Batata rassa (Potatoes in curried gravy)

People deal with stress in different ways. I have a few friends who splurge on chocolates or sweets when they are stressed, then there are others who go nuts for snacks and still a few others (and now the pie-chart is dwindling) who work-out a lot or take walks during lunch-time to beat the stress. I have never been a sweets person (note the 's' in sweets, less you would think I am not a sweet person :D) I rarely if ever crave anything sweet and I like dark chocolate but don't really crave it either. For me it has always been savory comfort food from my child-hood which acts as an instant stress-buster.

It is unfair how a few regional cuisines (like Maharashtra for example) are just so absent in the array of cuisines featured under the global "Indian cuisines" tag. Even in the heart of the bay area, there is hardly any restaurant which serves authentic Marathi food that I can turn to. Anyway, so as a result of a few stressful work weeks, I have been craving and cooking a lot more that usual Marathi food at home, which is why you would likely see a larger share of Marathi recipes on this space, just in case you were wondering :)

Today's recipe is batata rassa or curried potatoes. Batata =potatoes and rassa=gravy. The one unique touch that makes it Marathi for me is the addition of Goda masala. This is a spice blend common to Marathi cuisine made out of coriander, cumin, sesame seeds, coconut powder and a few other spices. I have never tried to make it at home but thats just because my Mom is really good about sending me a couple of packets of our favorite brand of goda masala every so often that I never seem to run out of it. If you can't find goda masala, feel free to substitute with garam masala; it would still be very tasty, but perhaps won't be equally reminiscent of those idle school nights sitting around the dining table savoring batata rassa with the freshest fulka and nothing else to worry about except perhaps a Biology homework so something silly like that.... whenever did life get so complicated ;)

Recipe: Batata rassa
Serves 6 (or 4 starving)
1 medium onion - finely chopped
6-7 small garlic cloves - smashed
4 medium sized tomatoes - finely chopped
2 medium sized russet potatoes - cubed
3C water
1/4tsp red chili powder
1tsp kala masala/goda masala (or substitute with 1/2tsp garam masala)
1tsp coriander powder
1/2tsp mustard seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/4tsp turmeric powder
1Tbsp vegetable oil
chopped cilantro - to garnish

  1. Heat 1Tbsp oil in a pan. When the oil is hot temper with mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add cumin seeds.
  2. Add chopped onions and saute until onions start to brown.
  3. Add chopped garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant.
  4. Add 2 of the 4 chopped tomatoes and saute until oil starts to separate.
  5. Add turmeric powder and chopped potatoes. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add 3C water (or more needed to make the desired gravy consistencies).
  7. Season with salt and let the curry come to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for 15mins or so until potatoes are tender to your preference.
  9. Add rest of the spices (coriander powder, goda masala, chili powder) and remaining 2 chopped tomatoes.
  10. Stir well and turn the heat off.
  11. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with some hot chapati, naan or middle-eastern flat-breads.


I think you have mentioned about this dish earlier right.. That time I really wanted to learn it and now its here. I am bookmarking. looks so so delicious.
Kanchan said…
Oh .. I love this best with Puri, this was typical puri-bhaji-shrikhand combination :)
Treat and Trick said…
Looks so tasty dear though I'm new to goda masala...
Padhu Sankar said…
I have prepared this using Garam masala and love it very much but goda masala is something new to me.Looks delicious!!
This is absolutely delicious, love the traditional names u have !!
Have never seen or had goda masala, is it the tangy kind?
Pari Vasisht said…
Hi. This is an all time favorite. Looks so good.
I have to get some kala masala from somewhere..
tinyskillet said…
PJ, thank you for sharing this. I love finding out about other's local cusine, especially from their mother's recipes. Nothing better! This looks so good and comforting to me. I find I am drawn to this type of food too rather that sweets. I can take or leave cake and ice cream, but this...I don't think I could walk past it without wanting some.
Priya Suresh said…
I can have this droolworthy gravy, goes awesome with rotis na..yumm!
Sushma Mallya said…
i love anything with potatoes, and this looks very delicious,would go well with hot steamed rice..
indosungod said…
First up i like the name of the dish and with potatoes I am ready any time.
Myvegfare said…
Lovely and delicious, I have some aloo and Goda masala sent by my sis from pune!, I am going to try this
Rachana said…
This potato curry looks delicious!
Miri said…
You are soo right! Atleast you are in the US - here in Delhi, sometimes I crave for a nice traditional Tamil meal NOT cooked by me. And there's just no option :( or atleast nothing worth speaking of except for an awful Saravana Bhavan in central Delhi which is just not worth the trudge.

Love the rassa - one of my favourites.
Miri said…
Wish you a very Happy Diwali PJ :)
Reshmi said…
such a cute potato recipe...i should try it soon...
Unknown said…
Now i have to hunt for kala masala/goda masala, which i don't to substitute with GM, they look delicious regarding stress, it varies so much, it can depend on climate also may be, during winter at work i always look for something savoy sigh! though i have mini dark chocolate store at work :P
Spice said…
Lovely's so true sometime u just want some simple home style comforting food & u can't get it, there's no problem making it by yourself but it's nice for a change that u get it readymade but in that case we wouldn't have got this recipe from used goda masala....looked at the link u mentioned for the same, do have all the stuff in my pantry except may be I should give it a try sometime....

btw HAppy Diwali & festival season to u...
Ushnish Ghosh said…
Dear Prajkta
Thank you and Happy Diwali to you.
I am travelling in and out of India and was lucky to be here in Diwali.
Bit tied up, hence cant visit the blogs. My younger brother's wife is Maharastian, so I often eat Maha dishes ..Let me check if she has Goda masala. Then I will try it.
Have a nice Sunday