Batata Vada or Potato Kachoris
These plump spicy mashed potato fritters coated with a gram flour batter and deep fried have got to be some of the most ultimate comfort foods for me. They are incredibly aromatic and very moreish. You simply can not have just one. Served with dips and chutneys, they make a wonderful evening snack or meal starter. They can be squished between two pieces of mini buns and loaded with chutneys to make an excellent potato sandwich (vada pav).
Boil the potatoes until tender, then peel and mash them. Set them aside.
In a bowl mix the salt, red chili powder, turmeric, cumin powder and lemon juice.
In a small pan, heat the oil on low and then add the mustard seeds and chopped curry leaves. When they splutter, add the tomato paste, chopped chilies and garlic paste. Stir quickly and turn off heat, then add in the mixture of the remaining ingredients. Give it a quick mix. Pour this aromatic spice mixture into your mashed potatoes. Mix together until evenly combined. Taste and adjust salt/chili if needed.
Shape the mashed potatoes into round balls. Cover and set aside.
Mix the batter ingredients, starting with the dry ones and then gradually adding water and mixing until smooth medium-thick batter is formed.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Dip the potato balles in the batter and coat them and then gently lower them into the hot oil. Do a few at a time, do not over-crowd the pot. Fry until the coating is crisp and golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all are done.