Friday, May 27, 2016

Coconut and Potato Pattice

I make these for potato loving Shauna. She can eat taters in any form, any time, any day. Well...this is gather from my years as her mum, but things could be different now. These coconut filled potato balls are small bites I fondly remember from Bombay days. They were bought at a Gujarati farsan store, where you could also feast on dhokla, khandvi, kachori, undhiya, pakoras, fafda, all manners of chiwda and sev. If you are not from the subcontinent,  this might sound like gobbledygook to you. But those of us raised in the western metropolis, farsan is an inherent part of foodie life. 

Yukon Golds are boiled in plenty of water. Yes I've said before YGs, with their buttery golden flesh, are the tastiest. Russets also work. Mashed, fortified with arrowroot and seasoned, they become small pockets filled with fresh coconut, cilantro, raisins and chiles. Fried in hot oil, pale brown and crisp, they are irresistible.

Makes 10-12

3 large Potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold
2 tablespoons Arrowroot 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1/2 cup grated Coconut 
1 or 2 Green Chiles
1/4 cup Cilantro
1 tablespoon golden Raisins
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
2 tablespoons Lime Juice
Canola Oil for frying

Boil potatoes in water. 

While potatoes cook make the filling.

Put coconut in a bowl.

Mince chiles and cilantro and add to coconut..

Add raisins, sugar, salt and lime juice and mix.

Peel and mash cooked potatoes.

Add arrowroot and salt to potatoes. Blend well to mix.

Form potatoes into golf ball size balls.  

Take a ball and make an deep indent with your thumb. Be careful not to press all the way through. Widen the depression with your fingers. You should have a 1 inch hole in the ball. 

Fill the indentation with a tablespoon of coconut filling. Tamp the filling down. 

Close the top by pushing the potato gently together so that the top closes. Smooth out the edges and keep aside. 

Repeat with the rest of the potato balls.

Heat canola oil in a wok or kadhai. You should have 2-3 inches of oil in the pan.

Test oil with a smidgen of potato. It should swim to the surface immediately. 

Fry 2-3 balls at a time, turning often so they are browned all over. 

Drain on paper towels and eat them hot. 

They could be reheated in a hot oven.

You must wonder why I call them pattice. I know of no reason other than the fact that Indians like calling stuffed and fried balls just that. With that name comes memories of times gone by, of Dad and Mum buying pattice in Babulnath, of eating them off jamum leaves, nestled in oiled-stained newspaper. The innocence of childhood wrapped up in biodegradable packages lives on for the next generation.