Batata Bhaji is to an Indian what roasted potatoes is to an American. The potatoes are spiced to give it flavor. It is a vegetarian and a vegan recipe. In Goa there are a few variations one where curry leaf and cumin are the bold flavors, the other is ginger and cumin. This potato recipe can be made with or without coconut also with gravy or dry. The dry version can be used to make a favorite Indian snack called Batata Vada. A deep-fried potato dumplings coated with a garbanzo bean flour batter.
Interestingly “Batata” in portuguese is “Potato” and is a word used all over in India but there is a difference in the pronunciation and you can tell the difference if you are familiar with both. This recipe was made mostly on Fridays at our home. The leftovers are used to make kids popular grilled sandwich for snack. The bread is stuffed with potatoes and a little ketchup….yummy! You can also make potato fritters by mashing the potatoes, forming into patties and coating them with rava (cream of wheat) and shallow frying till golden brown.
3 russet potatoes peeled and diced in 1/2″ cubes
1 medium onion diced
1 cup grated coconut
1.5″ of ginger
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 cups water
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 sprigs of curry leaf
salt to taste
Wash, clean and cut the potatoes in 1/2″ cubes. Soak them in light salted water.
Grind the coconut, ginger, 1/4 tsp of cumin with 1/3 cup water to a paste.
Heat oil in a pot add the mustard seeds till it splutters, add the onions, cumin seeds, jalapeno and saute till the onion is translucent.
Next add the turmeric, coconut paste, curry leaves and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining water, season with salt and cover till the gravy simmers.
Finally add the potatoes, check on salt, cover and cook on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes till the potatoes are soft. Do not over stir lest the potato get mashed.
Enjoy with hot rice, bread, puri (poori) or dosa.