Batata Rassa Bhaaji- Spicy Potato curry
Batata Rassa Bhaji is one of the most popular curry recipe in Maharashtra as well other parts of India. There are different versions that are made in different states of India. Today I am going to make the version that comes from East Maharashtra- that is Vidarbha region.
Batata Rassa Bhaaji literally means “Potato curry.” In Indian households, this curry is often the first recipe that moms teach their young kids due to its simplicity and ease of preparation. It is a vegan/vegetarian recipe which needs items easily available in your pantry.
Which potatoes to choose for this curry
When selecting potatoes for this curry, any variety will work well. However, it is advisable to opt for medium-starch potatoes. These potatoes strike a balance, as they hold their shape without crumbling while also cooking in a reasonable amount of time. Avoid potatoes that are too dense, as they tend to require longer cooking durations.
There are two methods for preparing these potatoes: using raw cubed potatoes or using boiled potatoes. Each method yields a distinct flavor profile, and the cooking times differ accordingly.
When using raw potatoes, simply cube them, leaving the skin intact for a rustic taste that many people enjoy. Alternatively, you can peel the potatoes before cubing them.
To boil the potatoes, you have several options: the traditional pot method, a pressure cooker, or a microwave. Regardless of the method, consider the size of the potatoes, as larger ones will require more time to cook.
In the traditional pot method, boil water and add the potatoes. Periodically check for doneness by inserting a knife or fork into the middle. To allow steam to escape, partially cover the pot. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, drain and cool them slightly before peeling.
For pressure cooking, add water and potatoes to the cooker. Close the lid and set the whistle. Cook on high heat for 3 whistles, followed by 1 whistle on medium heat for medium-sized potatoes. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. Once the pressure is released, open the lid, discard the hot water, and let the potatoes cool before peeling.
The ingredients for this curry are very simple and mostly are available in the pantry.
For making Batata rassa bhaaji today, I have used the boiled version of potatoes.
Once you have gathered all these ingredients, lets get to cooking.
Stove top version
Heat oil in a medium saucepan.
Begin by spluttering the mustard seeds, followed by the cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle for about 10 seconds.
Add finely chopped onions and cook until they become soft and transparent.
Next, introduce the ginger-garlic-cilantro paste and cook until the raw aroma dissipates.
Incorporate the dry spices – coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix well and cook for 30 seconds.
Now it’s time to introduce the star ingredient – potatoes. Mix thoroughly and cover for 1 minute, allowing the spices to blend with the potatoes.
To achieve a thinner consistency for the curry, add water. For a vibrant red color, it’s recommended to use warm water.
Let the curry come to a boil, covering it during the cooking process for 2-3 minutes.
If desired, enhance the flavors by adding a small piece of jaggery at this stage. However, this step is entirely optional. The dish still tastes fantastic without it.
Garnish with cilantro, and your curry is now ready to be served.
Instant Pot version
This recipe can be effortlessly prepared in an Instant Pot as well.
The ingredients and steps will remain similar to the stove-top version.
To begin, turn on the sauté mode on high and follow the steps as you would on the stovetop.
You can either use raw cubed potatoes or still opt for boiled potatoes.
If using raw potatoes, after adding water, close the lid and pressure cook for 5-6 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally. Open the lid, add cilantro, and your flavorful spicy batata bhaaji is now ready to be served.
Here are some recipe tips to keep in mind for making this curry delicious every time
- Potato Selection: Choose medium-starch potatoes for this curry, as they hold their shape well without turning mushy. Varieties like Yukon Gold or red potatoes work nicely.
- Spice Level: Adjust the amount of red chili powder according to your spice preference. If you prefer a milder curry, reduce the quantity, and if you like it spicier, you can add a little more.
- Ginger-Garlic-Cilantro Paste: To make the paste, blend equal amounts of fresh ginger, garlic, and cilantro with a little water. You can make a larger batch and store it in the refrigerator for future use.
- Warm Water: Adding warm water to the curry helps maintain the temperature and ensures that the spices blend well. It also aids in achieving a vibrant color.
- Jaggery Addition: Although optional, adding a small piece of jaggery brings a subtle sweetness and balances the flavors. Adjust the amount based on your preference for sweetness.
- Garnish with Cilantro: Adding fresh cilantro leaves as a garnish not only adds a pop of color but also enhances the overall flavor of the dish. Feel free to add a generous amount.
- Accompaniments: This curry pairs well with steamed rice, roti (Indian flatbread), or naan. You can also serve it alongside a side salad or raita (yogurt-based side dish) for a complete meal.
- Experiment with Vegetables: While potatoes are the star ingredient in this recipe, feel free to add other vegetables like peas, carrots, or bell peppers to make it more colorful and nutritious.
- Adjusting Consistency: If you prefer a thicker curry, cook it for a little longer, allowing the potatoes to break down slightly and thicken the sauce. Conversely, if you prefer a thinner consistency, add a little more water during cooking.
- Cooking Time: Keep an eye on the cooking time for the potatoes. Ensure they are cooked through but not overly soft or mushy. Adjust the cooking time based on the size of the potato cubes.
Here are commonly asked questions and answers for this curry
Q: Can I make this curry without using any oil?
A: While oil adds flavor and aids in cooking, you can reduce the amount or use alternative cooking methods like baking or air frying the potatoes for a healthier option. However, keep in mind that the texture and taste of the curry may differ slightly.
Q: Can I substitute potatoes with other vegetables in this curry?
A: Although potatoes are the star ingredient in this curry, you can certainly experiment with other vegetables like cauliflower, eggplant or butternut squash. Adjust the cooking time accordingly for the chosen vegetables.
Q: Can I add coconut milk or any dairy to this curry for a creamier texture?
A: Yes, for a plant based creamier version, you can add coconut milk to this curry. Stir in some coconut milk towards the end of cooking, after the potatoes are fully cooked, and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. If you like dairy, please feel to add heavy whipping cream instead.
Q: Can I add protein to this curry, such as chickpeas or tofu?
A: Definitely! Adding protein-rich ingredients like chickpeas, tofu, or cooked lentils can make this curry more substantial and nutritious. You can add them along with the potatoes during cooking.
Q: Can I make this curry spicy without overpowering the flavors?
A: To make the curry spicier without overpowering the flavors, consider frying a small amount of finely chopped green chilies along with onions. Adjust the spice level gradually and taste as you go to achieve the desired balance.
Q: Can I make this curry with a tangy twist?
A: Certainly! To add a tangy twist, squeeze in some fresh lemon or lime juice towards the end of cooking. Alternatively, you can garnish the curry with a dollop of tangy yogurt or a drizzle of tamarind chutney.
Q: Can I make this curry in a pressure cooker for quicker preparation?
A: Absolutely! You can save time by using a pressure cooker. Follow the instructions for the stovetop pressure cooking method mentioned in the recipe, adjusting the cooking time according to the size and type of your pressure cooker.
Simple Batata Rassa Bhaaji- Spicy Potato curry
- 1 pressure cooker optional
- 1 Instant Pot optional
- 3 potatoes medium sized, boiled, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp oil of your choice
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion medium,chopped finely
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic-cilantro paste
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder or as per taste
- 1 tsp salt or as per taste
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- In a medium sauce pan, heat oil.
- Splutter the mustard seeds first then add cumin seeds. Let them crackle for 10 seconds.
- Add finely chopped onions and cook till the onions are soft and transparent.
- Next, add ginger-garlic-cilantro paste and cook till the raw smell goes off.
- Its time to add all the dry spices- coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the potatoes. Mix well and cover for 1 minute for the spiced to meld along with the potatoes.
- Next, add water to get a thin consistency of the curry. Let the water come to a boil along with the curry. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and it is ready to serve.