Babu Kachri is a highly popular street food in Mombasa, Kenya. It consists of a thick tangy potato gravy, sprinkled with crushed potato crisps and khara sev (a fried crispy snack made from chickpea flour and spices) and topped with a spicy chutney. While this isn't the actual original Babu Kachri recipe, it is my take on this famous and very beloved dish. It is normally served as an evening snack with a cold drink, or (in the case of my household) this quick fix dish makes for a lovely lazy dinner.
Boil the potatoes until tender, peel and cut into cubes.
In a bowl, mix the plain flour, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Add some water into this mixture slowly while stirring and make a thin/liquidy paste. This paste will help thicken the gravy of the khara bateta. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan, then add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry them a little but keep the heat on low and do not allow them to burn.
Then add the grated mango or tamarind paste and the chopped chilli. Stir-fry quickly then add the tomato puree/paste and cook this for about half a minute.
Next, add in the paste made earlier. Keep stirring on low heat until it thickens and cooks. If it gets too thick, you can easily just add some water.
Once this spicy paste mixture is cooked (takes about 2 minutes on low heat) add the boiled cubed potatoes. Give everything a gentle mix to combine then add some water if the gravy feels too thick.
Allow to simmer for a few minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb all the flavours. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Squeeze in the lemon juice.
Turn off the heat and serve with crisps, khara sev and chutney of your choice and an icy drink.