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Moonson blues with Chola Chaap (Ragda Pattice) – Fried Potato dumplings in Chick Pea Curry

Everytime it rains in Perth I am reminded of home. The rains gently falling on the window sill make me ache for home and everything familiar that was mine back there. I miss the people, the places and the food.

The sad part of life is that I cannot get the people here nor can I get the place and the only way  I can feel at home is by recreating the food I ate back home. Especially growing up in a place in Ulhasnagar I grew up on a steady diet of some amazing and lip smacking delicacies, sold throughout the streets of the small town.

As a little girl I hated the place and its small town mentality. The only thing I loved was the food. I could not wait to leave the place and the irony is now that I am so far I miss it. I miss the warmth and the familiarity of the place and the simple and tasty street food.

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One of the most popular dishes that we got in Ulhasnagar was “Chola Chap” Or “Ragda Pattice” as it is most commonly called. It is a delicious fried Potato Pattice served with some tangy chick pea curry and various condiments. When you look at the entire dish it feels and looks complicated but it is one of the easiest dish you can make. And when I had some left over chick pea curry in my fridge and saw the rain drenching my porch that is what I had to make.

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The Chick Pea curry is also very versatile and can be eaten with Rice, Roti or Bhature, so you don’t have to specially go out of your way to make it unless you want to. For me the left over curry was good enough.

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What I also did was that I did the prep work in advance so all I had to do at the last minute was assembling everything in a plate. And to make it easy for others to understand this recipe I have divided the recipe into sections.

Documents7So hold on to your horses, take a deep breathe and read on. The recipe is easy but you need to make sure you have all the ingredients ready for the final flourish.

Click on this link for the chickpea curry : Indian style Chick Pea curry.

For the Chap (Pattice) – Makes 7 – 8 medium sized pattice.

5 – 6 Large Potatoes

2 – 3 Green chillies finely chopped

1 tbsp freshly chopped Coriander finely chopped

1 cup Breadcrumbs (you may need less than that)

Salt to taste

1 1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 1/2 tbsp Channa Dal (Bengal Gram Dal) – This is optional but we will stuff the Pattice with the Dal.

1 tbsp Vegetable oil for frying the pattice.

1) Boil the Potatoes till tender and mash them when still hot, let them cool.

2) While the Potatoes are cooling down, boil the Channa dal till soft but not too mushy. Drain water out completely as this will become the stuffing for the pattice.  You don’t have to make the channa dal stuffing but it makes the pattice more delicious.  If you love your meat you can stuff the pattice with cooked dry mince meat, that also tastes really good.

3) Once the Potatoes are cold (if the Potatoes are hot the pattice will break), add the Bread crumbs, Salt, Cumin powder, green chillies, chopped Coriander and mix well.

4) Take a small handful of this mixture and make a small ball with a well like shape to add the channa dal stuffing. You need to use your judgement to ensure the pattice is not too big and not too small. Don’t overpower the pattice with stuffing.  You can add 1 tbsp of Cornflour to the Potato mixture to help bind everything but I did not use it, my Bread crumbs worked like a charm, they also gave the pattice a nice crispy coating.

5) Add the oil in a non stick pan and heat it up before adding the pattice. If the oil is hot the pattice will not break. Traditionally the pattice are deep fried in oil but in my effort to not go over board I have just shallow fried them. Keep turning the pattice around gently after every few minutes to ensure it is nice and golden from all sides.

6) Remove from the pan and drain on a Kitchen towel.

For Garnishing:

1/2 cup Green mint Chutney (just blitz 1 cup Coriander, 1 cup fresh Mint, 2 green chillies, 1 small Onion, Salt and juice of 1 Lemon together into a fine paste)

1 /2 cup Tamarind Chutney (boil 1 cup water and 1/4 cup Tamarind in it. Once the water has cooled a bit mash the tamarind into a pulp and run it through a fine sieve and extract the pulp, add 1/2 tsp Sugar to this)

1 small Onion finely chopped to garnish.

1 tbsp Curd/Yogurt mixed well with a 1 tsp water (optional).

freshly chopped Coriander.

Don’t get scared of making the Green mint chutney as it will last you for a few days and can be served as a dip with Tacos, chips etc or can be lathered on a buttered bread and enjoyed. Else you can cheat like I did and buy the Chutney and the Tamarind pulp for the local Indian store.

The Assembly:

1) Place the Pattice in small bowls depending on how many you want to serve per person.

2) Add 2 Tbsp of warm Chick pea curry (and maybe a little more depending on how greedy you are), sprinkle the chutney and Tamarind pulp with some restrain (you can always add more if you wish, rather then drowning the dish in these ), sprinkle some chopped Onions, Coriander & drizzle a little Yogurt (I skipped this) and serve it warm.

Do keep in mind that everything in this dish can be prepared in advanced. The chick Pea curry I used for 3 days old and I made the pattice a day in advance and just brought everything together when we were ready to eat it. So don’t let the lengthy recipe stop you from trying this at home.

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