Saturday, August 29, 2009

Batata Vada (mashed potato fritters Maharashtrian style) (Serves 6)

This is one of the staple foods made by Maharashtrians. And being from Bombay, I can say that over the years I have had more than the fair share of vada pavs (pronounced vadaa paav) made on streets of Bombay, India.

Pav is an Indian bread roll that is softer than ciabatta rolls and dense in structure. The usual way vada pavs are eaten in Bombay is that the fried vada is stuffed in between the roll spiced up with tangy and hot green chilli sauce. I have also eaten a variation where the unfried potato is stuffed inside the paav, and then the paav with the potato in it is dipped in batter and then deep fried. That is served with ketchup and is very tasty as well. Why wouldn't it be?

I wouldn't recommend one to buy the rolls available here in the US as they just aren't close to the taste that the Indian paav made in Bombay provides. You do get something called Bombay paav here in the Indian grocery stores, but it simply sucks. So why don't you just enjoy the vadas made using Padma's recipe instead? :-)

My friend Padma makes very very tasty vadas and are one of the best I have had. So here then is the recipe. Try it out and enjoy.

10 medium sized potatoes
3-4 green chillies
2 big garlic cloves
1/4 tsp yellow turmeric powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1 large bunch coriander leaves finely chopped

2 cups Indian gram flour (besan)
2 tbsp white rice flour
2 cups water
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp yellow turmeric (mustard) powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder

Boil and mash the potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are not over-boiled. In a wok, pour 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Once the oil heats up, add grated garlic, finely chopped green chillies, and turmeric powder. After 30 - 45 secs add the potatoes and salt to taste. Mix well over medium heat. Add the chopped coriander leaves. After the mixture cools, make lime sized balls.

Mix the batter ingredients with water. Dip the balls in the batter and deep fry in medium to hot oil till the vadas are golden brown.

Serve the vadas hot with ketchup, or any of the chutneys you can buy from any Indian grocery store.

Health Rating: Medium

Bio on Padma:

Padma is my close friend Sriram's wife. Padma lives with her husband and son in Westchester County. She works in Westchester and is a Physical Therapist (a good one at that) by profession.