Spiced Gujarati potato balls (bateta wada)
From: The People's Cookbook
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- Prep time:
- 20 min
- Cook time:
- 30 min
- makes about 18 balls
These fragrant, golden potato balls with a creamy yogurt dip from Bill Meswaniamake an ideal snack for when vegetarian friends are visiting
For the potato balls
- 8 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2-1 tsp green chilli paste
- handful choppedfresh coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp lemon juice
For the batter
- 230 g fine gram flour, (chickpea flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- vegetable oil, for deep frying
For the dip
- 100 g plain yogurt
- 1 tsp mint vinegar, or freshly chopped mint
- pinch garlic salt
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Method1. For the potato balls: bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 15–20 minutes until they are tender. Drain them well. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them and mash with the garlic purée, ginger, chilli paste, coriander, ground cumin and turmeric, garam masala, sugar and salt. Stir in the lemon juice and mix everything together. Roll the mixture into about golf ball-sized shapes and set them aside.
2. For the batter: mix the gram flour with the salt and bicarbonate of soda then stir in enough water to make a thick batter.
3. Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan until it reaches 180º–190ºC, or when a cube of bread browns in 60 seconds. Dip the potato balls into the gram flour batter, shaking off the excess. Add the potato balls in batches and fry for 2 minutes, or until they are golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. Keep them warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining potato balls. It is important not to overcrowd the pan and return the oil to the correct temperature between batches, so the potato balls do not become soggy.
4. For the dip: mix the yoghurt, mint vinegar (or fresh mint) and garlic salt together, adding a little salt. Serve with the crunchy potato balls.