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Batata Vada | Indian Dumplings for Beginners

Batata Vada, a vegetarian Indian dumpling with step-by-step photos for the beginner cook.  This Indian street food served with green chutney will hook you into loving a classic Indian potato fritter.  Learn how to make Batata Vada.

Batata vada's with chutney.
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Batata Vada, a super popular Indian street food that is loved by anybody who has lived in or visited Mumbai.  This recipe has easy to find ingredients for non-Indians.  Learn how to make this easy dumpling.  If you can make mashed potatoes, you can learn to make Batata Vada.

This Indian dumpling is basically spicy mashed potatoes that is dipped in  a besan (garbanzo bean flour) batter and deep fried.  The spices in this dumpling are ginger, chiles, mustard seeds, salt, turmeric and cilantro.  That’s it!  All of these you can find in your local supermarket.  Lime juice adds some acid and baking soda helps puff up the batter.

As with most dumplings, you can personalize this recipe by changing out the spices and the adjusting the heat according to your own tastes. Feel free to experiment with Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian or Texas BBQ flavor profiles. To do this, take your favorite recipes, use the spices and aromatics used in those recipes and substitute in this recipe.

I can’t guarantee success but it is kinda hard to mess up this recipe. If you do venture outside your comfort zone, leave a comment below so we can all celebrate, or commiserate with you.

Batata Vada Sauces

These dumplings are a blank slate so to speak for amazing sauces. You can go outside the Indian box and serve with your favorite salsas, sauces and dressings.

Below are a few of my faves from Fusion Craftiness.

Step-by-step photos of how to make Batata Vada.

Cilantro in a bowl

PRO TIP – Keep cilantro and other stem-like fresh herbs in a bowl of water and cover with a plastic bag.  This will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Spices.

The beginning of this recipe. Mustard seed, ginger and red chile’s, the foundation of a lot of Indian cooking.

Cilantro being chopped.

Fresh, chopped herbs make any recipe more robust and fresh. Don’t be afraid to use fresh herbs by the handful.

Spices fried in a small skillet.

Frying spices and herbs briefly over medium-high heat ‘bloom’s’ the flavors. This is how most savory Indian recipes start out.

Potatoes in a bowl with spices.

Mash the potatoes and spices together. This is really just a mashed potatoes on steroids type of situation.

Mashed potatoes with Indian spices.

You can use a pastry cutter, potato masher or a bean masher. I have used all three. My favorite is the pastry cutter.

Mashed potatoes rolled in a ball.

Roll the mashed potatoes into a ball. By using starchy potatoes, the ball forms easily.

Stirring the batter in a bowl.

Stir the garbanzo bean flour with the wet ingredients to make a thin batter.

Vada batter in a bowl.
Dumpling dipped in batter.

Dip the Batata Vada balls into the batter.

Dumpling dipped in batter.

Place the Batata Vada’s on a baking sheet or large plate.

Dumpling dipped in batter.
Dropped vada's in hot oil.

Drop the balls into oil heated to 350F.  Cook until golden.

Dropped vada's in hot oil.

Perfect.

Vada's with chutney.

Serve with Green Chutney.

Vada's with chutney.
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Did you like this potato recipe?

Are potatoes your jam? If so try a Lebanese potato dish called Batata Harra. or these Zucchini Pakoras.

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Vada's with chutney.

Batata Vada | Indian Dumplings for Beginners

Yield: 16 balls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A classic Batata Vada recipe, Indian dumplings that are easy enough for beginner cooks. Spicy mashed potato balls covered in batter and deep fried until golden. Serve with amazing Indian chutney's.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of red potatoes (1 Kg)
  • 1 1/2  tsp salt, divided
  • 1 Tbs vegetable, canola or corn oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed
  • 1 serrano, stem & seeds removed, diced
  • 3 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour, also known as besan flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of water, maybe a little more
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Peel potatoes, cut them into four pieces and boil in large stock pot with 1/2 tsp salt, covered in water until fork tender.  Drain and place into a mixing bowl to cool down, set aside.
  2. Place your diced serrano in a small bowl, add the ginger, set aside.
  3. Place your chopped cilantro in a small bowl with 1/2 tsp turmeric, set aside.
  4. In a small skillet over medium heat, place 1 Tbs oil and mustard seeds, cover with a mesh strainer.  If you don't have one, cover partially with a lid, things are going to get lively really quick.
  5. When the mustard seeds start to pop, shake the skillet and cook for 15 seconds, keep shaking the skillet.  Add the serrano and ginger, stir and cook for 30 seconds.  Keep shaking or stirring.  Turn off heat, add cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt and ginger, stir well.  Add this mixture to potatoes, add lime juice, mash and stir the potatoes until well mixed.
  6. Scoop out some mashed potatoes, roll in a 1 1/2 inch ball and place on a cookie sheet or cutting board.  Continue until all potatoes are rolled into balls, set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, add garbanzo bean flour, baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric and water, stir until smooth.  Add more water if necessary for a thin batter.
  8. Dip the balls into the batter and return to the cookie sheet.
  9. In a medium saucepan, add 2 inches of cooking oil such as vegetable, canola or peanut.  Place a candy thermometer in pan and heat oil to 350F over medium heat.
  10. Drop about six balls in oil and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.  With a wire strainer ladle or slotted spoon, remove from pan and dry on paper towels.  Continue cooking the remaining balls.
  11. Serve with chutneys or curry mayo.

Notes

  • Deep frying oils are those that have a high smoke point, meaning they don't smoke at 350F.  These oils include vegetable, corn, canola, sunflower seed, grapeseed and peanut oil.
  • With one serrano, you will have mild heat.  For a spicier version, use two serranos or jalapeños.
  • I buy minced ginger in a jar.  You can find small jars in the produces section, sometimes on shelves below the produce.  Alternatively, you can buy a big, cheap jar in an Asian supermarket.  That's my favorite method.  The same goes for minced garlic. In my Asian supermarket, they also sell peeled garlic cloves.
  • All of these ingredients can be found in a conventional supermarket but are cheaper in an Asian supermarket.  Maybe this is the day you explore your neighborhood Asian store.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 524mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Dave

Thursday 21st of March 2019

My wife loves Indian food and I love fried foods. I think this is a dish we can both really enjoy. Saving this. Thanks!

Nicole

Saturday 21st of April 2018

This looks delicious and I love your easy step by steps, because it makes it SO much easier to follow. What a fantastic recipe!

Tina

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

I'm glad that is helpful, I try to write and photograph as if it's for my young adult daughter who didn't really learn to cook before she left for college.

Megan Marlowe

Monday 16th of April 2018

The flavors in these batata vada's (which I never heard of until now) are absolutely wonderful! they look super simple and addictive. The green chutney looks like the perfect accompaniment. Can't wait to try and make them at home!

Tina

Thursday 19th of April 2018

I love the colors too of this dish. It really is simple Megan, give it a try!

Dana

Monday 16th of April 2018

First of all, I'm a sucker for dipping sauces and love the sound of every single one of those you listed. Secondly, these dumplings look and sound ah-mazing. I really want to make these. We have several Indian friends in our crew — I'll have to whip these up sometime and just be like, "LOOK WHAT I CAN MAKE!"

Tina

Thursday 19th of April 2018

I am a sucker too for dipping sauces, especially if they are colorful. Love the fresh herbs in this, makes all the difference Dana, enjoy!

Amy Nash

Monday 16th of April 2018

I've had batata vada before and they were delicious but I've never thought to make them at home! They are so wonderful with the green chutney!

Tina

Thursday 19th of April 2018

I'm a fan too Amy, I just love Indian food and Batata Vada's are proof Indian food doesn't have to be hot.

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