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Batata Vada

<em>Batata Vada</em> Related:   Asia, Chanukah, gluten-free, pasta & potatoes, vegan, vegetables & legumes, vegetarian

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8–10 servings

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Recipe contributed by Elazar Ashtivkar. He shares, “In the Indian kitchen, there are no recipes.” Since it’s all “a little bit of this, a little bit of that,” feel free to adjust the seasoning in the potato filling to taste.

Ingredients

  • Potato Filling
  • 3–4 pounds red potatoes
  • 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • 1/3 teaspoon asafetida
  • Batter
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup water, plus more as needed
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Preparation

  • Rinse, but do not peel or cut the potatoes. Put in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender, but not falling apart. Drain and let potatoes cool slightly. Peel, then mash roughly, leaving large pieces.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large pan, then add mustard seeds and sauté for 1 to 1½ minutes, watching carefully so they don’t burn. Add curry leaves, cumin, ginger (if using), turmeric, salt and asafetida, and stir for another minute or two to release the flavors into the oil. Pour the oil, with the spices, over the mashed potatoes and mix until well combined.
  • Combine chickpea flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add water and stir, gradually adding more water if needed to make a crepe-like batter. Be careful not to add too much water, as the batter shouldn’t be too loose.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot. When hot, make balls of potato filling slightly smaller than a golf ball, dip in chickpea batter and then lower into the hot oil, frying a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through. Repeat with remaining potato filling; do not crowd the pot. Serve hot with tamarind and coconut curry.

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