Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ragda Patties ~ A Mumbai Street Food: Potato Patty in Spiced Soupy Curry

Ragda Patties is a favorite amongst most of my family members. Although I must admit I learnt making all the chaats, pani-puris very recently. Mom knows that I love Chaat and Street Food. She learnt this from a Mumbai based friend of hers. Her recipe is very much detailed, covers all the tastes and flavours and has some modification made to suit our tastes. She also replaced Vataana curry or White Vataana curry with Northern Beans or Tingalore curry seasoned with garlic. Mine is fairly simple and I tailor made this recipe to suit my palate and pantry.

Mom makes Ragda Patties which comprises of Ragda which she makes out of Northern Beans also called as Tingalore Thoi in Konkani. The Pattice is the usual Potato, boiled and minced to form a Patty shaped and seasoned with Cumin seeds. She makes Red Chutney, which is chutney made of Garlic, Red Chillies, Coconut shavings, Tamarind and salt. Her Green Chutney, was very similar to Thecha (a chutney made with kitchen handy herbs, stored in fridge for usage suited for a week's cooking), which she used to make and preserve in the fridge for a week or so. Thecha is a ground paste made of green chillies, coriander leaves, garlic, ginger and salt. She learnt making Thecha from one of our Mumbai based friends who was a pro in terms of Mumbai style Marathi cooking. Mom used to add a spoon of Thecha to any curry, bhaaji or pulao's for the extra zing and flavour. Last was the Brown chutney made of Dates and Tamarind. Add some zero number "Sev" on top of it. I do not the reason but this type of Sev gives much better flavour than any other Sev. This Sev is available in India at Farsaan stores or Mithai shops. Some chaat masala, a dash of lime juice, sprinkle some finely chopped onions and cilantro and you are set to eat the most mix-and-match flavoured chaat of Mumbai.

My favorite Chaat waala, the cart street vendor in Goa was with the name Kanhayaa Laalji; Kanhayaa Ji knew my taste so well that he used to always add "zyaada" Teekhi chutney, "medium" Meethi chutney, "kam" Haree chutney. No one can match his accuracy and precision when it comes to various Chaats.

My approach was very simple:
Ragda: Mashed Vataana curry seasoned with spice powders and tangy elements
Patties: Potatoes boiled and mashed with turmeric and salt; seasoned with Cumin seeds.
Meethi Chutney: Sweet chutney, I had a store bought jar pleading to be used. Its made of Tamarind, Date and Cumin eeds.
Garnishing: Chaat Masala, finely chopped onions and cilantro.

Happy Karva Chauth to all my friends! I fasted and then feasted away to glory with some gifts added to my kitty! In North India, Aloo Tikki is a popular item on Karva Chauth day. So I added some zing to it to make Ragada Patties in a true blue Mumbai style!!

Recipe has been tailor made from my Mom's recipe.
Serves ~ 2 individuals
Preparation time ~ 1 hour

For Potato Patties -
Potatoes - 3 large ones
Cornflour - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 2 pinches
Oil - For frying

For Ragda : White Vataana curry -
Vataana ~ Whole Yellow Peas - 1 cup (boiled and mashed)
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Tamarind juice - 3 tablespoon
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon

For Meethi Chutney -
Date (soaked in warm water) - 6-8
Tamarind (soaked in warm water) - 2 teaspoon lumps
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Note: Grind the above to a fine paste with little or no water.

For Garnishing -
Chaat Masala - 1/3 teaspoon
Finely chopped Onions - 4 teaspoon
Finely chopped Cilantro - 2 teaspoon
Zero number "Sev" (optional) - 2-3 tablespoon
Yogurt (optional) - 1 tablespoon

For the Patties, make lesser than palm sized Patties out of Boiled Potatoes, Corn flour, Turmeric powder, Cumin seeds mashed together and pan-fried in oil till get a brown crispy core on either sides.

For the Ragda curry, boil and mash Vataana lightly. Bring to boil on a stove. Add all the spice powders and jaggery. Stir well. Adjust the salt and spice. Bring to boil and set aside.

While serving, place couple of Patties, pour a ladel full of curry on top of it. Add the Mithi chutney. Garnish with onions and cilantro. Sprinkle some chaat masala and you are set.

Suggestions: The curry and patties should be piping hot for this street food to be enjoyed. You could also add Green and Red chutney for additional flavour. Sometimes bread is combined with the Poatoes for additional binding. I simply chose to use Potatoes instead.

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