Ragda Pattice is a divine food from the streets of Mumbai, with a mad mix of flavors and textures that’s tease and titillate your tastebuds. But it’s also rather wholesome, with its chief ingredients being white peas and potatoes. A vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free recipe.
Indian English speakers are tempted to change the spelling of this voluptuous snack — always spelled Ragda ‘Pattice’ by food vendors in the glorious tradition of street slang– to the more correct ragda “patties.’ But why spoil a good thing by forcing on it unneeded refinement?
There’s nothing proper about this bold, tarty street snack from the swollen crush of Bombay’s streets. It is a hodge-podge of random flavors and textures that no cook in their right mind would dream of putting together. There’s sweet here and spicy and sour and salty. And then there’s creamy and crispy and crunchy and crumbly. The final result is lush genius on a plate.
In Bombay, you can buy Ragda Pattice at the open stalls and carts lining the city’s long beaches and eat it standing right there, your feet burrowing into the soft sand and the sea breeze whipping your hair into a salty tango. Or, if you’re worried about hygiene and all that annoying stuff that gets between you and your indulgences, you can order it at one of the city’s restaurants.
When I lived in Bombay, one of our go-to places after work was Vithal’s, a restaurant in the maze-like Fort area. Vithal’s offered almost every snack invented by the ingenious food hawkers of the city’s streets, and although you were sitting in an air-conditioned room that sealed you off from the humidly oppressive heat, the raucous laughter and voices of people young and old at the tables around you could easily make you think you were actually out there.
I had one coworker who never ordered anything at Vithal’s but Ragda Pattice. She was that person who, although a vegetarian since birth, ate no vegetables other than potatoes (doesn’t everyone know someone like that?). And although I can’t think of a veggie I don’t love, I can easily see why she was so obsessed with the mighty Ragda Pattice.
What we love about this dish
- It’s delicious!
- It’s mostly potatoes and chickpeas, so it’s healthy as well.
- It’s kid-friendly and adult-friendly, because who doesn’t love potatoes? And crispy, cruncy stuff?
- It has every flavor and texture you can imagine–tart, sweet, salty, spicy and soft, squishy, crispy and crusty–all in one plate, making it a gastronome’s dream come true.
- It is extremely easy to make.
- It needs just a handful of ingredients, and the sev can be storebought–in fact, I don’t know anyone who actually makes it at home.
- It looks stunning.
- Did I say it was delicious?
For the ragda (white peas curry):
- 1 cup white peas (Sometimes also sold as yellow peas. Chickpeas will do at a pinch. Soak for about 4-8 hours or overnight and cook until tender. (See instructions above on how to cook in pressure cooker, Instant Pot and on the stovetop)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 green chili peppers (Minced. Use less or more depending on your tolerance for heat. Deseed for less heat.)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala (optional)
- Salt to taste
For the potato patties:
- 4 medium-large potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds, boiled, peeled and mashed until smooth)
- 2 green chili peppers (finely minced. Again, use more or less based on your tolerance for heat)
- ¼ cup rice flour (or 2 tablespoon cornstarch)
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
For the tamarind-date chutney:
- ½ cup dates (any kind is fine. Make sure you take out the pits, if any)
- 2 tablespoon tamarind paste , about the size of a lemon (adjust this up or down depending on whether you like your sauce sweet or really tangy)
- 2 tablespoon jaggery (an unrefined Indian sugar. You can replace with turbinado or coconut sugar)
- ½ teaspoon cumin (roasted until a couple of shades darker, then ground to a fine powder)
- ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
For the mint chutney:
- ¼ cup mint
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 green chili pepper (like serrano or jalapeno)
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup sev (found at Indian grocery stores)
- 1 medium onion (minced)
- 4 tablespoon cilantro (minced)
Make the ragda:
- Heat the oil in a skillet and add the ginger-garlic paste. Saute over medium-low heat for a few seconds until fragrant but not burnt, then add the green chili peppers, turmeric, chaat masala, if using, white peas and salt. Add about two cups of the cooking liquid from the white peas, or water.
- Stir together, then bring the sauce to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes until the gravy is still a little runny but quite thick. You can add more water if needed.
- Check salt, add more if needed, then turn off the heat.
Make the patties:
- Place the potatoes and other ingredients and form into 12 flat patties, about 2 ½ inches in diameter and a third of an inch thick.
- Heat the skillet, pour enough oil to coat the bottom evenly. When hot, fry the patties in batches. Let each patty cook about 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat or until the surface is a rich golden-brown. Flip over and cook the other side.
Make the tamarind-date chutney:
- Place all ingredients for the chutney in a blender, add ½ cup water, salt if needed (you may not want it) and blend into a smooth and fairly runny paste, about the consistency of ketchup.
Make the mint chutney:
- Place all the ingredients into a blender with ½ cup water and salt and blend into a runny paste. This chutney will be more liquid than the tamarind-date chutney.
Put the final dish together:
- To build you plate of Ragda Pattice, ladle the ragda into a plate. Place two patties on it. Sprinkle on some more chaat masala, if you wish. Drizzle on the tamarind-date and mint chutneys followed by onions, cilantro, and finally the sev.
Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg