This is the best Batata Vada AKA Indian potato balls, I claim that. I know the word best is different for everyone but trust me these are so so good. And this recipe came out after a lot of testing.
Update: The recipe was updated with an ingredient shot on 2 April 2022.
Batata means potato and vada means dumpling. Bata Vada is an Indian mashed potato ball that is covered in chickpea flour coating and deep-fried until crispy. It is usually served with a tangy and spicy chutney.
On my trip to Gujrat, India I had eaten Gujrati Batata Vada in Ahmedabad. And trust me those were the best Indian potato curry balls I had ever eaten.
As we were on the go to the next destination and we couldn’t have it again. The flavor had a strong memory and I can’t tell you how long I craved to develop that same taste. And, this recipe has exact same taste.
Ours is a Gujarati family, so Dadi would make it very often for Iftar and snacks. And this recipe has a lot of emotional attachment to Dadi Ma as Malida recipe has with Nani Ma.
Why does this recipe taste so good?
The taste of this batata vada is moderately spicy with a little sweet and sour tinge. The mustard seeds and curry leaves provide a lovely aromatic taste to the mashed potatoes. The key to the delicious potato filling is spiced and aromatic tempering.
- Potato: Use old potatoes.
- Spices: The spices include cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili, ginger, and garlic paste.
- Gram flour or chickpea flour: Chickpea flour and gram flour are different but interchangeable in this recipe.
- Curry leaves: They impart a specific aroma, you can sub it with coriander or use dried curry leaves.
- Mustard and fennel seed: Both seeds provide a specific curry flavor. I recommend using them but you can skip it.
- Onion: The crunch and sweetness of onions are not to be missed.
- Sugar: A little sugar will provide more dimension to the savory snack without making it very sweet, this is more of a Gujarati style version.
How to make it?
Ok! what makes these Batata Vada the best is the seasoning and crispy coating.
- Boil potatoes and let them cool naturally on the counter. Peel it, then mash it until smooth, and set aside.
- Heat oil in a frypan, and add garlic, and mustard seeds. Let the seeds crackle then add all the spices, chopped chilies, and curry leaves. Mix well and saute seasoning for a minute.
- Finally, add the onions, mix well and remove from heat. The heat in the pan will soften the onions.
- Add mashed potatoes, sugar, and lemon juice to the pan and mix until well combined.
- Roll out 15 small balls from the mashed potatoes, and set in the fridge for 10 minutes, or until needed. Keep in an airtight container if stored for many hours.
- Mix all the ingredients for coating in a bowl and mix well.
- Make a smooth batter of thick dropping consistency.
- Carefully drop each ball into the batter and lift with a wooden spatula.
- As the wooden spatula has smooth edges, it is less likely to spoil the round shape of the potato balls.
- Fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of oil and heat it. Carefully slide each batata vada in hot oil. Do not move the ball for 10- 15 seconds. You may spoon hot oil over the vada for even cooking. When batata vada looks firm and cooked from the bottom flip it to cook the other side.
- Fry on medium-high heat until golden. Since the potatoes are already cooked so just need to cook them until the filling is thoroughly heated and the coating is crispy.
What to eat with batata vada?
Freshly fried crispy batata vada makes an irresistible snack.
- Batata Vada is a simple snack that can be paired with almost any spicy, sweet or tangy sauce and gobbled on its own.
- You can also make a sandwich out of it with plain bread or add it in a pita pocket with salads.
- When you pair batata vada with hot chutney and bland pao ( dinner roll). It makes a yummy Indian street food called Vada pao.
- Try to use sweeter varieties of old potatoes.
- Boil potatoes until very tender so you have soft mashed potatoes inside the crisp coating. This gives the batata vada a lovely texture and taste.
- Use a little soda for the coating to make it crisp and fluffy.
If you try this batata vada recipe, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments. Your 5-ratings motivate me to do my best. Stay connected for more recipes and videos on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
Batata Vada (Indian Potato Balls)
- 500 gm potato, boiled and peeled
- 1 tablespoon oil, more to fry
- 2 twigs curry leaves, subtitute with 2 tablespoon cilantro
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, optional
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon garlic paste
- ½ tablespoon red chilli flakes
- ½ tablespoon cumin powder
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup gram flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red chilli
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon baking soda, optional for crispiness. See notes.
- ½ cup water or as needed
- Mashed boiled potatoes until smooth and set aside.
- Heal oil in a pan add garlic and mustard. Fry for few seconds then all the remaining ingredients of tempering. Give it a stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Now, stir in chopped onions, mix well and remove from heat.
- Add the mashed potatoes, sugar, and lemon juice to the tempering. Mix well and make 15 small balls. Keep in the fridge to cool for 10 minutes to chill or until needed.
Make coating batter
- Meanwhile, make the batter for coating by mixing all ingredients for coating in a bowl. Make a smooth and thick batter of dropping consistency.
Fry Batata Vada
- Heat about 2 inches oil in a non-stick wok or pot. Dip each potato ball in the chickpea flour batter. Lift it carefully with wooden spatula. Slowly slide the ball into hot oil without denting it.
- Fry 4-5 balls in a batch. Spoon oil over the ball but do not stir until firm. Then flip the ball and cook evenly until golden.
- Remove from oil to a paper towel. Serve hot with any chutney or sauce.
- Protein options: Add shredded leftover chicken or leftover mince or shredded beef.
- Veg options: Add green peas or green onions.