Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ragda Patties - A Mumbai street snack

My husband (M) was born and lived his childhood days in Mumbai. He has some wonderful memories of food, from there. Few of them are kulfi from the street cart vendor, pani puri, gola ice (the Indian popsicle which is a cross between granita and popsicle) and ofcourse, Ragda patties. I have never tried it in India, but have tried in a few Indian restaurants here in California. According to M, none of it tastes as good as what he had in Mumbai as a kid. I thought, 'May be we should try it at home sometime'.

I am a big time planner. I plan my menu for the next week by Friday, make a list based on that menu and then shop for groceries. This way, I don't shop a lot (which I tend to) and by end of the week my refrigerator is almost empty and ready for re-stocking. One day, while planning the week's menu, I remembered ragda patties and asked M if he would help me make it that Sunday. He agreed and I shopped for the ingredients. This dish comes in two parts - 'Ragda', which is cooked dried peas (white or green) with onions, tomatoes and spices, while 'patties' is a plain old potato patty. Instead of using just potatoes, I insisted on using carrots, peas, cilantro and soy granules too. We invited few friends for our Sunday chat indulgence. We had dosa, ragda patties, pani puri, spinach rice and rasgulla (brought in by Smita) and most of all had lots of fun!! We gave ourselves an hi-fi as M thought that the ragda patties tasted very close to those in his memories. One more thing to add here is, this is the first good food picture I have shot indoors under artificial lights with my point and shoot! We have recently purchased a DSLR - hoping to shoot better pictures soon.

Recipe for ragda:
  • Soak dried peas (I chose white) for 4-6 hours. Cook it with water and turmeric powder until soft, preferably in a pressure cooker.
  • In a saucepan add 2-3 tsp of oil. Saute finely chopped onions, ginger paste, garlic paste and finely chopped tomatoes. Add the cooked peas, salt to taste, red chilly powder, garam masala powder and required amount of water, cover and bring to boil. Then simmer for 5 minutes.
Recipe for patties:
  • Steam potatoes, peel and mash them. Add salt and red chilly powder to taste and mix well.
  • Prepare soy granules (I like granules to chunks as they are smaller in size and blend in better) as directed in box.
  • Grate carrots, thaw/ drain peas, if using frozen/ canned, finely chop onions and cilantro
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a sauce pan, saute onions, carrots and peas. Add salt and red chilly powder to taste and mix well. Add very little water and cook covered for a minute. Heat until all water evaporates and the mixture is dry. Add potatoes, soy granules and cilantro and mix well.
  • Make patties, roll over bread crumbs and pan fry in a non-stick pan.
Serving suggestion:
Serve patties and ragda separately. Additionally serve finely chopped onions, grated carrots, finely chopped cilantro and lemon wedges for garnishing. Green (mint - cilantro) chutney and sweet (tamarind - date) chutney always accompany any Indian chat.
To assemble, place 1 0r 2 patties on a place, smash them slightly with a spoon, add ragda on top, add your choice of chutneys, then top off with your favourite garnishes and enjoy!!

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