Crispy beer battered potato fritters (batata vada) encased in a gram flour batter.
“Beer batter” and “deep-fried food”!!! Enough said!! These words instantly evoke memories of things like fish and chips where the fish is nice and crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. Combine that same beer batter with one of the most popular street foods found in Mumbai “ BATATA VADA” (potato fritters) and you are in deep fried food heaven.
There are foods, which are unique to a particular city and are part of the fabric of the city along with the people that live there. You think of foods like macaroons, fish and chips, clam chowder and memories of Paris, London and New England come to mind. As far as my hometown of Mumbai is concerned then we Mumbaiites can think of at least a dozen different dishes. But any local in Mumbai will say “PAV BHAJI” and “BATATA VADA” are going to be in a class of their own.
Batata vada is basically a ball of spicy mashed potatoes dipped in a seasoned gram flour batter and deep-fried to perfection. It can be served on its own with a variety of chutneys (mint, tamarind) or with its humble cousin “the PAV” as the bread is locally called. This dish is so iconic that there are stores selling this delectable snack in every nook and cranny of Mumbai.
Usually the batter is made with water and still the end result is a ball of deep-fried goodness. It is a well-known fact that beer batter does amazing things to deep-fried foods. The carbon dioxide in a can of beer keeps things crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. So I decide to make my favorite potato fritters my way i.e. using beer to make the batter instead of water. I used Coors banquet beer since it adds a lot of fizz without adding too much flavor.
To make the filling heat one tbsp oil in a pan, Add asafoetida, turmeric powder, green chilli paste and mix. Add in the boiled potatoes, salt and mix. Let it cook for 5 mins.
Add coriander leaves, lemon juice and mix, mashing the potatoes some more. Turn off the gas and set aside to cool.
Make the batter by combining gram flour, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and baking soda in a bowl. Add sufficient beer and mix well to make a smooth batter.
Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape them into balls.
Heat sufficient oil in a big frying pan. Dip the potato balls in the batter and deep fry till golden brown on the outside.
Once done, lift it from the oil and drain on an absorbent paper.
Serve these sumptuous freshly made beer battered potato fritters (batata wada) immediately for best flavor and don’t forget your favorite chutney! Being a local I always have mine with the bread (PAV) and coriander chutney.
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- 6 Potatoes (boiled & cut into pieces)
- A pinch Asafoetida (optional)
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tbsp Green Chilli-Garlic Paste
- ¼ cup Coriander Leaves (chopped)
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt, to taste
- Pav / Bread / Dinner rolls
- Oil, for deep frying
- 1¼ cup Gram flour / Besan
- Salt: to taste
- ½ tsp Red Chill powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- Coors Banquet (As needed)
- Heat one tbsp oil in a pan, Add asafoetida, turmeric powder, green chilli- garlic paste and mix. Add potatoes and salt and mix.
- Add coriander leaves, lemon juice and mix mashing the potatoes some more.Set aside to cool.
- Place the gram flour in a bowl. Add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, baking powder and mix. Add sufficient beer and whip to a smooth and thick batter. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- Divide the potato mixture into eight equal portions and shape them into balls.
- Heat sufficient oil in a big frying pan. Dip the potato balls in the batter and deep fry till golden brown on the outside.
- Drain on absorbent paper.
- Slit each pav, spread some coriander chutney, place a fritter (vada) and press lightly. Serve immediately.