The No Fried Batata Wada (Potato Fritters)

One of the silver linings for me during this stressful stay-at-home period is that it's the first time I really spent so much time with my daughter at home! Otherwise it has always been daycare or school or summer camps - we took vacations together, sure, but those were generally time spent away from home. 

It has been lovely spending more time and doing more activities with my 8 year old. One of which has been trying new recipes or making something we haven't made in a long long time.. generally by her "farmaish" or request. This is how one rainy and cold afternoon we decided to make batata wada.

Batata wada is a crowd pleaser deep fried dish which almost everyone loves! However I am not a fan of deep frying and also at these times wasting a whole bunch of oil after frying seems a bit risque move, don't you think!

So we settled on a plan B - which is using my trusted aebleskiver pan (or appe patra) which had been sitting catching dust at the back of the pantry. I bought mine on Amazon many years ago to make appe, dahi wada but it's also great for making healthier versions of popular fried items.
Aebleskiver pan is a heavy cast iron pan with 7 holes for making small fritters or pancake balls. Due to it's uniform heat and high temperature, you can "fry" in it without using a whole lot of oil. I use 1tsp oil per ball and the edges get nicely crispy. 

The recipe is super simple! We boiled potatoes in the afternoon and afterwards it took me about 30 minutes start to finish in the evening. We served it with a simple raita which my daughter put together with yogurt, salt, home-grown mint and cumin powder. Yum!
Serves hungry 3
For potato filling:
  • 2 medium sized russet potatoes
  • 1 shallot - finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 curry leaves - torn
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
For batter:
  • 1C chickpea flour or besan
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • water to make batter
  • Boil potatoes. I used instant pot high pressure for 12minutes and then natural release. Once they have cooled to handle, remove the peel and mash finely.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan, when hot add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds start to pop, add onion and garlic and cook until onion starts to brown stirring often. 
  • Add turmeric, mashed potatoes, salt and mix well.
  • Cook for a few minutes and remove from heat. Let cool.
  • While it's cooling, make batter by gradually adding water to chickpea flour + spices and salt. The consistency of the batter should be pancake like but on the thicker side. It's important for the batter to be thick so it stays coating the filling while the wadas are cooking. If it's thin, add more chickpea flour and adjust spices.
  • Make small balls of the potato filling using your hands.
  • Heat aebleskiver pan on medium high heat until it's hot. Add 1/2 tsp oil in each hole.
  • Dip the potato ball into the batter and quickly transfer it to the hot pan. Let cook for a few minutes until the bottom edges have crisped but not burnt (you can peek after a few minutes - reduce heat if necessary).
  • Flip the wads in the pan. Add 1/2 tsp oil on the sides of each pan hole so the bottom can crisp again.
  • Remove from pan and serve hot with your favorite condiment - raita or ketchup!
Stay safe everyone!