Batata Vada or Spicy Potato fritters is the type of food that teases your taste buds! Mashed potatoes are mixed with green chillies, cilantro and some spices and then dipped in batter and deep fried! How can anyone say no to that right? And especially when you grew up in a region where these fritters were a common street food! These crispy, delicious vadas constitute the ‘burger’ inside the Mumbai Potato Burger – the Vada Paav !
So yes potatoes are my weakness and when I started on AIP, I avoided them for 3 months. That was it! I needed to reintroduce them fast and along with spices, potatoes were one of my earliest reintroductions. No surprises there ! However I am still not quite sure if I am entirely insensitive to them because every once in a while when I eat them, I feel like I end up with some flatulence. So I just reserve them for that occasional treat – like french fries when we dine outside and an occasional batata vada when one of our friends make it for our get togethers:)
So how did I come up with this variation of the batata vada? Now that was actually easy. I had been thinking of making tostones with green plantains and then once as I was looking at a tostone recipe, I suddenly remembered the ‘kela vada’ – the green plantain fritter! Our Gujrati neighbor used to make these when we were kids. Oh those used to be so scrumptious! She used to serve them with a fresh cilantro chutney. Thinking about those had me drooling and I had to make these vadas at the earliest. Traditionally chickpea flour is used in making vadas and I decided to use a mix of cassava flour and water chest nut flour. I added the water chestnut flour to give the coating a crispness. You can try this recipe using just cassava flour too but the coating may not be as crispy.
I used a shallow pan to fry them which uses less oil. If you like sweet and spicy, you can add a tad bit of sweetener(maple syrup or honey) to the dough for the balls. Do try these and let me know how you like them!
- 1 large green plantain (very green and unripe)
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ inch by ½ inch piece of fresh ginger
- 1 green chilli (omit for AIP)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Cook the green plantain in an instant pot or a regular cooking pot.
- Cut the plantain in half (do not remove skin.Place both pieces on top of trivet in the insert pot and add 1 cup of water into the insert. Close lid and turn valve to sealing position. Press 'Pressure Cook' and change to 10 mins. Let pressure release naturally for 10 mins. Then carefully release remaining pressure and open the pot.
- In a medium size cooking pot, place the green plantain (cut in half or 3 pieces) with skin on. Add enough water to submerge the pieces completely. Cover with a lid placing it slightly ajar and cook on medium heat for about 15 mins.
- Remove the skin from the cooked plantains and place the plantains in a bowl. While hot mash them coarsely using a potato masher. Leave it aside.
- In a food processor, add all the rest of the 'vada' ingredients and process it for 30 seconds till you get a coarse paste. Now add the mashed plantains to this mix and quickly pulse for 10 secs 2-3 times until you get a dough like consistency (DO NOT OVERMIX since then the balls will become hard)
- Transfer dough back to a bowl and divide into 7-8 balls.
- Mix all batter ingredients except the water in a bowl and then add the water slowly to form a thick pasty mixture.
- In a small frying pan, add the coconut oil and heat for 2-3 mins on medium heat until hot. Now dip each ball into the batter to coat it completely and then place balls one by one in the oil to fry