Monday, June 29, 2009

Ragda Patties

Dear foodies,

Isn't chaat the best form of food ? They should make it one of the essential food groups. One bhel puri or ragda or one plate pani puri everyday :) That will be a diet plan I'll religiously stick too :D Specially in the summers, a spicy bhel or golgappa cooled down by a dahi poori or sugarcane juice is pure bliss. It's the best way to get your mind off the blistering sun of the Indian summer. Which brings up a very interesting question. Ever wondered why the hottest peppers come from the countries close to the equator. The cuisines of these countries (India, Thailand, Malaysia etc) also tend to be really spicy. You would think that people freezing in the cold would appreciate a hot pepper, but no, they are happy gulping down scotch/whiskey, and its the ones living in the tropics biting into hot chilli peppers.

Eating local and using what the land gives could be one reason. Most of the spices like chilli peppers, peppercorn, cloves etc prefer the hot humid climate and thrive is these regions. But that might still not answer why you would torture yourself by eating something that makes you feel hotter. Most chilli peppers have a chemical called Capsaicin which is an irritant and also gives them the spicy punch. It is known to act on the central nervous system and pump up the blood circulation, bringing more of the warm blood to the skin's surface causing us to sweat profusely. And since sweating is our body's natural way to cool us down, the spice aids this process. So though you might feel like your skin is burning up and you need a fire extinguisher asap, your body might actually be cooling itself! But this is good only as long as the level of Capsaicin is bareable, too high and you might really need a Doc. I also read in an article that your appetite tends to weaken as the mercury level rises. All you want is a light fruit salad or fruit juice or that cool, tall glass of buttermilk to cool you down. But that's surely not enough fodder for the body and so eating spicy food helps to bring back the appetite. (as long as you continue chomping down that spicy hot pav bhaji, you won't feel the heat :D)

Another theory draws on the unique properties that all of the spices possess- as an antiseptic (turmeric), anthelmintic (cloves), diuretic (coriander), carminative (coriander, pepper, ginger) to name a few. Apart from these they all have anti-bacterial properties in varying extents. So by using one or a combination of these spices, you are adding preservatives, preventing food poisoning from contamination by harmful microbial. This makes sense as modern day means of refrigeration are relatively new and the methods to store cooked food were limited. Now I also read a theory that since food tends to go bad very quickly in hot climates, the hot spices masked their rotten flavors! This, I am not willing to accept, nooooo, never....eoowww. But if you ate a really hot dish and want to put out the fire, instead of reaching for the glass of water or coke, eat a piece of bread. It does a better job at soaking up the capsaicin and gives relief. Milk and alcoholic beverages also help dilute the capsaicin molecules in the mouth.

Getting right back to our lovely chaats, I made some chatpata ragda patties when my friends came over last weekend. I now have chana, kala chana, pinto beans, yellow and green vatana in my pantry that I pre-soak and use when needed. I used yellow vatana to make the ragda and the patties are very easy to put together. I used store bought tamarind chutney and sev, the rest I made at home. Each component is extremely simple, quick and uncomplicated, which is the true essence of chaat - Fresh, flavorful, simple ingredients put together with the right balance of sweet/spice/sour/tangy to entice our tastebuds.
Ragda Patties
Ingredients:

for the patties or aloo tikki - makes upto 10-12 2" round tikkis
  • 4 nos - Potatoes, medium sized -cubed and boiled in salted water
  • 1/2 tsp - chopped ginger
  • 2-3 nos - Green chillies, minced
  • 1/2 tsp - Amchur (dry mango powder)
  • 2 Tbsp - Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 nos - Bread slices/ 2 Tbsp - Maida/AP flour or 2 Tbsp - bread crumbs
  • Oil for pan frying
  • Salt to taste
for green chutney
  • 1 cup - Mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup - Coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup - Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 - Green chillies (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp - Amchur
  • Salt to taste
for ragda
  • 2 cups - Yellow vatana/peas, pre-soaked for 8-10hrs
  • 1/2 cup - white Onions, diced
  • 1 tsp - minced ginger-garlic
  • 1/2 tsp - turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp - roasted Cumin/jeera powder
  • 3/4 tsp - roasted Coriander/dhania powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Red chilli powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp - Garam masala
  • pinch of sugar and amchur
  • 1 Tbsp - Oil
  • Salt to taste
Tamarind chutney, beaten curds/yogurt, coriander leaves, chopped onions and sev for garnish.

Method:
  1. For the ragda - Pressure cook the vatana with salt for just 1 whistle, (any longer turned them to mush in mine :( ), if not cook them on the stove top or microwave.
  2. In a pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the minced ginger-garlic. Cook for 30secs and add the diced onions, turmeric. When the onions turn translucent add cooked vatane, a cup of water, and the spice powders. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 mins. Add the sugar and amchur powder and, mash a few of the beans with the back of your spoon to slightly thicken the gravy. Taste and adjust the spices to balance the flavors, add more water as needed.
  3. The green chutney is the easiest, toss everything into a blender and give it a blitz adding spoonfuls of water as you go along.
  4. For the aloo patties, mash the potatoes (I did not peel them) and add the rest of the ingredients. If using bread slices, dip them in water for a few seconds. Give them a tight squeeze to remove excess water, crumble and add it to the potatoes. Mash everything together to form a light dough. Pinch off a key lime sized ball of the mixture, roll it into a round and press to form 1/2" thick discs. Heat a few drops of oil in a shallow pan and fry the patties until they turn golden brown with a crisp outer layer.
  5. While serving, place 2-3 patties on a plate, pour a ladleful of the piping hot ragda on top, drizzle green chutney, tamarind chutney and beaten curds on top. Sprinkle some onions, cilantro and a generous amount of sev. Serve immediately.
* Swap the aloo patties with crumbled Samosa/Kachori/Papdi to make - ragda samosa, ragda kachori or ragda papdi, as the case may be.
Boy O boy! this was a spectacular treat for the tastebuds. Having your mouth full with the hot peas and tikki, crunchy onions and sev, fresh cilantro, tangy chutnies and the coooool yogurt, all at the same time, is an experience you have to savor, atleast once. And after that its a perfect case of 'no one can eat just once' :D There is no rivaling the sheer genius of chaats, and your taste buds will love the rollercoaster ride. The yellow vatane have a very mild yet slightly spicy, chilli like flavor to them, unlike the ...err..bland (?) chickpeas, and so a mild gravy is enough to make a flavorful dish. All the flavors come together forming an elegant balance without any single element overpowering the rest. Since I like sev in my chaat I added that to the dish, but you can surely skip it. (can you ? will you ?)

Each one can also customize their plates with a lil more of the khatta-meeta chutney or green chutney or sev or all the above :D Its filling and its healthy. The green chutney can be made and stored in the fridge, extra peas can be frozen, a pack of sev should last you awhile. And so, once you have all the components on hand, putting the dish together is a snap.

This goes to the Sunday Snacks - Spill the beans event hosted by yours truly this month :) I took over from Pallavi this month. This being a bi-monthly event, you have time until the last Sunday of July to cook up some fabulous snacks.

34 thoughts:

chakhlere said...

Hey Priya!!
Thats a interesting info about the spices!!
I had read an article in Indian Express that Indian spices are in Big demand in China!
Other countries like UAE, Thailand, Vietnam, France, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Iran visited the Spices Board stall during the SIAL China, an international exhibition for food and beverage trade held at Shanghai from May 19-21 this year and enquired about spices like pepper, turmeric, ginger, chilli, cardamom and curry powder.

They want the supply of curry powder of their specification from India!

So Our Indian spices are really Very very popular in th world!
Just wanted to share this info with everybody!

I am also a very big consumer of spices!!:)

Btw Amazing clicks! I love ragda patties too!!

Bong Mom said...

Missed visiting your blog. It isn't sufficiently hot yet where I am but that is no excuse, ragda patties sab season mein chalta hain :)

BTW had a question about your methi plant. What are you doing to keep them growing lush ? Like do I need to pluck the leaves more frequently ?

Priya said...


Chakhlere, thanks for sharing that here :) It will be interesting to see how they incorporate it in their cuisine though. I recently bought the Chinese 5 spice mix and really like it. Tastes great in pulaos and even with bambino.

Sandeepa, yup, chaat ke liye hamesha ready :) I have a small bunch, so I keep plucking the leaves regularly to use in curries or I freeze them. that seems to be my answer to everything these days :D and ooh, I bought another basil plant, shooting for a hatrick killing :-P

arundati said...

ragda patties is my favorite chaat item... after pani puri of course!! never made it tho... your looks great!!!

sunita said...

Yum! Yum!

Suparna said...

hi priya,
It's always a pleasure to read ur write ups :)
love chaats....it's a anytime yes for me ;) nice clicks.

Parita said...

Very interesting info, it always a pleasure to read your post! i practically can live on chaats :)
Ragda patties looks delicious, i havent had this in a long time, may be will make this weekend:)

rekhas kitchen said...

nice info, very interesting and Ragda patties looks so mouthwatering.

Priya said...


Arundati, pani puri is the King of chaats. This was my first time making it too, made it twice in one week. and I was amazed at how simple it was. A lil help from the store with the chutnies makes it much more easier. But well, you could just walk a few blocks to the street and get it from the bandiwala :) no such luck for me.

Sunita, nom nom nom :D

Suparna, thank you so much :) I glad to know that you find them enjoyable :)

Parita, thank you thank you :) me too could live on them! you must surely make this over the weekend, perfect time to sit back and enjoy this treat.

Rekha, yeah, right ? It was nice reading up on how these cuisines developed. Even before all our chemistry/biology theories they created recipes that we now practice as tradition.

Pavani said...

Very interesting info on spicy food. I love chaat, but never tried making at home. There was a bandiwala in Chikkadpalli where me & my cousins would visit and his pani-puri & samosa chaat were just out of the world. Not sure if he's still there, may be it turned into a fancy chaat bhandar.
hey, btw.. I'm looking forward to your peanut entries for JFI.

myspicykitchen said...

love raga patties and miss it a lot... and lazy to prepare it at home... :)

Soma said...

u read my mind. last weekend i was craving chaat so bad, esp. phuchka (golgappa) the kolkata one being very different from the rest of the world, & dahi puri. plans for chaat are for the long weekend. in summer i feel like eating chaat..with dahi ones & fruits. & like you i do not peel the aloo:-)

pass me the bowl priya!

Ann said...

Wow.. That is super easy and yumm! and great snack anytime.

Meera said...

Looks yum. I didn't know it's a bimonthly event. That means,I can send some more...

Kalai said...

Those pics are sooooooo tempting, Priya! Chaat should definitely be in the food pyramid. I know I can never get enough! :)

Nags said...

yes, chaat is an amazing form of food. really really! :D

Manisha said...

I'll take a large serving of ragda patties, please! Don't put away the serving bowls because I will be back for seconds and thirds. Thank you.

Pari said...

Not fair...my mouth's watering.

Nirmala said...

Thats quiet interesting Priya. The bowl looks with lovely catchy colors and I am drooling over the pics.

pelicano said...

I was just explaining- trying to explain- chaats to D a few days ago! Can you believe I've never made one? So...just because of the coincidence with your post I'll follow your recipe for this one, but I'll need to find some sev. Or make some. Not optional. :-)

I don't peel potatoes either... (nutrition, right?) but chickpeas bland?! Oh...all my chane is now trembling from the insult!

Ranju said...

I am drooling all over my laptop!!!! will try this weekend!!!!

Vani said...

Beautiful pictures, Priya! Looks amazing!

Mangala Bhat said...

Wow! nice one ..i have posted long back same ragada patties ..ur's look more drool worthy ...especially pics r awsome ...great !:)

Vaishali said...

Put me on a chaat diet anyday!
I can quite imagine the explosion of flavors in the ragda patties-- no, I can actually remember them from the time I'd eat this delicious dish at Vithal's in Bombay's Fort area. I had a friend who'd never eat anything but ragda patties there.
Love your version, Priya.

Silvara said...

am going to try this on Sunday for a friend coming in from interstate for lunch.

One question though - where would I get vatana in Australia???

It looks like yellow split-peas daal from the picture but not sure if it is. Is there something I can substitute for if I can't find it???

Priya said...


Silvara, Sorry for not having a closer shot of the yellow peas themselves, my dad asked me too :D here is a image of sprouted yellow and green peas, the dry peas look like This. I bought these at the Indian store here, but I've seen them in some organic stores too. Though its labeled as yellow split peas sometimes, its not the same as channa daal. You could use kabuli chane/garbanzo beans if you don't find these :)

Shri said...

Chaat can substitute every meal in a day..At least I can:)Loved your recipes as much as the pictures of the food and otherwise.This is my first time here, atleast leaving a comment:D;)

When you get a chance, do visit my blog!

Shri

Nupur said...

You're killing me with those gorgeous tantalizing pictures, girl!!

Rahin said...

hi priya, i was just thinking of making ragda patties, your recipe looks delicious

spice and more said...

That looks amazing...makes my tongue tingle just reading about the hot, sour, crunchy....yuuuummm! I looovvve chaat.

Anonymous said...

Hi Priya, very yummmmy recipe and a mouthwatering photo.Happy Cooking!.

christygerald said...

Hi Priya, very yummmmy recipe and a mouthwatering photo.Happy Cooking!.

Abhilash Pillai said...

I ate similar one and used to call it Bhel... I dont know what it is called in different places..

Ragda patties... mm... good name...
I like the name...

Is this the real name or something discovered by you..

nivedita said...

Hii Priya!!
Yummmmmmmmmm yummmy ragda pattice, lovely pictures.
I felt the crunchy onion and tangy tamarind :-).
I love the way you describe your recipes. Lot of patience!! Keep up the work.

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