Cheddar

Cheesy Potato Balls (Cheesy Alu Banda)

October 25, 2021
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Photo by Nassima Rothacker
Author Notes

In India, this widely loved snack, which is famed in Mumbai as batata vada, is customarily sold in a soft bun with a garlic and chile chutney. Its popularity has spread, and it’s now available in many Indian restaurants worldwide. Where I come from, these delicious potato balls are called alu banda and are sold in small shops and street stalls in the mornings for breakfast with chai. So why not serve this with some Coriander Peanut Chutney and piping hot masala chai? —Chetna Makan

Test Kitchen Notes

Recipe adapted from Chetna’s 30 Minute Indian: Quick and Easy Everyday Meals by Chetna Makan. Photographer: Nassima Rothacker. Mitchell Beazley, distributed by Hachette Book Group. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Cheesy Potato Balls (Cheesy Alu Banda)
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 8
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 2 potatoes, such as Maris Piper, Desiree, or Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped
  • 10 fresh curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 30 grams (1 ounce) cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Batter:
  • 100 grams (3½ ounces) gram flour (besan/chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Put the potato pieces in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the green chile, curry leaves, and mustard seeds. Once they start to sizzle, stir in the salt and ground spices and cook over a low heat for a few seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of water and the cooked potatoes and mix well, then leave to cool while you make the batter.
  3. Mix together all the batter ingredients in a bowl. Then gradually whisk in about 1/2 cup of water to make a smooth batter with a coating consistency.
  4. Divide the potato mixture into 8 portions and form each into a ball about the size of a lime. Push a cube of cheese into the center of each potato ball and mold the potato mixture back around it to seal it in.
  5. Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer or deep, heavy-based pan (ensuring the pan is no more than one-third full) to 350°F (180°C). Line a plate with paper towels. Dip one potato ball at a time into the batter and then carefully add to the hot oil. Deep-fry in small batches for a minute on each side, until golden. Transfer to the paper-lined plate to absorb the excess oil while you fry the remaining balls. Serve warm.

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