Whenever a fresh shower of rain decides to grace itself making the surroundings cool, breezy and green my cravings for deep fried food are at their peak.
With that being said, say hello to deep fried potato Balls a.k.a. “Batata Wadas” generously fried in a deep vessel full of oil to crispy golden perfection on the outside and divine deliciousness on the inside.
Batata Wada is a popular street food in Mumbai and I am yet to meet someone who hasn’t loved it!
There is something about a humble fried potato that can brighten up a cloudy gloomy day especially when you have them along fresh coriander or mint chutney! Do not bother making this if you are scared of having few extra teaspoons of oil in your tummy. I do not make this often but when I do i ensure to make it deep fried and nothing else.
In Mumbai, it is common to see long queues of people waiting to be served these wadas right from the fryer itself as the vendors can hardly keep up with the demand!
I vividly remember I was with my cousins in Mumbai on a rainy day and we were waiting on the street for about an hour to have these from a popular local “Jumbo Wada Pav” stall. You would think that the streets of Mumbai would be less crowded since it was pouring but NO!
The aromas of the fried potatoes actually were attracting more people who were stuck in the shower. We managed to battle our way out of the crowded street feeling happy and content as if we had eaten something God sent and if we were to go through a wait of another hour in the rain we would happily do it!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 10 medium sized Wadas (dumplings)
Ingredients: 500 gm potatoes boiled and coarsely mashed Oil for deep frying Tempering: 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds 5-6 Curry Leaves Pinch of Asafoetida 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder 2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped 1 inch piece Ginger, finely chopped 5 large cloves Garlic, finely chopped 1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped Salt, as per taste 2 tsp Oil Batter: 1 and 1/4 cup Chickpea Flour (Besan) 1 Tbsp cornflour Water 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder Salt A pinch of Baking Soda
For the filling
1. Grind garlic, ginger and green chilies together into a coarse paste. If you do not have a spice grinder just grate them finely and crush them with a mortar and pestle.
2. Heat oil in a pan and then add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add a pinch of asafoetida and curry leaves. Add ginger, garlic and green chilies paste and saute for a minute.
3. To that add coarsely mashed potatoes and turmeric, salt and coriander leaves. Mix until the potatoes are evenly coated.
4. Keep the potato filling aside and let it cool.
For the batter
1. In a mixing bowl, add Chickpea flour, cornflour, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt to taste. Add water and whisk it into a smooth pouring consistency batter.
2. Add water slowly about 3 Tbsp at a time. The batter should not be too thick or too thin. To that add 2 pinches of soda bicarbonate and pour 3-4 drops of hot oil over it. Let it react and mix it together.
1. Make 1 & 1/2 inch balls of potato filling.
2. Dip the potato balls into the batter and add them to the hot oil. Always add them from the side of the vessel else you will end up with hot oil on your hands or face and we do not want that!
3. Fry them on a medium flame until they turn golden brown. Flip them and continue to cook them until they are crispy – golden brown.
4. Once done, place them on a paper napkin or kitchen towel to remove the excess oil. It can be eaten as a snack or add a pav (bread/bun) into it and it becomes lunch or dinner.
Pick a spot beside your window and enjoy these wadas over a steaming cup of Masala Chai!! And don’t forget to dunk them in some spicy coriander chutney…