Must have bored ya’ll with my stories of how I miss Mumbai countless times, no? Alas, this is one of those times when I’ll probably bore your socks off once more. Old habits die hard see? 😉 and my very Mumbai-soul craves for snacks and meals that remind me of my formative years in India’s financial capital. This post is one of those little tales, spun with silver threads of love and memories….and if you’re still with me, reading this overtly melodramatic post, then let me tell you about today’s hero — Ragda Pattice.
Now I will have to assume that the name ‘Ragda Pattice’ is probably a Mumbaiyya thing, since Mom recalls of a time when her uncle took her to Juhu beach (this was during her school days, in 1976), and discovered that Ragda Pattice is the same thing as Aloo Tikki, which is the name by which this delectable street food is sold across Delhi and the Northern regions of India.
I assume the word Pattice is a distortion of PATTIES, while Ragda, I suppose is the method of cooking the peas, by vigorously stirring, or churning the curry until it’s cooked through.
The dish comprises of two components; Ragda or a curry made with dried white peas (vatana, matar) and Pattice or Patties which are nothing but simple aloo tikkis, or potato cutlets. Of course the dish is incomplete without its usual array of accompaniments or chutneys; spicy green mint-coriander chutney, sweet and sour tamarind chutney and sometimes spiced hung curd, finished off with some sev (a kind of fried vermicelli made with chickpea flour), chopped coriander greens and sometimes a bit of chopped onion.
Funnily enough, I never quite managed to gorge on Ragda Pattice as much as I wanted to! For once, we’ve probably all been warned off against indulging in street food, because let’s face it, it’s not really that hygienic, and secondly, my usual choice of ‘chaat’ has always been ‘Sev Puri’, especially the ‘Dahi Sev Puri’… uff, my mouth is flooding with all the memories!
Now comes the fact that we have ALL indulged in street food, especially during our childhood; school days, college life, you name it. And no matter how perfectly you recreate it at home, it’s never quite the same!
But see, desperate times call for desperate measures. Here in Kolkata, ‘chaat’ is very different; Panipuri is Phuchka and I haven’t had much luck finding Sev Puri, Dahi Puri, Ragda…etc. So having been hit with a very, very strong craving, this is what I ended up doing. I made Ragda Pattice; first, I made the chutneys, then I made the aloo tikkis, and the ragda (that we call Ghugni here). Of course, I didn’t get Nylon Sev here, the super thin ones that’s used, so had to make-do with the regular ones from Haldiram’s 😛
Ragda Pattice/Ragda Patties
Ingredients for the Ragda:
- Dried white peas (white muttar/white vatana) – 1 cup
- Onion – 2 to 3 medium sized, chopped finely
- Tomatoes – 2, chopped finely
- Green chilies – a few, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Soak the peas in water for 7 to 8 hours, or overnight.
- Next morning rinse the peas and boil them in a pressure cooker until they’re cooked through, but not mushy (check by squishing one between your fingers).
- Now heat a pan with the oil, and add the cumin seeds.
- Once they sputter, add the chopped onions, and fry until golden.
- Now add the tomatoes and chilies, and saute well.
- Season with turmeric and red chili powder, and cook until masala releases oil.
- Tip in the cooked peas, and add 1 cup of water, salt, and let it cook by stirring constantly until a thick gravy-like curry is formed.
- Sprinkle the garam masala, mix well and keep aside. (The curry should be thick and not watery, and the peas shouldn’t be too mushy)
Ingredients for the Patties/Aloo Tikkis:
- Potatoes – 7 to 8 medium sized
- Salt – to taste
- Roasted cumin and chili powder – 1 to 2 tsp
- Chopped coriander – 1 cup
- Cornflou – 2 to 3 tbsp (optional)
- A little dry flour for dusting
- Ghee – for frying
- Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker (or you may peel them, chop and boil them in a large pot of salted water), until soft to touch, but not mushy or watery.
- Cool, peel and mash well.
- Mix the salt, roasted cumin and chili powder and chopped coriander.
- Lastly add the cornflour and mix everything together.
- Shape into round patties, using some dry flour if needed.
- Cool in fridge for 15 mins.
- Heat a skillet or pan with ghee.
- Fry the tikkis on medium heat until both sides are crisp and golden.
- Keep aside until serving time.
Ingredients for the Tamarind/Imli Chutney:
- Tamarind pulp – 1 cup
- Jaggery powder/grated jaggery – 1/2 cup
- Granulated sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Saunth/Dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
- Roasted red chili powder – 1/4 tsp
- To make the tamarind pulp, soak the tamarinds in hot water until they’re soft.
- Now squeeze and mash with hands to remove pulp; strain and keep aside.
- Heat a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, tip in the tamarind paste.
- Mix well, and let the tamarind paste come to a boil.
- Once the tamarind paste starts bubbling, add the jaggery, sugar, salt, chili and cumin powder and dry ginger powder.
- Mix well, and continue to let it simmer on a medium-high flame until the chutney thickens considerably (remember it will turn thicker when cooled, so be careful).
- Once it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (like custard), switch off flame and let it cool.
- Store in air-tight jar/bottle until use (Can be made 2 weeks ahead).
Ingredients for the Mint-Coriander Chutney:
- Coriander leaves – 2 cups, chopped, with stem
- Mint leaves – 1/3 cup, chopped
- Green chilies – 2 to 3
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
- Blitz everything in a blender without adding water until a smooth paste forms.
- Remove and store in air-tight container until use.
- Start by laying the tikkis on to a serving plate.
- Top generously with ragda.
- Now spoon over the chutneys one by one.
- Add a bit of seasoned curd/yogurt.
- Sprinkle some chopped coriander, and lastly, top with a generous helping of sev.
- Serve hot 🙂
For the curd, I used some plain sour curd. I added a little bit of sugar and some roasted cumin powder, some chili powder, and whisked it well.
You can make an alternate version of the tamarind chutney by using soaked seedless dates, instead of jaggery or sugar.
Same for the green chutney; you may use a garlic-coriander green chutney or a peanut-coriander green chutney.
Adjust spice levels as per your taste buds.
If you’re unable to find white muttar/vatana, use dried green peas.