeric powder (hence greenish looking inside potato stuffing!), some have shape like ball and some are flat. Every household chooses their own way. But today, I tried to re-create just like we get on the streets.

Batata Vada
4 all-purpose potatoes
For paste -
3-4 cloves of garlic
handful of cilantro
1/2" ginger, peeled
2-3 green chilies
salt to taste

Tempering -
2tsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For the batter-
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A generous pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
A pinch of baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

1. Pressure cook the potatoes. Peel and mash. Keep aside
2. Grind all the ingredients for the paste. Keep aside.
3. In a bowl, Mix besan/chickpea flour, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt, baking soda. Add water slowly to make very thick batter. The batter should not be too thin. If you put a spoon inside, it should stick to the back of the spoon. Keep aside.
4. Add the ground green paste to the mashed potatoes. Mash well.
5. Heat 2 tsp oil in a small frying pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. When the mustard seeds start sputtering, add the tempered oil to the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
6. Make small spheres. Keep aside.
7. Heat a kadai or wok for deep frying.
8. Get ready for the batch processing. While oil is getting heated, arrange the plate of potato spheres, a bowl of batter, a bowl of water, a dry kitchen napkin, a serving plate lined with paper towel.
9. Dip the potato sphere in the batter so it is nicely covered with batter from all sides.
10. Gently slip in the hot oil. Add more spheres but do not overcrowd the kadai.
11. Dip your hands in the water, dry with the clean kitchen napkin.
12. Now use perforated spoon to flip the vadas so that it is nicely cooked from all the sides.
13. When fully cooked, place them on the paper-towel lined platter. Repeat the frying process for the rest of the vadas.
14. Make sure they are fully cooked, but they should not be turned brown for the real look.
15. Serve hot with hot garlic chutney.

Variations -
For potato stuffing -
1. For an authentic Gujarati style vada, do not add the tempered oil. Make the vada smaller in size. The stuffing should look greenish.
2. For an authentic Madhya Pradesh style (Indore) vada called alu-vada, do not add the tempered oil. Also add a generous pinch of garam masala and red chili powder in the potato stuffing. The stuffing should look brownish.
3. For an authentic South Indian style vada, do not add turmeric powder in tempering or in the batter. In the tempering, add mustard seeds, urad daal, curry leaves. Do not add the paste. Instead add grated coconut, chopped green chilies and grated ginger. The stuffing should look creamish white.
4. For batatavada tasted near Pratapgad, Pune, use exact same procedure as Mumbai style vada, but also add roasted, whole peanuts.

Slit a dinner roll, or paav. Stuff the vada inside. You can choose any variation of your choice.
1. Spread some garlic chutney on the paav.
2. Smear some sweet sour chutney, green chutney and finely chopped onion.
3. Smear some green chili pickle on the paav.
4. Spread just green chutney and sweet sour chutney on the paav.

This post is my contribution to DK's "Potato Fe(a)st ". She graciously replied my email and allowed me to re-blog previous post. I will also write a new blog post just for this event. After all it's much beloved "Potato" we are talking about! :-)


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