This is a one pot dish and though its very easy to make, the end result is simply delicious. This is the way my mother-in-law used to make Batate Bhaaji in Rajesh’s house. This is the Batate Pathal Bhaaji in their house. Pathal in Konkani means ‘liquidy’ or ‘of liquid consistency’. In my house, Pathal Bhaaji is made without onions and tomatoes which tastes equally good, but that recipe is for another day! Potatoes originated in Peru and were probably taken to Europe by the Spaniards. They then made their way to India via the Portugese who colonized Goa. It is no wonder that the languages of the Konkan region – Marathi, Konkani and Portugese (in Goa) refer to potatoes as “batata” from the Spanish “patata”.
- Potatoes - 3, large, peeled and cubed
- Onion - 1, large, chopped
- Tomato - 1, medium sized, finely chopped
- Green chillies - 5, slit (more or less depending on your taste)
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro, finely chopped - for garnish
Heat oil in a pressure pan or pressure cooker or any other pan. Season with mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, put in cumin seeds and also put in the curry leaves and slit green chillies.After a few seconds, add the chopped onions and fry till onions are translucent.
Put in the chopped tomatoes and fry till tomatoes are soft.
Add turmeric powder and fry till you can no longer smell the rawness of the powder.
Put in the cubed potatoes and mix well. Add a cup of water and salt to taste and mix till combined. Cover and cook till done. When almost done, sprinkle the garam masala powder and finely chopped cilantro and take it off the flame.
Serve hot with pooris or with rotis.
I make my batate bhaaji in the pressure pan because it gets done pretty quickly that way. Cook for exactly one ‘whistle’ from the pan and you are done. Any longer, the potatoes will get overcooked. I add the garam masala powder and cilantro once I open the pan and then I gently bring the bhaaji to a boil for just a minute or so.