Gram Flour Potato Balls – Batata Vada
Makes about 12-15
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
600g fluffy white or red potatoes, peeled, boiled and coarsely chopped
½ tsp each brown mustard seeds and turmeric and
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 green chillies, finely chopped
30g coriander leaves, washed and chopped
¼ tsp each ground cumin and baking powder
150g gram flour or besan
Vegetable or sunflower oil for deep frying
Heat 1tbsp oil in a heavy-based pan large enough to hold the potatoes. When the oil is hot enough, gently tip in the mustard seeds, then the turmeric, ½ tsp salt, the sugar, and chillies, and mix. Add the potatoes, coarsely mashing as you mix. Add the coriander and mash to make a lumpy mixture. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
In a bowl, mix the sifted gram flour with the remaining salt, the cumin and baking powder, 1tsp oil and about 130ml cold water to make a batter the consistency of runny honey. Wet your hands and roll the mash into pieces the size of golf balls. Heat the oil in a fryer or wok to 190C/375F. Drop a little batter into the oil: if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. Dip a few potato balls into the batter and turn to coat them evenly.
With a spoon, drop the coated balls into the hot oil and fry for 4 minutes, or until the outside of the balls is a deep golden brown. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Wrap in foil and keep warm while cooking all the potato balls. Serve hot with a coconut or tomato chutney or ketchup.
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