Mumbai City never sleeps. Obviously that means that us Mumbaikars also never stop eating.
Road side eateries and restaurants stay open as late as 3 am and some even all night. Mumbai is famous for its Junk food and most popular food being Vada Pav or Batata Vada. Vada or potato fritter is made from potatoes, garlic, ginger and green chilli mixture that is dunked in a gram flour batter and deep fried till crisp. When eaten by themselves with chutney they are called Batata Vada. This is how we eat them at home.
On the roadside stalls they are served in between bun bread and sweet and spicy chutneys are applied on the bread and the vada is then placed in the centre. Eaten with dry garlic chutney and fried chillies. This in itself becomes a complete meal on the go. Mumbaikars eat this for breakfast, brunch and evening / late night snack. This is then called Vada Pav.
My mum and aunts (maushis) are experts at making Mumbai style junk food at home and obviously making it at home helps you control the amount of oil used and the quality of the ingredients used. I won’t say this is healthy but certainly way healthier than its roadside counterpart. However Batata Vada made at home is high on taste and at Mumbai 2 Melbourne one thing is we do not compromise on flavour !
So here is the recipe for Batata Vada/ Vada Pav or Mumbai Style Fried Potato fritters.
Ingredients needed are:
- Potatoes – 7 medium sized
- Onion – 1 finely chopped
- Green chillies – 4-5 roughly minced
- Garlic Cloves – 6 roughly minced
- Ginger – 1 inch piece – roughly minced
- Coriander leaves – 2 tablespoon finely chopped
- Oil- 1 tablespoon – to cook the spice mix
- Oil – enough for deep frying
- Besan/ Gram flour – 200 gms
- Rice flour – 1 tablespoon
- Water – enough to make a batter of medium consistency
- Turmeric – ½ teaspoon
- Red Chilli Powder – 2 teaspoon
- Cumin powder – ½ teaspoon
- Coriander powder – ½ teaspoon
- Asafoetida/ Hing – 1 pinch
Method of Preparation:
- Boil the potatoes in the pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles. Keep aside till the steam runs out. Then remove the skin and finely chop the potatoes similar to the size used while making a hash-brown. If you are unsure you could roughly mash them but do not make them pasty they should retain a bite. Add the ½ teaspoon turmeric powder all over the potato and mix well and keep aside.
- Finely chop the onion. Mince ginger, garlic cloves and chillies in a mortar and pestle roughly again retaining a bite. Next take one tablespoon of oil in a wok, let it heat on medium flame. Add the onion and let it get translucent which should take 5 – 7 minutes , then add the minced spice blend, salt and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
- Next add the potatoes to the wok and mix well with the spice blend and add the coriander leaves to this. Add salt to taste. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes and switch off the flame.
- Let this mixture cool. Once at room temperature make into golf sized balls. Cover with cling film and keep aside. This made me roughly 20 balls.
- Now for the outer coating, take a bowl add the gram flour and rice flour , asafoetida, red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder and salt. Mix well and slowly add enough water to make a batter of medium consistency. Ensure no lumps are formed.
- Heat enough oil in a kadhai on medium flame for about 10 minutes roughly. Dip the balls in the gram flour batter to coat evenly and then deep fry the balls (1 or 2 at a time) for a couple of minutes till the outer coating is crisp and golden.
- Drain on paper towels.
- This made me 20 Batata Vadas. In Maharashtra we love our Batata Vadas with Green chutney by itself. However the more popular way it is sold on stalls, and road side eateries is squeezed between fresh buns with green chutney, garlic chutney and some tamarind chutney and fried chillies as accompaniment.
- Either way Batata Vadas are an all time favourite food of Maharashtra and can now be enjoyed in your own home.
Recipe – Leena Paivaidya (Mum)
Concept, Styling and Photography- Sharvari P Mehan