These spicy potato balls or potato fritters are called batata vada and are simply delicious. A popular fast food dish that you can find in the streets of Bombay. You can see why, as these fried spicy potato balls are packed full of flavour and are so moreish. This recipe really takes me back to my childhood. My sisters and I would eat the batata vada faster than my mum could fry them.
These spicy potato balls originate from Maharashtra, the state in which Bombay/Mumbai is located, but they are popular all over India. Like so many Indian recipes, every household has their own version of each dish and this one is no different. Some people add sultanas or coconut. Others temper the spices before adding them to the mashed potato. This is my family’s recipe which includes neither. It’s a simple and easy recipe to follow that will leave your taste buds and stomach satisfied.
The freshness of the coriander with the lime juice, chilli and garlic works really well with the potato. The potato is steamed and then mashed with the coriander, spices and lime juice. The mixture is formed into small balls which are covered in a chickpea batter before frying. It’s best to fry 3-4 balls at a time to avoid them sticking together.
This recipe works really well as an Indian starter, canape or snack. It is typically served with tomato ketchup or a coriander and yoghurt dip. These spicy potato balls are best eaten piping hot. You can keep them warm by placing them in the oven at 150°c/300°f while you fry the rest.
Do you love Indian flavours and spices? Leave me a comment and rate this recipe if you like it. Share your pictures on Instagram with #prettyvegetarian.
batata vada - Indian spicy potato balls
Yield 8 potato balls
Batata vada are spicy potato balls covered in a chickpea batter and fried. This popular Bombay fast food dish is simply delicious. This recipe works really well as an Indian starter, canape or snack.
For the filling:
- 1 large potato, peeled
- 1-2 bird’s eye chillies, minced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ lime, juiced
- Big handful of fresh coriander, destemmed and chopped
For the Batter:
- 75g besan/chickpea/gram flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 100-150ml lukewarm water
- Peel and cut the potato into cubes, steam for 10-15 minutes until cooked.
- Make the batter while the potatoes are steaming. Mixing all the ingredients into a bowl and adding the water in stages. Whisk together until you have a smooth and runny batter. Taste and add salt and chilli powder as needed and then set aside.
- Mash the potatoes in a medium bowl and add the minced green chillies, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, turmeric, lime juice and coriander. Mix all the ingredients together.
- Divide into 8-10 portions and roll into balls using your hands and set aside.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan over a high heat. The oil should be 5-10cm deep. To make sure the oil is hot enough, put a few drops of batter into the oil. The oil is ready when the batter rises to the top. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Dip the potato balls into the batter, ensure they are completely covered.
- Carefully place in the oil, frying 4 at a time.
- Fry for 3-5 minutes and move them around so they don’t stick to the sides.
- The batata vada are ready when the batter has turned golden brown.
- Serve immediately warm.
Courses Starter or Snack
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 20 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 875 mg
Total Carbohydrates 23 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 6 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.