This might sound lofty, but its true! A food lover’s culinary journey is incomplete until you have stopped by a street vendor in the crowded streets of India and eaten his plate of Pani-Puri, Ragda Patties, Pav Bhaji, or several other tasty snacks so aptly categorized as Indian Street Food. With the growing concerns over health and spread of diseases, many people are wary of eating at such food stalls these days; however, that does not mean you cannot enjoy these amazing recipes! Thanks to a legacy kept alive through generations, Indian street food will never go out of style.
Here’s one such recipe called Ragda Patties. “Ragda” is a thick gravy concoction made with dried peas (lentils), which is poured over the “Patties” made from potatoes, peas, onions and spices. Drizzled with the omnipresent Chutneys, this makes for a healthy and delicious meal. Traditionally, the Ragda is made with dried white peas, but over at our house, we like the green pea version. You can choose whichever you like, there’s not much of a flavor variation, so if you can’t find one kind, gladly substitute with the other variety.
Ragda Patties (Potato Patties served in Dried Peas Curry)
4-5 large potatoes, boiled
1/2 cup boiled fresh green peas
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp green chilli & ginger paste
4 tbsp chopped cilantro – chopped finely
salt to taste
lemon juice – to taste
oil for shallow frying
1 cup dried whole yellow peas (vatana) (or dried green peas)
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
1⁄2 tsp cumin powder
1⁄2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp jaggery (or sugar0
1 tbsp tamarind paste
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Soak the dried peas overnight in water, then cook/boil them on the stove-top or pressure cooker till fully cooked.
To make the Ragda, heat oil in a wok and saute the onion for a few minutes till translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute more. Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and saute for a few seconds till spices are aromatic. Then add the cooked peas, 2 cups water, tamarind and jaggery.If you do not find jaggery, you can use sugar instead. A little bit of sweet adds a nice touch to the other spices in the gravy, without making it sweet.
Let the gravy boil on medium heat. Check for taste, then lower the flame, add more water if needed, so there’s enough liquid to load over the patties. It should not be dry. Mash some of the peas to make the curry thicker if needed. Once done, set it aside for later use.
To make the patties, add boiled potatoes, green peas and salt, then knead everything together to mash well. Add the remaining spices. Form patties with the potato mixture, about 1/2 inch thick. Then shallow fry the patties in a small amount of oil and drain on paper towels.
To assemble the dish while serving, place 2 patties on a plate. Top with a generous helping of the Ragda. Then garnish with Imli (Tamarind) chutney, Green Cilantro chutney, minced onion, cilantro and sev and serve hot!
You can find the Chutneys in any Indian grocery store, or you can make them at home. I plan to do a special post on Indian Chutney recipes, so hold on till then. Ragda Patties is a favorite amongst all Indians alike, and I’m sure once you taste it, you’ll start gaining more respect too, for the Indian street food!
Kid-Friendly Tip: Kids love getting their hands dirty, literally, so once you are done boiling the potatoes and peas, give them the bowl and let them have fun mashing the veggies. Then let them help you shape the patties in whatever form they like! Also, you can again request their help in assembling the final platter and carrying it to the serving table; they’ll love being involved, and you can introduce them to the wonders of cooking as you labor along in your kitchen.