Batata Vadas

Batata Vadas, Aloo Bonda, Aloo Vada, Aloo Chop – different names to describe one mouth watering street food snack now served all over India! Mumbaikers claim Batata Vadas as their creation and I believe them because their recipe is absolutely delicious. If you’re not familiar with this Mumbai street food snack – imagine spicy potato balls dipped in a gram flour batter which are then deep fried.

Spicy and soft, Batata Vadas provide joy and comfort with every bite. They’re utterly moreish on their own but are often served inside a fluffy white bun to transform them into a portable snack on the go called Vada Pav. To turn up the flavour volume, the inside of the bun is smothered with a fiery coriander & mint chutney, a roasted garlic & peanut crumble and any crispy bits of batter which may remain in pan once the vadas are fried. Talk about a (carby) sandwich of dreams!

Whether you relish these on their own or as Vada Pavs, I hope you enjoy them! Oh and if you have any leftover batter you can transform them into pudas. If you’d like to watch me make Batata Vadas, watch the cook-a-long from my recent Facebook live.

Batata Vadas

Servings 4

Equipment

  • Frying pan & wooden spoon
  • Mixing Bowl & whisk
  • Small wok & slotted spoon

Ingredients
  

For the Stuffing:

  • 2 tbsp oil of your choice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 onion 40g, finely diced
  • 2 cms ginger grated
  • 1 large garlic clove grated
  • 15 fresh curry leaves completely optional. If using dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes ahead of time.
  • 600 g potatoes cooked, peeled & roughly mashed with a fork ( I will cook mine in the microwave but you can also steam or boil)
  • 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchur/mango powder or juice from a lime
  • 1/2 tsp mild paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chilli powder or according to taste
  • 2 fresh chillies finely chopped
  • small handful fresh coriander stems finely chopped

For the Batter:

  • 200 g gram flour/chickpea flour sifted into a bowl
  • water (approx 250mls)

You will also need:

  • Oil for deep frying sunflower/veg oil work well

Instructions
 

  • To make the stuffing, place your mashed potatoes on a wide tray or big plate and spread the potatoes out. Now, heat oil in a frying pan. Once hot add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves as well as the onions and mix.
  • Cook the onions for a minute, then add the ginger and garlic. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat until light golden in colour then add to the potatoes. (If you find the pan looks dry during the cooking process, you can add a little more oil or a splash of water to ensure nothing burns).
  • Now add the salt and remaining spices as well as the chillies and fresh coriander. Mix well using your hand. Taste for salt and chilli and tweak according to your personal taste preference. Once combined, roll into balls. You can vary the size on your personal preference! Traditionally they are a little bigger than golf balls. Once rolled, keep aside.
  • Fill a small wok or saucepan with 4-5cms of oil. Place on your cooker on a low heat setting.
  • To create the batter, add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4tsp turmeric powder and a pinch of chilli powder to the sifted gram flour. Gradually add the water and whisk simultaneously. Add enough water so you have a thick, smooth, lump free batter. It should easily coat the back of a spoon but should be a little thicker than pancake batter.
  • Increase the temperature of the oil in the wok to medium. To check if the oil is hot enough, add a little spoon of batter to the pan. It should float up to the surface and bubble within about 5 seconds. (If it is too cold it will stay at the bottom and if it is too hot it will come up to the surface immediately and turn brown).
  • Once you're happy with the oil temperature, place a potato ball in the batter. Spoon over the batter so the ball is completely covered in it. Now, pick up the bowl containing the batter and hold it close to the wok. Use the spoon to carefully transfer the battered vada into the oil. Repeat until you wok is full (being careful not to overcrowd).
  • After the vadas are sealed (take 10-12 seconds), use a slotted spoon to keep them moving. Cook on a medium heat for 4-6 minutes until golden and crisp to touch. They should stay yellowish – light golden in the 2-3 minutes and then eventually begin to turn completely golden in the final 2-3 minutes. Keep them moving in the oil to prevent any dark spots.
  • Once ready, use your slotted spoon to remove the vadas from the pan – draining as much oil as possible before placing them on some kitchen paper.
  • Repeat with the remaining potato balls. Serve with your favourite dipping sauces and chutneys!

Notes

The recipe for the green coriander chutney can be found here

Bombay Masala Sandwich

I decided to transport my students to the roadsides of Mumbai for this week’s LIVE Spice Club “isolation cookery class“. There are so many mouth watering Indian street food dishes and it’s hard to pick a favourite but this definitely ranks in the “top 10” shortlist.

Crunchy, spicy, cheesy, crispy – it’s got it all! It’s also a sandwich that yields 3 recipes in one.

1) The coriander & chilli chutney – this makes for a delicious dipping sauce with any of your favourite snacks.

2) The spicy poatato filling – you can use this as a stuffing for samosas, puff pastry snacks, parathas – whatever your heart desires!

3) Obviously when you put everything together, you get the Bombay sandwich in all it’s glory!

If you missed the live cookery class but want to catch up and watch, you can do so by clicking here. I will not be hosting a live class next Friday, but worry not, I will be back on Friday 15th May at 4pm. Until then, if you have any dish suggestions for the next live class, let me know. Also stay connected on my  Instagram or Facebook pages!

Bombay Masala Sandwich

Servings 2 sandwiches

Equipment

  • A blender such as a nutribullet or blend tech to make a smooth chutney
  • 2 x Frying pans, ideally non stick (or 1 x non stick crepe pan & 1 frying pan)

Ingredients
  

For the coriander chutney:

  • 1 bunch fresh coriander 40g or so
  • 20 mint leaves optional
  • 4 chillies or to taste
  • 1 apple granny smith is ideal
  • 1 small onion peeled
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 1/4 tsp Salt or according to taste
  • 4 tbsp desicated coconut optional
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) plus 2tbsp Water

For the sandwich:

  • 4 slices white bread you can also use brown
  • Butter left out at room temp so spreadable
  • 100 g cheese grated (I like to use a mix of cheddar & mozzarella)
  • 1 red onion cut into thinly sliced rounds
  • 1 tomato cut into thinly sliced rounds (optional)
  • Chaat Masala optional

For the spicy potatoes:

  • 400 g potatoes, cooked, peeled & mashed with a fork (You can boil. I cook mine in the microwave . To do this wash potatoes and place in a small clean plastic bag. Tie up and pierce a hole in it then cook on high for 8-10 minutes or until cooked).
  • Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 3 tbsp Fresh coriander roughly choped
  • 1 clove garlic optional
  • 1 cm ginger grated (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or according to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli powder or flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Mango Powder (amchur) or 1/2 tsp Lime

Instructions
 

  • To make the chutney, add all of the “chutney ingredients” to a blender and blitz into a smooth sauce. Empty into a bowl and keep aside.
  • Now mash the potatoes and spread them on a plate. Sprinkle over the salt, turmeric, chilli powder & mango powder and mix well. Now heat 2tbsp of oil in a non stick pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they sizzle and pop, add the coriander, ginger & garlic. Mix and cook for a a minute, then add the potatoes. Cook on a low heat for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
  • To assemble the sandwich, butter one side of both slices of bread. Flip over. Now spread the mint chutney on the other side of both pieces.
  • Spread the spiced potato mixture on one slice (chutney side up). Add half the amount of cheese and a sprinkle of chaat masala all over. Now top with onion slices, tomato slices, the remaining cheese and another sprinkle of chaat masala.
  • Place the second piece of bread on top (butter side up). Heat a frying pan greased with a little oil/butter. Once hot, place the sandwich onto the pan and fry on a low heat for 4 minutes. You can add a weight on top (like another frying pan) to help cook and crisp. Flip and repeat on the other side for a further 4 minutes until golden and crispy all over. Enjoy!

Chilli Cheese Parathas

Week two of my Facebook LIVE COOKERY CLASSES brought Chilli Cheese Parathas to the kitchen! Once you’ve been introduced to the deliciousness that is stuffed parathas, there is no turning back.

Chilli and cheese is such a great combination but you can stuff your parathas with whatever you like! Gobi Parathas (spiced cauliflower) are the paratha of choice in my home. Oh and Cheeni Parathas, which are stuffed with ghee and sugar. Honestly, you are winning whatever you choose. You can also use the dough to make plain chapatis or parathas which make the perfect accompaniment to your favourite curry or simply with a fried egg on top.

Have a go and let me know how they turn out for you! If you missed the live cookery class but want to catch up and watch, you can do so by clicking here. Also, if you have any dish suggestions for next week’s class, comment below or drop me a message on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

Chilli Cheese Parathas

Servings 4 parathas

Ingredients
  

For the dough:

  • 1 cup (130g) chapati flour you can also use plain flour
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tbsp warm water (this is a rough guide, you may need more or water depending on your flour type)
  • Oil for kneading

For the stuffing:

  • 150 g grated cheese I like to mix 1/2 cheddar & 1/2 mozzarella for flavour & texture but you can you use what you like!
  • 1/2 medium onion finely diced (I like to use red, you can you whatever you have)
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped or you can use chilli flakes/chilli powder
  • Handful fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Carom/ajwain seeds optional
  • 3/4 tsp Salt or acc to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper

You will also need:

  • A non stick chapati tava pan/crepe pan/ non stick frying pan
  • A rolling Pin
  • A bowl with some chapati/plain flour in it for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the yoghurt and rub in really well using your finger tips until it is completely mixed in. Then, add the water little by little. Use your hand to combine the flour and water to make a dough. You are looking for the dough to be soft and tacky but not overly wet. 
  • Now, very lightly grease your hand and begin to knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until you have a smooth and pliable dough. Cover with cling film/damp tea towel and leave aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix together the stuffing ingredients. Keep aside. 
  • Now heat a tava/non-stick frying/crepe pan on high heat. Once the pan is hot, reduce to a low heat whilst you prepare the parathas.
  • Divide your dough into 4 equal dough balls. Roll each one so they are smooth and round. 
  • Dip one dough ball into the bowl of dry flour and with a rolling pin, begin to roll out until the size of a starter plate, forming a chapati
  • Divide your cheese stuffing into 4 portions. Place one portion of the stuffing in the centre of the chapati and bring together all of the edges so that they meet in the middle. Press down so it is sealed.
  • Dip the sealed stuffed dough ball in the flour and shake off any excess. Place on your work surface and roll out gently until it is 7-8β€³ in diameter and even in thickness all the way around.
  • Increase the heat of your pan to the maximum setting. Carefully pick up the paratha, web your fingers and flip the paratha from hand to hand to get rid of any excess flour.
  • Place it on the hot pan. When it changes colour and small bubbles begin to appear turn it over and cook the other side.
  • Cook until paratha is golden, then flip and cook until golden and all over and crispy. Finish by smearing a teaspoon of ghee or butter. β€’ Make the rest of the parathas using the same process. Keep them wrapped in a towel or foil until ready to serve.